Today’s blog title is a quote from Aaron Rose. It was the first quote that struck me when I thought about writing a piece on low voltage lighting, and this simple statement really says it all.We have a deep fascination with light. What type of lighting we use in any given situation sets the mood, how we feel about being where we are. We use bright light for high activity areas with lots of sound and motion. We use soft light to bring about a sense of peace and tranquility. We use firelight and candlelight to foster romance. How we light a room directly reflects what and how we feel.
Your outdoor lighting is no different, yet so many of us never give it much thought. Surely, we make sure our doors are well lit for security; we may also have a light post at the end of the driveway. Yet the rest of our property turns dark and lifeless when the sun goes down.Low voltage lighting options are as diverse as people themselves. Any mood you can dream up can be recreated in light. There are flood lights, tree lights, path lights, well lights and niche lights; the fixtures range from clinical to contemporary to traditional to elegant.
Low voltage lighting fixtures come in all shapes and sizes, in all price ranges. My personal choices for lighting fixtures are from Cast Lighting and Kichler Lighting. Cast brand lighting is solid and lifetime guaranteed. The fixtures are streamlined and utilitarian, and are perfect for niche, well and tree lighting because of their simple and unassuming style. They highlight their subjects beautifully without stealing the spotlight. If you are a fan of simple design, they are excellent path lights as well. Simply put, Cast lights are workhorses. They will hold up year after year, throughout all kinds of weather.
Kichler offers a wider variety of pathway fixtures. Here’s where you can let your personal style really show through. I personally chose the Aries Manor path light for my perennial garden. Paired with two individual spotlights, one directed at the butterfly bush in one corner and one at the fountain in the other corner, it makes for a stunning nighttime setting. Kichler’s fixtures are also durable and reliable.I know there are lots of solar-powered, do-it-yourself lighting fixture kits out there, and these are fine if you’re just looking to add a little light to your surroundings without spending a lot of money. But for long lasting durability, it is worth the investment to have your outdoor lighting professionally installed. Any licensed landscape professional with experience in low voltage lighting will be happy to set up a lighting test kit at your home, so you can see for yourself what a difference the right light in the right place can make. Outdoor lighting systems are also very easy to maintain – in most cases, just replacing the bulbs is all that is necessary to keep your lights in good working order. If you intend on changing the bulbs yourself, it is important to understand how the fixtures are designed. Ask your licensed professional to show you how the bulb gets changed – otherwise, you will no doubt be paying for a service call to have them come out and change them for you. It is also important to check the fixtures for damage and replace them promptly if there is a problem, especially if you have chosen a fancy design. Lighting companies discontinue products from time to time, and if yours in on the list to be discontinued, a replacement may be hard to find. Keep all literature from the fixture installation. The internet is your best resource for finding discontinued fixtures.
I leave you today with another quote, this time from the ancient physician, Cornelius Celsus : “Live in rooms full of light.” Be sure to extend those rooms to include the ones outside of your front door.