Benefits of Low Voltage Landscape Lighting in Ventura, Camarillo, and Santa Barbara
Whenever we design a new project for a customer here in Ventura County, we always include low voltage landscape lighting whether or not it was asked for. And more often then not, customers say “Why do I need that?”, especially when they see the price. But for the typical front or backyard remodel, lighting accounts for only 5-10% of the overall price. So why the pushback? People are always wary of what they don’t know about. So we’re going to try to educate you today on the benefits of a professionally installed low voltage landscape lighting system.
First off from a return on investment standpoint, low voltage landscape lighting systems will increase the value and resale of your property while at the same time showing it off day and night. Another benefit of low voltage landscape lighting, and the most important in our opinion, is that you are now able to enjoy your outdoor spaces day OR night; doubling your enjoyment and entertaining time while providing security and safety as well.
The Low Down on Low Voltage Lighting Systems
When they are installed correctly, low voltage landscape lighting systems are much more economical and safe to operate then a comparable high voltage system. A high voltage system is going to typically require permits from your local authority and must have all lines buried in conduit 18″ deep or more and all connections must be made in accessible junction boxes, whereas a low voltage system only requires a properly installed transformer which can be plugged into any available outlet. The cable can be ran above or below ground at any depth and the system is ever expandable as your needs change. On an energy-saving note, high voltage fixtures are typically going to use 50-100 watt bulbs whereas a low voltage system can use a bulb as low as 2 watt. Another thing that most consumers don’t know is that any high end fixture you can find at your local specialty lighting store can be used with a low voltage system, all that is required is a low voltage bulb.
Since there are many low grade products out there and even more unscrupulous companies, we recommend that you use products from a reliable company with national presence that will stand behind its warranty, such as Vista or FX Luminaire. As far as low voltage fixtures go, the sizes, styles and finishes are endless. Most quality fixtures these days are made of aluminum or composite and have a powder-coated finish for superior weather resistance. As far as the transformers go, you’ll want to use a quality product that provides clean power with multiple tap options. Since some cable runs will be longer then others, its important that the transformer offers multi line voltage outputs. Also insist on a digital astronomic timer to control the transformer. This timer knows dusk and dawn times as well as daylight savings times for the next 100 years. You will never again have to worry about updating the time at different times of the year or correcting the clock. You can set a simple program such as dusk to midnight and it will never require a change again.
Finally, lets discuss LED. LED lighting is the latest and greatest in low voltage technology. As opposed to typical halogen bulbs which last about 5000 hours (3 years ran 5 hours a night), and LED fixture will last you 50,000 hours (30 years ran 5 hours a night). On the energy side, your typical halogen light has a 20w bulb whereas a comparable LED fixture has a 5w bulb so you are using 25% of the power. The fixture choices are all the same and while the cost is a bit more, it more then pays for itself in energy savings and maintenance.
Make Sure You Try Before You Buy
If you are still uncertain as to whether or not to install low voltage landscape lighting in your project consider these options. If you are thinking about adding them to an existing landscape, have Scarlett’s Landscape or your local contractor temporarily hookup the system and enable you to see it at night, that way you will see exactly what you will be getting. If you are doing a landscape remodel, have Scarlett’s Landscape or your local contractor run the low voltage cable for you while the trenches for irrigation are open. Then when the project is finished, we can temporarily connect the lighting so that you can see just what you are missing.
Let Us Shed the Light on Your Landscape
Scarlett’s Landscape, Inc services and provides regular maintenance for any and all products we install and with your landscape ever-changing over the years it is important to use an installation company that offers a maintenance program to keep your low voltage landscape lighting system operational year round.
Please contact us today to get started.