- Ideas & How-Tos
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Outdoor lighting adds beauty, safety and security to your home. A well-designed lighting plan will dramatically change your new home's landscape.
Low-voltage outdoor lighting systems are inexpensive to operate, easy to install, safe and movable. Outdoor lighting also deters crime, and makes walking through your yard safer at night.
Get ideas for your lighting plan by walking your yard, browsing décor catalogs, or taking a look at your neighbors' landscapes. Take a few pointers from our specialists at Lowe's:
Now you're ready to create a rough sketch of your lawn and garden. Be sure to mark the locations where you wish to install the fixtures and light patterns.
Before you begin your plot plan, check your local codes: You may need a permit. Research any easements on your property. (An easement is an area where the city or town is authorized to use.) Also check for any utility lines: gas, cabling, plumbing, etc.
Once you're fully informed about codes, easements and underground utilities, you're ready to begin. Here's how:
With your plot plan completed, it's time to choose your outdoor lights. When choosing lighting, consider the various types of lighting effects at your disposal. Think of how to best combine down lighting, up lighting, shadowing, silhouetting, etc. for a truly unique look.
You will need to compute the total wattage of your outdoor fixtures to determine the necessary transformer:
Next, select a transformer to handle the total wattage:
To estimate how much cable you'll need:
When shopping for outdoor lighting, remember that all wiring must be grounded. Outdoor lights and wiring must also be rated as "water-resistant-U.L. approved for outdoor use." If you're purchasing pool and fountain lights, only use fixtures labeled for use in these areas.
You'll have a wide assortment of styles and options to choose from:
Lighting Sets. Prepackaged light sets offer the most convenient way to purchase complete systems.
Separate Fixtures and Components. Mixing and matching light fixtures allows different lighting effects to be produced. A complete line of accessories and components are available for custom lighting.
Architectural Grade. Architectural grade fixtures are made of high quality die cast aluminum or industrial polymers that feature commercial durability and brightness.
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