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Services - Landscape Lighting

Outdoor Lighting is a great way to add interest and security to you landscape. More than half the time your landscape is in the dark and without exterior lighting is limited to daylight enjoyment. Also your winter landscapes are by far the toughest times of the year to keep the landscape interesting and attractive. With fewer daylight hours in winter, and inherently less visual interest on the landscape you can accent and shadow to create interest and beauty with landscape lighting. This can be done with regular incandescent 120 volt lighting as with flood and down lights, however don't diminish the contribution of rope lights, mini lights, power efficient LEDS (light emitting diodes), and fiber optic lighting. These systems are a bit more involved due to the installation and safety requirements but can create dazzling effects in the landscape. Another option for outdoor lighting is the more subtle low voltage decorative lighting solution to create the ambiance and interest in your landscape. Both standard and low voltage lighting have a place in the landscape and can be mixed as appropriate.

The intent of landscape lighting is not to turn the night into daytime, but to highlight areas of interest, cast intriguing shadows and create visual appeal as well as provide solutions for safety and security. An experienced lighting specialist or landscape architect can design the appropriate lighting scheme to make your landscape as beautiful at night as it is during the day. Lighting can be installed to gently wash the area with a broad blanket of subtle illumination along walkways, driveways, patios, decks, statuary, garden beds, around and in trees, shrubs, ponds, pools, and the architectural features of your residence.

Not every design will yield positive results, certainly it can be underdone, or over done when applied improperly. Unfortunately, we have all seen the poorly done lonely string of landscape lights that barely provides enough illumination to light the ground directly below it. These lights are typically victims of under powered transformers, wiring runs that are too long or improperly connected and too few or poorly spaced fixtures for the desired application. The recently introduced and hyped solar designs are notorious low lighters, providing more of a glow and no practical use in the landscape.

Professional grade low voltage landscape lighting is made to endure the elements under all weather conditions and will last a very long time in your landscape. Each system installation is custom-engineered, professionally installed, and offer a ten year year warranty on the finish, 10 years on the fixture body and a life time warranty on transformers.

The transformers are multi voltage and available in wattages up to 1200 watts. Typically systems consist of die cast aluminum, stainless steel, copper lighting fixtures and a transformer installed to fit the application being served. Transformers are housed in stainless steel cabinets and fully resistant to the outdoor elements. Fixture choices such as: up and accent lights, in-ground and well lights, path and spread lights, step and brick lights, bollards and finally specialty lighting, including hanging pendants and underwater lighting are all available in several styles and finishes.

Low voltage lighting systems range from 12 to 18 volts depending upon your systems needs. The greater the distance the lights are from the transformer, (source of power) the higher the voltage needed to keep the lights illuminated at their rated capacity. Properly installed the lights should be of uniform brightness and operating at the rated voltage and wattage capacities. Wires for low voltage systems are typically buried 3 to 6 inches below the soil level and because of the low voltage do not present an electrical hazard if accidentally cut with a shovel as would 120 volt systems.

These commercial grade systems are of higher quality and initially more expensive than the brands you can purchases at retail hardware stores, however they will outlast in aesthetic appearance and functionality these lower end systems by a wide margin. Also the choice of types, wattages and styles is significantly greater. Most retail available systems will need to be replaced in less than three years. The plastic will fade and crack, lenses will discolor and the seals on the fixtures and transformers will not retain their water resistance and connections will corrode. Also the ability to expand the system is limited by the scalability of the transformer. Retail transformers at the hardware store generally supply a maximum of 300 watts of power and system expansion requires you to purchase an additional transformer which needs a power source.

Aside from the normal 24 hour timer or 7 day electronic timer, the commercial transformer can be adapted to operate with a photocell, motion sensor or other external switching devices.

Our showroom has both an outdoor and indoor display of various low voltage lighting choices in the landscape so you can observe how they look in a natural setting as well as examine the various types, styles and manufacturing quality. Catalogs are available for your perusal and we can special order the perfect system/lights to fit your design requirements and individual preferences. Longhorn will assist you in the design and installation of outdoor lighting requirements with a "set it and forget" low voltage lighting system for your landscape or water feature.