Landscape lighting can serve a variety of purposes. For some people, landscape lights provide home security and safe night walking. Others install landscape lights to make better use of outdoor leisure and entertainment areas. And sometimes landscape lights are purely a means to dramatize natural or man-made landscape features. Whatever your need, these are the landscape lighting system options to consider.
Landscape lighting systems
There are basically three types of landscape lighting systems:
Low-voltage lights are wired to a transformer connected to a home's electrical circuit. The advantages of a low-voltage landscape lighting system are that it uses only 12 volts of electricity, it's easy to install, and its lightweight wiring requires smaller ground trenches.
High-voltage landscape lighting systems require a separate electrical circuit and installation by a licensed electrician. They use more power, but they can also handle more fixtures without a significant voltage drop if you decide to expand your landscape lighting in the future.
Solar landscape lighting systems don't require any wiring at all. They're environmentally friendly and cheaper to operate, but not very practical in some regions.
Things to consider
If safety and security are your primary concern, a low-voltage landscape lighting system with a motion sensor control is probably your best choice. If you want to beautify things a little while you're at it, get lantern-style lights for your driveway and set up path lighting for walkways.
Landscape lighting kits are cost-efficient and great for basic low-voltage setups. But if you ever expand your landscape lighting, you might have problems. The transformer would need to be upgraded, and your new fixtures likely won't match the old ones.
High-voltage landscape lighting systems with accent fixtures are excellent for aesthetic use. Flood lights, spotlights, well lights, wall lights, and path lights can all be put to dramatic effect.
Solar landscape lights are perfect for evening parties and social events during the busy summer months.