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Archive for the ‘Line voltage lighitng’ Category

Outdoor lighting San Antonio

A spectacular entrance lighting.

With all the lighting choices on the market these days it is easy to get confused. Many lights boast energy efficiency and the green aspect of the energy they use, or don’t use, I should say. But which lights are the best when it comes to long-lasting, low energy usage, and true to life color rendering when used in outdoor lighting scenarios?  Clients here at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of San Antonio ask us these questions every day in regards to our incandescent and LED lights, and I want to calm some of the confusion.

LED's

LED Lights up close

LED’s are the light of the future. Strides in technology with LED’s are happening right now that will pave the way for the future of LED’s. Although LED is more expensive in its up-front costs of installations, the recoup time on that initial investment is as little as 5 years. When you take the aspect of the “green” technology into this equation the initial expense means little in terms of the environmental aspect they yield. LED’s have an extremely long life of 25,000-100,000 hours. This mean less waste in landfills and less energy expended to change bulbs. LED’s also cost pennies a day to operate. A typical outdoor lighting system costs an average of $100 per year to operate, with LED that cost could be as little as $10 per year to operate. So far, the LED is unmatched in it’s energy efficiency.  The color light the LED emits is good, and they have no warm-up time ( like some other bulbs do) they are almost instantaneous ON, and they contain no dangerous mercury.

San Antonia pathway lightingIncandescents are another form  outdoor lighting that are usually used in standard line lighting. The energy cost on an incandescent is good . The life expectancy of an incandescent is between 750-2,000 hours. The incandescents brightness and quality of color from the light is very good.  Incandescents are a solid choice when lighting pathways and walkways because of their high ratings in brightness and color quality.

There are other lights such as halogen and ceramic metal halides which are also energy-efficient and have a long life. The ceramic metal halide is coveted for its ability to not produce a color shift over time. It is a very stable light in terms of color quality, and has a life of around 18,000 hours.

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of San Antonio can help you decide on the best lighting design for your particular needs and wants. We have a knowledgable and professional staff on hand to answer any questions you may have when planning your outdoor lighting. Outdoor Lighting Perspectives is the nations largest outdoor landscape lighting firm, and we are not just selling you fixtures, but the lighting effect.830) 624 – 1300

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I was recently asked by a female homeowner to explain the pros and cons of low voltage landscape lighting versus line voltage lighting or solar lights you can buy at a large super store. Not wanting to be highly technical I told her the following:

The standard line voltage landscape lights can sometimes be very harsh. They use a high watt bulb and if not aimed just right, they can leave bright “hot spots” on homes or trees. Line voltage or 120 volt systems also use higher wattage bulbs where the energy consumption can be quite significant, especially if they are turned on for several hours. The installation of line voltage lights is also much more invasive to a homeowner’s property. The cable has to be buried very deep which usually involves heavy trenching and requires new landscaping. Lighting systems using 120 volts also take longer to install.

The solar lights that can be purchased at a super store have a very limited life span. They are often times made of plastic and not designed to be a fixture that will be kept for a long time. I explained that the light output was really more of a “glow” rather than actually lighting something. Although they are energy efficient because they use no power from your home, their inabilty to create any usable light makes them a waste of money and time. Another big draw back is that on over cast or rainy days, the batteries will not recharge enough to create even a dim glow of light.

I told this homeowner that the best of both worlds could be obtained through a low voltage lighting system. The fixtures we use are wired into a transformer which used 12 volts which is much safer thatn 120 volts. The light output is usally better than that of a line voltage system and it uses less wattage which saves energy. Since our fixtures are low voltage, we can use them in areas that other fixtures can’t be used, such as wet areas. The placement of our lights is carefully designed so that there are no hot spots or bulbs shining in your eyes as you drive by a house. The installation is minimally invasive to your property; everything is done by hand so no deep trenching is involved.

She appreciated the information and decided that a low voltage lighting system was the best choice for her. I really appreciated the fact that she wanted to be educated a bit on the types of lighting she had heard about.

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