Low voltage outdoor lights help to illuminate pathways and landscape features, such as stones, trees, and bushes. Cheap to operate and easy to install, low voltage lights are a great way to make your home safer and more beautiful.
If you are thinking about adding some lighting to your outdoor spaces, consider low voltage lights. You can combine these low voltage lights with energy-efficient solar lights for a complete landscape lighting system.
Although you can install low voltage lights on your own, it’s highly recommended that you speak with a professional lighting expert before making any major changes to your outdoor lighting scheme.
Low Voltage Lighting
Low voltage lighting refers to exterior lighting fixtures that operate at 12 volts or less. They are typically used to illuminate pathways and exterior features. For safety reasons, we recommend using low voltage lighting for all ground level lights.
Low voltage lighting consists of 3 main parts:
- Transformer – supplies the electricity
- Low Voltage Cable – transports the electricity
- Low Voltage Lamp – provides the light
The transformer (also called a power pack) plugs directly into your standard 120 V outlet. When plugged in, the transformer changes the electricity output to a safe 12 volts. It also contains a light timer so you can set the outdoor low voltage lights to turn on and off at a specific time.
The cable that connects the lights to the transformer is weather-resistant, long-lasting, and insulated to ensure the safest transfer of energy. The low voltage lamp uses less energy and is longer lasting than traditional light bulbs.
LED (light-emitting diode) lights are becoming more and more popular due to their energy-saving benefits. LEDs are now available for floodlights, downlights, and a variety of other lighting applications and tastes. They can be effectively used for all three layers o lighting: ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting.
Low Voltage Lighting Benefits
- Creates a beautiful white pool of light
- Practical, usable light for pennies on the hour
- Low voltage transformer plugs simply into existing outlet
- Easy, low-cost installation
How many lights can be connected into the power pack/transformer?
This depends on the wattage of the power pack. The higher the rating, the more lights you will be able to operate. You can use different bulb wattages, but keep in mind that the total watts should not exceed the rating of the transformer. Add as many lights as you want, just make sure the total bulb wattage is at or below the transform voltage rating.
The transformer will tell you how many lights can be wired in a sequence. If you need more lights than your transformer can handle, contact your local electrician.
Can I mix and match different bulb wattages?
Yes, you can use different bulb wattages. But remember, the total watts from your bulbs must not exceed the transformer rating.
Where do I plug in the transformer?
You should plug your transformer/power pack into a standard GFCI-protected 120 volt outlet. This outlet should have a functional cover.
Remember to test all of your GFCI outlets every 30 days for proper operation and schedule an annual electrical safety inspection once a year.
Never plug your transformer into an extension cord! Extension cords are designed for temporary use only. If you need a closer power source, contact a qualified electrician.
Should I bury or otherwise protect the low voltage cable?
Since the cable is weatherproof and designed for outdoor use, there is no need to bury or cover the cord. For aesthetic purposes, however, try to hide the cord as best you can. Never run the cord in any area that could pose a tripping hazard.
What are my low voltage lighting options?
Low voltage lighting can be applied to nearly any light fixture, including LEDs, metal lights, and plastic lights. Applications include fashion lights, down lights, markets, floodlights, and deck/porch lights.
When it comes to low voltage lighting (or any landscape lighting project), advanced planning is key.
Contact OnTime Service for turnkey landscape lighting solutions, including elegant low voltage lighting and solar lighting options. We’ll help you identify the areas you want to illuminate, select the right fixtures, and choose a transformer that matches the wattage of those fixtures.
SERVICE ON TIME OR WE PAY YOU $59!
Give OnTime Service a call to schedule your low voltage lighting consultation at 205-942-1405.
Our experienced team of technicians is fully trained to handle any lighting system. As always, we will troubleshoot your home and give you straightforward pricing options before any work begins.