Elegant Landscape lighting is not the luxury it was once considered, nor does it have to be wasteful of resources and energy. Innovations in LED (light emitting diode) lighting are revolutionizing outdoor light in the night. Old technology 120v incandescent landscape lighting is all but obsolete now due to the high costs of installation, maintenance and energy usage. Even low voltage and conventional 12v halogen lighting is being replaced by energy efficient LED lighting. Halogen lighting, while bright, is based on 100 year old technology and it’s plagued by high temperatures, lamp burnout and voltage drop, which results in low light emission.
Sustainable LED landscape lighting features the brightness, performance levels and color that rivals or surpasses this older technology. Modern LED outdoor lighting uses about one-tenth of the energy used by traditional lighting. LED lighting lasts 10 times longer that either halogen or incandescent bulbs and they are mercury and lead-free making they truly sustainable, responsible, and green landscape addition.
Most LED landscape lighting comes in both low voltage and solar. Where you are using them determines which is more appropriate. Solar lights require no wiring, but low voltage can be more reliable.
Solar outdoor lighting uses a photo voltaic panel to charge the battery and it must be located in an in an area where it will receive a great deal of direct sunlight. Some Solar LED lights have individual PV panels allowing a quick and easy wireless installation. Whole landscapes can be illuminated with well placed solar collectors, but in this application the lights are connected to the solar collector by wiring.
Low voltage systems are very energy efficient alternatives when sun power isn’t enough. Low voltage lighting uses a 12-volt current - the same power that small toy electric motors do - and is completely safe.
Best of all, with careful planning, many installations can be handled by the do-it-yourself homeowner.
Whichever landscape lighting you choose don’t settle for flimsy home center kits. While they may look less expensive, these almost always have limited life span and soon end up in a landfill. Better quality fixtures are more sustainable because they are longer lasting and will give you many years of problem free performance.