Designing a Landscape Lighting System
by Guest on Apr 29, 2012
Before deciding what and how to light, we must first ask "Why light?" Our design decisions are dependent on proposed uses for landscape lighting...for safety, security, property value, or enhancement of the beauty of the garden and structures. Most likely, the answer will be a combination of two or more of these uses. a specific technique can be employed to satisfy more than one requirement...for example, uplighting a prominent tree near the house entrance will provide safety, security, and aesthetic enhancement.
Landscape lighting design is very similar to the design of the landscape itself: we must determine focal points, use areas, traffic patterns, outdoor "rooms," style, mood, etc. We need to consider how the proposed lighting will enhance the form, color, and texture of the soft and hard landscape elements. Lighting should serve to unify both interior and exterior design themes, conceal what may be unattractive, and shape the view of the landscape at night.
The design process should begin with a site map, drawn to scale, showing all landscape features and areas that need lighting. Fixtures and lamps are chosen for each area based on the desired effects ...path lights for safe passage along walks and stairs, wash fixtures for silhouette effects against a wall, etc.
One common mistake is to overlight; low levels of light create subtle beauty and are often also sufficient for safety and security. Use brighter lighting effects for focal points, and consider the effects that different light intensities will have on the overall design.
after deciding on the size and placement of lighting fixtures, the electrical system is designed. The heart of the system is the transformer, which converts the household 120 volts into safe, efficient 12 volts, and delivers this voltage to several circuits. Using appropriately sized cables and approved connectors, fixtures are connected to the transformer.
Group fixtures in zones are determined by the distance to the transformer. The number of fixtures on each circuit will be limited by the wattage of individual lamps, distance to the transformer, and associated voltage drop in the circuit.
Voltage drop calculations are critical; excess voltage results in hot lamps with greatly shortened life - insufficient voltage results in weak, ineffective lighting. The design challenge is to match cable size, total lamp wattage, and circuit length to produce voltage within the range of 10.5 to 12 volts. a new generation of transformers uses a multi-tap configuration to provide voltages over 12 volts for those zones at a sufficient distance from the transformer. (The excess voltage is reduced by the length of run to the first fixture). This allows greater design freedom and efficiency
a common practice among lighting designers and installers is to allow for plenty of movement of the fixture locations. By leaving extra cable at each fixture, changes can be made to the system after installation, and after several years of plant growth.
This has been a very brief introduction to the world of landscape lighting. There's a vast amount of additional knowledge available for the homeowner to consider, whether he or she wishes to design and/or install a home lighting system, or merely to learn more about the possibilities. The following are highly recommended sources:
The following are highly recommended sources: The Landscape Lighting Book by Janet Lennox Moyer...both available from online and offline sources.
Three Places to Spend Money on the Exterior of Your Home
When you have the exterior of your home remodeled, you are investing, time, energy and convenience into the project and you want to make sure that...
When to Use a Brush, Roller or Sponge Brush
Brushes are a good choice for painting trim and woodwork. They are also useful for cutting in the edges around the top and bottom edges and corners...
Homemade Headboards-Make an Upholstered or Wooden Headboard
Homemade headboards can add a lot of personality to any bedroom. They can be coordinated with existing furniture and room decor or they can be the...
Creating a Cottage Kitchen with Bead Board
Kitchen decor can range from modern and bold to elegant and elaborate by using strategic kitchen pieces. One of the most popular decorating trends...
Gas Fireplace Diagnostics and Troubleshooting
Follow these steps for diagnosing and troubleshooting Gas Fireplaces repairs. For the average DIYer, this may seem intimidating, depending on the...
Navigating Singapore's Property Regulations: A Guide for Foreign Investors
Singapores property market has been attracting foreign investors for many years, thanks to its stable economy, strong legal system, and transparent...
on Mar 22, 2023
What Truck Size Do I Need to Move a 3-Bedroom House
Moving to a new home can be a complex and stressful process, but with the help of the right truck size, you can make it a smooth and seamless...
on Feb 13, 2023
Five Tips to Take Better Care of Your Basement Insulation
Basement waterproofing is an essential part of home maintenance, as it helps to protect the basement from moisture, flooding, and other...
on Feb 12, 2023
Homeowner In The UK? Here's Why You Need to Know about Rainwater Drainage Systems
In the United Kingdom, there is an average of around 1,200 millimeters of rainfall annually. Keeping rainwater out of your home and away from your...
on Feb 2, 2023
What are the Advantages of a Metal Roof
Metal roofing is durable and beautiful, allowing a home to stand out from others with conventional tiled roofs. A metal coating can last a...
on Feb 1, 2023
What Type of Licensed Contractor Should You Hire?
on Feb 28, 2017
Hire Contractors / Estimates
Looking for a specialty project? There are many types of contractors available for your home improvement needs. Finding the right type of...
Real Estate Investment for the Next Generation
on Oct 18, 2022
Real Estate / Finance
Investing in real estate is something that people have been doing for a long time. Most people invest in a home, so they can stay at the home. This...
Real Estate Investment for Future Generations
on Mar 14, 2022
Real Estate / Finance
Purchasing a home is not simply a financial commitment. It is also an excellent way to start accumulating your wealth. Your home is also a...
Can I Sell My House with a Leaky Roof?
on Oct 28, 2021
Real Estate / Finance
The answer to this query is YES. It is possible to sell a house with a leaking roof, but it's always essential to evaluate some factors before...
- Garden / Landscaping / Patio — 260
- Kitchen / Bathrooms — 239
- Real Estate / Finance — 195
- Appliance / Repair — 185
- Interior Design / Decor — 183
- HVAC / Air Conditioning — 147
- Cleaning / Maintenance — 143
- Improvements / Remodeling — 131
- Plumbing / Basements — 118
- Floors / Tile / Hardwood — 115
- Doors / Garages — 113
- Safety / Security — 112
More DIY Articles
6 Water Heater Problems to Never Ignore
You know how frustrating it is to take a cold shower in the middle of winter or for the hot water to run out before you're even halfway through. To...
4 Budget Friendly Ways to Change Your Cabinets
Is your kitchen outdated and unappealing? If so you definitely want to consider updating your kitchen cabinets. We will discuss some...
Top 10 Home Remodeling Tips
Rearranging your furniture. You do not essentially require new furniture by just making new shapes, and reordering the flow of your living space...
List of Essential Construction Equipment
Specialized skill is obviously important for a construction job to be finished efficiently. But having the right, professional equipment ensures...
How to Install a Replacement Bathtub
Although bathtub installation is typically left to the professionals and isn’t an easy DIY plumbing project because it involves working with a...