You can accentuate your garden, flower beds, or trees and illuminate your footpaths at night without the eternal threat of injury and shock. Between incandescent and LED lights, there are many lighting terminologies nowadays and it can be difficult to differentiate them.
Low voltage is one of the vital landscaping lights you should be up-to-date with. Utilizing just a few components, a low-volt landscape lighting system can be installed quickly and efficiently
Let's Define Low Voltage Landscape Lighting
As the name denotes, this type of outdoor lighting system operates in a lower voltage instead of line voltage.
Low voltage (12V) lighting, as we have known it today, started with the introduction of 12V halogen bulbs which typically worked sufficiently and produced the same levels of brightness as regular voltage halogen lamps. Halogen lighting is currently being phased out, and these days, the low-volt lighting industry is overwhelmed by the more energy-efficient LED technology. This type of lighting system is connected to a transformer that plugs into a household outlet and reduces normal line voltage, usually from 120 or 277V to 12 or 24V. The majority of low voltage systems can effortlessly be upgraded or retrofitted to the latest LED lighting technology, bringing the functionality and longevity of your outdoor lighting system to the next level.
Why Low Voltage System Is Beneficial
Low Voltage Lighting Drawbacks
Components Of A Low Voltage Lighting System
Low Voltage Transformer
The transformer is the primary component for dispersing safe voltage to your entire landscape lighting. All transformers comprise multiple electronic components that act as one to lower your 120V system down to the 12V required to run your outdoor lighting fixtures.
But, not all transformers are assembled the same – every manufacturer builds their transformers with various descriptions. You have to pick a larger transformer with more watts or power than the total wattage your landscape lighting fixtures will consume.
When you opt for landscape lights that need 300 watts, you will want a transformer that’s rated for 400 or 500 watts to provide your system room for addition and guarantee the load is not maximized around the clock.
Low Voltage Electrical Cable
A direct burial cable is the most common wiring for landscape lighting. Low-voltage wire runs from the transformer and stretches out along the ground to connect to every light fixture. Normally, the 12-gauge, 14-gauge, and 16-gauge cables are used for residential landscape lighting.
The lower the number, the thicker the wire and the greater its capacity. Thus, the wiring’s thickness defines the intensity of your entire landscape lights. Thinner gauge wires can be used for low-power lighting projects while thicker gauge wire is usually used for higher power installations. Ask the lighting manufacturer to find out the appropriate size wire to use for your specific system.
Basic Light Fixtures
Timers & Photocells
When Would You Use Low-voltage Lighting?
A low-voltage setup lets you take advantage of smaller light bulbs that usually would overheat with the higher voltages of the 120V lighting.
12V lighting is usually utilized in display lighting or in any operation where it is arduous to drive full standard-voltage electrical conduit and wire. It’s used to bring light to narrow areas, like alley-ways and corners. It’s occasionally used in special pendants and recessed applications. Its major hurdle has to do with reach – you can only receive low voltage so far from a transformer box.