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Landscape and Low Voltage Lighting

"More and more people are finding that architectural and landscape lighting allows them to extend the enjoyment of their landscape investment into the evening hours."

Landscape Lighting Provides Beauty and Security

Website: http://www.aracontent.com/

(ARA) - If you're like most people, your home is the single biggest investment you'll ever make. Your home is your castle and your yard is your domain. But for a good part of the year, by the time you get home from work, your yard is dark. You can't see the landscape at all, and the house fades into the night. More and more people are finding that architectural and landscape lighting allows them to extend the enjoyment of their landscape investment into the evening hours.

Adding landscape lighting improves curb appeal, expands living space and increases the safety and security of your home. The right lighting creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere for the exterior of your home and your yard. You'll even enjoy the lighting from inside.

Lighting experts recommend low voltage systems for outdoor use. Transformers reduce line voltage (120 volts) at the outlet to 12 volts. "A low-voltage exterior lighting system is not only safer and more efficient, but it looks and works better too," says Curtis Hogan, president of Nite Time Decor, a Lubbock, Texas-based company specializing in landscape lighting.

You can install landscape lighting yourself or hire a professional lighting company to do it for you. Whichever option you choose, make sure you do your homework before starting the project.

First, keep in mind that you should focus more on the desired effect of the lighting, rather than the specific fixtures you use. "Unless fixtures are being used to directly light a specific area in the design, such as around a pool or along a walkway, you should go with discreet, unobtrusive lighting fixtures and placement," advises Hogan.

Poor design or installation can make for disappointing lighting, but components are important, too. Component failure (transformers, fixtures and wiring) can be a real problem. While you don't want extremely cheap fixtures that will fail within two or three years, you don't necessarily need to buy the most expensive, either. The best components are not necessarily the most expensive. The most expensive fixtures you'll find are ones where you are paying for artistic, creative or exotic design, but not necessarily quality.

The key consideration when assessing quality is durability. How long will a component last given the harsh conditions that exist outside a home throughout the course of the year? Wind, rain, sleet, snow, blistering heat or freezing cold are just some of the hazards your components need to withstand.

The lighting system should easily adapt to changes. New landscaping is typically dotted with young plants, bushes and trees. Does your lighting plan allow for adequate flexibility in the system for easy repositioning of lighting as your landscaping matures, grows or changes? Being able to move a fixture to the correct lighting position as bushes grow, or plants get repositioned, without needing to reinstall part of the system, is an important consideration.

Consider maintenance issues as well. Professional landscape lighting companies offer maintenance contracts, meaning your outdoor lighting will look its best at all times. You don't need to worry about replacing burned out bulbs, cleaning lenses, trimming vegetation, adjusting fixture positioning or fixing minor electrical problems.

If you choose to do-it-yourself, lighting kits are available in most large hardware outlets. Kits contain fixtures, lamps, cable, connectors and a transformer. These kits concentrate mainly on path lights for illuminating walkways; they do not allow for custom designs for home and landscaping. The quick connects supplied with these kits can be unreliable and create future maintenance.

If you decide to hire someone to install your lighting, you have a couple of options. Many local lawn service and lighting companies carry a limited selection of landscape lighting fixtures and supplies. They can assist you in simple design and installation techniques but don't offer sophisticated designs. Electricians will install lights for you, but generally with little or no design in mind.

Your best option is a professional landscape lighting company that can work with you to create the exact look you desire. If you do not know what you want, they can offer advice based on their experience in design, installation and maintenance. "Our experts will use special lighting techniques to enhance, secure and accent your property," says Curtis. "We will even provide a free home trial that will show you how your home will look with professional lighting."

Nite Time Decor offers the highest quality low voltage landscape and architectural lighting design services and products nationwide, with service in more than 70 locations in 24 states. To find a Nite Time Decor dealer near you, visit the company's Web site, www.nitetimedecor.com, or call (877) 552-4242.

Note: This article was submitted by a second party and the contents are subject to our disclaimer.

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