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Landscape Lighting

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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 transformer.

  • 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.

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