Increasingly, people are spending more time outside in their gardens. Many have created an ‘outside addition’ to their homes by beautiful landscaping and construction so that they may enjoy their backyard to the fullest. They have built decks, pergolas, outdoor kitchens and fire pits. It is enjoyable to sit out with friends and family, delighting in their garden in a relaxed atmosphere.
However, when it comes to lighting, people are often at a loss as to what is safe and best to use. They may wonder whether they have to hire an electrician and if the wires will get in the way of planting etc.? Thus they often resort to purchasing solar lights as it is simple and they can just put them anywhere in the garden. Although solar lights can certainly be functional to an extent, the solar lights that are sold in the big box stores are often of low quality and are not able to cast enough light onto trees and bushes to make much of a difference.
Some people are concerned about the cost of having lights on outside all night and believe that solar lights cost them nothing and are therefore the most economical. However, using low voltage LED lighting is very economical as LED uses very little electricity. Another benefit is the LED bulbs last 5 times (or more) longer than traditional and halogen bulbs.
People should never use regular (120 volts) lights in their garden. It is simply not safe outdoors. Using a 12 volt system avoids many possible problems. If the wire gets cut accidentally, a live 12 volt wire will not give anyone an electrical shock or cause fire. That is why we use 12 volt system for outdoor lighting. It provides much stronger light than solar lights can, as there is a constant current that is not affected by rain or shorter days in the winter months.
A common question I get asked about our system is how easy or difficult it is to install. People are often worried that they will not be able to install this system themselves and will have to hire an electrician to hook up the lights and deal with the wiring. The system we offer is ideal for most people as it can be easily installed and no outside person is required. It is called a “Plug & Play” system.
Here is how you do it: First, you lay a main wire in your garden. Then, the lights are plugged into the main wire. Next, the main wire is plugged into a transformer that is plugged into an outside plug by your house, garage or shed. After you have plugged the lights into the main cable, place the main cable slightly under the ground or the mulch.
Our transformers have a photocell that senses darkness so the lights come on automatically when it gets dark and you can set how long you want the lights to be on, from 4 to 6 to 8 hours. Once this is set you don’t need to touch the transformer, as the lights turn on and off automatically.
What lights to choose and where to put them?
When people are interested in having lights in their garden there are various things to think about.
– Do you want to light up a path so it is safe to walk in the garden without danger of tripping over things that cannot be seen in the dark?
– Do you want to highlight a plant, tree or an object in your garden?
– Do you want to light up a fence or wall?
– Do you want to create an ambiance for sitting outside at night with family and friends?
– What type of light do you want? Warm white, cool white or various colours?
Different lights create these effects and we can help you select the right light for different areas and for different purposes.
– Post lights to light a path. This can be a path from the street to your house or a path to the back of the house.
– Spotlights to highlight trees, bushes, stones or objects.
– Wall lights for fences, posts, and walls
– Up lights for the deck – shining up to create a beautiful view from the house. Can also be placed on the riser. Another option is to place “step lights” on the lip of steps, shining down on the steps as people walk down from the deck.
– Atmospheric lights to create that perfect mood for your back yard. Here you can play with colour bulbs and various shape lights to create an impressive ambiance.