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Making the most of your Outdoor Garden Lighting

Making the most of your Outdoor Garden Lighting
July 6, 2018 Luke Porter


Landscape Lighting

You have probably already spent a lot time planning the perfect outdoor living space, but may not have given much thought to the value and benefit of landscape lighting and it’s potential to transform your outdoor area’s from great to spectacular! Well designed landscape lighting will not only enhance your garden features visually by illuminating a beautiful tree, a garden sculpture, or maybe even a water feature, but will increase the usability of your outdoor entertaining area’s well into the night, (or even all night for those party animals out there). Aesthetics and partying aside, landscape lighting can also help to increase home security by lighting up garages and entries and heighten user safety as well, by illuminating paths and steps.

When considering the type of landscape lighting you would like to install, solar lights are definitely the most cost effective (and DIY friendly) option, but these lights will require a significant amount of sunlight in order to function. If you are just wanting some basic lighting to guide a user along a path, or to surround an outdoor seating area, solar lights can definitely serve this purpose, but the more reliable and long term solution is hardwired lighting and like most home improvement projects, this requires careful planning, quality materials and expert installation for best results. The process of installing hardwired outdoor garden lights (utilising either Halogen or LED lights), can be broken down into the below stages.

Outdoor Garden Lighting
Outdoor Garden Lighting
  1. Planning

Sketching a rough plan of the landscape lighting you are after, is a great place to start. Ideally your sketch should include the power source (where the lighting transformer will be placed), light locations and wattages, the path of wiring from the transformer to the lights and the distances from the transformer to each light.

  1. Light selection

This will largely come down to the overall effect you are trying to achieve and the light brightness (wattage) you are after. Two main types of outdoor garden lights are LED and Halogen lights. Globes for LED lights have very low wattages, such as 3, 5, and 9 watts and require significantly less power than their Halogen counterparts. Something to bear in mind with LED globes is that the brighter the globe, the larger it will be in size. The wattages of Halogen globes are significantly higher and the same light my have a globe of 10, 20, 35, or even 50 watts installed. There is a mind boggling selection of styles in both Halogen and LED lighting available and it will be best to chat to a lighting expert, who can advise you on the best product to suit your unique project requirements.

Outdoor Garden Lighting
Outdoor Garden Lighting
  1. Transformers, Wiring & Connections

Transformers transform power from 240 to 12 volts and the size of the transformer comes down to how many lights you have and the brightness of each globe. This can easily be determined by adding up the wattages of all your garden lights, which will give you the overall amount of power your system will require to function. The wiring used to connect your garden lights to the transformer comes in a number of sizes including light, medium and heavy duty. If you have opted for a Halogen system the cable size will be driven by transformer size, light quantity and distance, all of which will impact the final light performance. In most cases a lighter duty wire will be sufficient for an LED system, due to its lower wattage globes. When it comes to connections, the output from a transformer is 12volts, which can safely be handled by an experienced DIY home owner, but a qualified Electrician will be required to deal with any wiring that powers the transformer.

The above is a very broad guide to landscape lighting and no matter how simple, or complex your landscape lighting requirements, we would always recommend you discuss your garden light options with a lighting specialist, who can provide you with the best advice for your unique situation.

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    Christina and Darren
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  • Oh wow, where do I start . . . Right from our first contact with Luke we had a good feeling about it. Luke was friendly, approachable, knowledgeable, and very enthusiastic to meet our needs. He provided us with some much needed direction for our gardening endeavours, was professional, and always available to answer our questions. Once we decided on a plan, he coordinated all of the services and items that were needed, and provided us with an exceptionally hard working, and skilled, landscaper in Derick. Luke visited the project on several occasions, to make sure we were happy with it’s progress, to make some minor tweaks here and there, or deliver something that was needed. Our landscape project was relatively small but we never felt like we didn’t matter. The project started on time, and finished on time, and the yard was left spick and span. It’s a vast improvement on what was there before it, and given it’s almost spring, it shouldn’t be long before our garden takes on it’s real shape. We could not be happier with the end result, the price, and the service that we received from Luke and Derick. If you are looking to have a landscaping job done, either big or small, I’d definitely recommend giving Luke a call.
    Rick and Clare
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Author Avatar
Founder and Director | Having founded Luke’s Landscaping originally as a sole trader in 2008 with just a ute, a shovel and a whole lot of passion and determination, Luke’s Landscaping Co. is now a well-respected Perth landscaping company. Luke continues to work tirelessly to grow the company and his team to deliver excellence and the best experience for our customers. Luke’s passion lies in his commitment to growing the company, its people and the systems required to deliver the high standards that our customers deserve.