What are the Different Options for Low-Voltage Landscape Lighting?

Keith Koons

There are several options available for low-voltage landscape lighting, and normally the choice is decided by the skill level of the consumer. For example, solar-powered low-voltage landscape lighting merely needs to be mounted and turned on, while an energy-efficient electrical set would have to be hard-wired throughout the property. A middle-ground between the two options would be battery-powered low-voltage landscape lighting, and this choice can also be implemented with fully rechargeable batteries that can use solar power or electricity to renew the charge. The price and brightness of these three options can vary considerably though, so it makes perfect sense to research each one beforehand.

Low-voltage landscape lighting can be powered by small wind turbines.
Low-voltage landscape lighting can be powered by small wind turbines.

Solar-powered low-voltage landscape lighting is extremely popular because there is little maintenance involved with these units, and on average, the installation takes only minutes. As far as brightness goes, these are easily the dimmest of the three, so this path is definitely not for consumers seeking a low-voltage landscape lighting package that will provide plenty of light. Solar-powered lighting is generally for accenting the existing details of a residence, and it serves its purpose without requiring any additional energy.

Battery-powered low-voltage landscape lighting works much in the same manner as solar powered models, but an additional source of power must be provided in order to effectively charge the batteries. In many cases, homeowners will opt for a solar panel or a small wind turbine in order to recharge the batteries, while others will simply integrate this low-voltage landscape lighting system into their electrical grid so that it is recharged automatically. The downside of battery-powered lighting is that it is normally sold as a single unit, meaning that extensive wiring may become necessary. On the plus side, they can normally use a wide variety of bulbs, so the consumer can vary the overall brightness throughout the year.

Electrical low-voltage landscape lighting normally has the largest amount of options when it comes to installation, brightness, and wiring. Of the three model types, it can also usually be found at the lowest price since there are so many models available. Some of the units have a standard adapter that plugs into an electrical outlet or extension cord, while others will have to be manually wired into the home's circuit breaker. For homeowners that are comfortable working with electricity, installing electrical low-voltage landscape lighting is normally a simple task. Of course, a licensed electrician could also be hired for installation purposes, but the overall cost would increase considerably.

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