Landscape lighting enhances both the beauty and
enjoyment of a home. It contributes to safety and security, especially
around paths and stairs; and elegantly establishes success and status.
By illuminating the landscaping and natural beauty of foliage, lighting
shows off the property to evening visitors. Landscape lighting can be
appreciated both from inside and outside the home. By lighting outdoor
social areas, landscape lighting extends the living space, even after
dark. Landscape lighting is most often used around decks and patios,
pathways, lawns, foliage, and gardens. Light on pathways and steps makes
those areas safer to travel and adds to the sense of security.
Selecting Your Power System
Low Voltage (12-volt): The best choice
for a do-it-yourself landscape lighting project, the 12-volt system
is the most energy efficient, the least expensive and safest for a
non-professional to install. Cables can be strung along the surface
without insulated conduit and junction boxes. This system is also
the most flexible, since landscape lighting fixtures can be moved
without disrupting plantings. A 12-volt system requires a
Line Voltage (120-volt): Using the standard line voltage in
most homes, the 120-volt system provides power for a larger landscape
lighting plan including security lighting. This system is generally
installed by landscape lighting professionals and is intended to be a
permanent system that meets local and national electrical codes. If you
plan to install landscape lighting in stages, be sure to install the
power system for the entire project in stage one.
Combination Line and Low Voltage: One option is to use a
combination of 12-Volt and 120-volt systems. Using transformers, 12-volt
circuits can be spun off a main 120-volt line. If your landscape
lighting is not installed by a licensed electrician, take care that
installation is done according to local electrical codes. When in doubt,
bring in a professional.
Principles of Landscape Lighting
Go lightly: it does not take a lot of
light to see in and enjoy the night environment.
Focus on what you want to see: there are more spaces and
objects around the property than you possibly can light.
Control the brightness: use well-shielded lighting fixtures
so you never see exposed light sources. Add accessory hoods or cowls to
assure a glare-free installation.
Plan the layout: designing a landscape lighting system is not
difficult once you think it through.
Select Professionals with Experience
M&M Lighting has a staff of professionals, ALA
Certified Lighting Consultants (CLC) who can assist with landscape
lighting style, function and installation. We can offer solid advice and
make experienced recommendations for the right landscape lighting
fixtures for your home.