Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Types of Exterior Lighting

The use of effective exterior lighting can improve your home's curb appeal and provide safer walkways at night. Look around your home and decide where exterior lighting can provide the most benefit. Improve safety with lighting around entry doors, stairs and walkways while providing curb appeal with lighting that highlights your home's features. Choose the proper outdoor lighting to bring out the texture of your home's exterior or spotlight trees, gardens and pools.


Low-Voltage Lighting

            Low-voltage landscape lighting uses existing exterior electrical outlets to allow fast and easy set-up without the expense of hiring an electrician. These lights are available in kit form and include a transformer, used to step the household electricity down to 12 volts, photocells that turn the lights on and off, and installation hardware. Light output is sufficient for lighting driveways and walking paths with minimal power consumption. These same type of lights are available as solar powered versions that use no wiring at all. The lights are mounted on stakes which push into the ground while a solar cell atop the light keeps the battery charged and a photocell turns the lights on and off. Low-voltage lighting is also available to mount on deck posts or flush with a deck surface.
      Submersible Lights

            Submersible lights are made to be used under water and illuminate ponds, swimming pools, hot tubs and fountains. They are also used for lighting around boating docks where they serve as functional lighting for the dock but also attract fish for night fishing.

      Security Lights

            Install security lights for extra lighting in shadowy areas around your home. These lights are designed to cast light across a broad area and eliminate shadows that intruders can hide in. They may be wired into a home’s existing wiring or use solar power to recharge a battery that powers the light. Security lights frequently use a motion sensor to turn the light on only when it’s needed for better energy efficiency.
      Accent Lights

            Accent lights create an artistic flare in the landscape and are used to attract attention to something in particular, such as a tree or yard ornament. They are usually placed so that the light itself can’t be seen and won’t distract from the effect it creates. Accent lights, placed creatively, can produce special effects such as shadows thrown on a wall by a tree or shrub.
      Specialty Lights

            Set the mood for a garden party using specialty lights. These are sets of lights connected together that may be hung around a gazebo or fence to add a festive feeling to the landscape. They come in a number of styles such as round globes or lanterns, have different colored globes for lighting effects and may be themed for special occasions and holidays.

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