Landscape Lighting on a Budget
Why spend time, effort and money on a landscaped lawn only to have it disappear at night? On a budget? Don’t cut outdoor lighting out of the plan. Even a few well-placed exterior lighting fixtures add an essential, vibrant element for lawn and garden design. Spot lighting illuminates cherished trees and plants. Add a few up lights and gardens bloom enchanting at night with soft glow. Walkways shine subtly in the evening creating a safe stroll with path lighting. Intriguing patterns of light cast across a lawn and garden set the stage for a dramatic yet subtle nighttime display.
Landscaped lawns move from banal to award-winning with smart choices in exterior lighting fixtures.
Although it is ideal to include lighting in a budget at the beginning of a landscape project, the options for adding exterior lighting can be accomplished over time. The best way to budget for lighting when the landscape is complete, simply purchase a few fixtures at a time, adding more each year. Low voltage lighting is easy to install and safer than high voltage systems. It is also far more energy efficient. LED bulbs last at least 5 times longer than conventional bulbs.
The preferred choice in landscape lighting today is low voltage, and with good reason. Unlike 120-volt systems, it's safer to work with and less costly to install. And although low-voltage lights receive one-tenth the power, made possible with a step-down transformer,* there's no limit to the effects low voltage lights can achieve, from ethereal moonlight cascading a tree canopy to a subtle glow washing over a garden pathway. Consider, as well, that pleasing lighting scheme is as much about artistry as it is about hardware.
Solid brass is the quintessential choice for exterior lighting. It is long lasting; durable; weather resistant; tolerant to coastal climates; non-tarnishing; attractive; and usually comes with a lifetime warranty.
Search for the best at the best price when on a budget. Ask questions. When selecting brass fixtures, find out if the company is using solid brass versus diluted metal. If the project is large in scale, many companies will offer discounts for bulk purchases. Quantity and quality are factors is the decision process. Solid brass is the best. Although more expensive than aluminum or copper, it lasts a lifetime. Invest well in a home landscape, and the payoff is much greater. Key features of low voltage LED solid brass fixtures: less replacement for bulbs using LEDs; less replacement of fixtures using solid brass; and a non-tarnishing, long lasting finish that will last a lifetime.
Even on a budget, quality pays off in the long run.
Do some research. Search for exterior lighting companies that carry low voltage, solid die-cast brass fixtures at best prices. Look for companies that offer lifetime warranties and same day shipping. Same day shipping is a bonus when shopping around in other states. Contact companies and ask questions. Excellent and knowledgeable customer service means the company is confident in their product.
Exterior lighting is possible on a budget and an essential element to design plan.
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*Landscape lighting typically relies on stepped-down power for homeowners.
Transformer: Reduces 120-volt household current to a safer 12 volts.
Bulb: Determines a light's brightness, color, and beam width, as well as electricity usage.
Fixture Housing: Protects bulb from elements and helps shape light beam.
Stake: Holds the fixture in place.
Cable: Carries current to light through fixture's lead wires.