You can add a lot of pizazz to your yard and garden by installing low voltage outdoor lighting. Low voltage landscape lighting uses such a small amount of electricity that there is no significant drain on your resources. And frankly, your town may not be providing outdoor lights on your streets, so you’ve got to do something yourself anyway.
The sustainable Naturally Bubbly angle of landscape lighting is a plea: Please, please, please, install light fixtures approved by the International Dark-Sky Association. http://darksky.org Dark Sky approves lights that shine downward, lighting only the area that needs it, and not up and out flooding the sky with light pollution. You’ll get the lighting effects you want without disturbing the surrounding environment if you use responsible low voltage lighting.
A nice post from IDA (International Dark-Sky Association) about the inspirational power of the heavenly bodies above us– http://darksky.org/7-pieces-of-art-inspired-by-the-night-sky/
Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting comes in many different styles for a multitude of applications in your landscape. For your Garden, Patio, Walkway, Steps, and Driveway use:
- path lights
- accent lights
- deck and patio lights
- rail lights
- step lights
- well, or recessed, lights
- underwater lights
- hanging lights
- garden ornaments
- lighted bird baths
How to Get Low Voltage Landscape Lighting
D.I.Y. or hire a professional. You can purchase individual lights in the quantity you need, and give them to your landscape lighting professional to install. You could hire a landscape designer to make sure it looks fantastic, and have the landscape professional install the lighting design. Orrrr, you can DIY if you know how.
Okay, maybe you don’t have the cash for a designer. Another option is a lighting kit that allows you to do it yourself! Because it is low voltage, you can’t make too big of a mess of it, and probably won’t electrocute yourself . . . What I am saying is don’t do-it-yourself if you don’t understand electricity at all! I took an all day workshop about low voltage landscape lighting, and it didn’t really sink in : ) so I would still be nervous doing it myself, frankly.
Low Voltage Landscape Lighting Design Tips
- Less is more. Don’t overdo it! Too many lights is too much light. And I really doubt trees appreciate having lights on them at night when it is supposed to be dark. I hate seeing spotlights on trees! Leave the trees to their nighttime repose!
Too much light at night also disrupts night pollinators like moths as well as our beloved Fireflies aka Lightning Bugs.
- Keep the wattage low outdoors. Bright lights outside at night actually blind people instead of helping them see their way through the dark. Again, Dark-Sky approved!!
- Light your interesting architecture if you have any, and light places where you walk, drive, and spend time outside at night.
- Linear, rope lighting recessed along a driveway or walkway can be stunning and difficult to trip over or damage.
- Sconces facing downward make great outdoor lighting fixtures.
- Patio and Deck lighting? Keep it minimal and mellow! Bring out hurricane candle lamps for extra lighting at the table.
Low voltage outdoor lighting is the perfect way to conserve energy, save money, and create a unique lighting design for your cherished house and landscape!