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The first thing you'll need to plan is to figure out the lighting requirements for your area. For instance, walkways that lead to your home should be lit to allow people to see where they are headed. To do this, you'll require rather bright lights that focus the light in the direction it needs to be. I generally use low-voltage lights (rather than solar lamps) in these areas since they spread the light more evenly. Be sure that all the steps are lit up so that everyone knows how to get down.
Solar lights are ideal for this purpose, especially on decks that are already in place. No wires are making them easy to set up! If you own a patio or deck in which people gather at night, you'll need to ensure that you have enough light to allow people to be able to see one another. One of my favorite ways for this is to utilize umbrellas for patios that have lighting under them. In these cases, the solar model can work quite well (yes, I purchased one )...which helps make it simpler to put up since there is no wiring required. It is also possible to include Citronella candles or even torches into this category. The reason is not because of the light they bring. However, they can help repel mosquitoes and other bugs, which can cause trouble outdoors.
DESCRIBE THE FOCAL POINT(S) The next step is to choose which parts of your yard you wish to make central areas. This could include fountains or sculptures, specimen plants, or any other feature within your garden that you wish to highlight in the evening. You will typically use spotlights for up-lighting or down-lighting. The effects of these lights can make your garden's focal points be noticed. I typically use low voltage lights for these purposes too. The majority of solar lights don't have the power to produce sufficient light to create an effective look.
PLAN THE FILLER LIGHTS The next step is to incorporate lighting that acts as fillers. The majority of light can be used to fill this niche. The aim is to create garden lighting that appears cohesive. A single light that is placed alone in the backyard won't create the impression that people want. It looks scarier than inviting. If you've got places like this, you should plan to put extra lights around it to form a grouping. Fill the "black holes" with a light that can join the lighting groups. Repeating the same kind of lighting several times (like lighting several hanging baskets) is easy to achieve. The idea isn't to draw attention to something but to make a connection which your eyes can follow throughout the yard. Don't be scared to put in the fun lighting you like, and add some personal style to your yard. Lay the wire out Once you have figured out the location you'll be placing your lights; you can figure out the locations where wiring needs to be. Utilize hoses or strings to plan out the location where wires will run. In general, you shouldn't connect over 100' on one line. This is because the electrical signal transmitted through the line is less intense the longer it travels. If the wire runs too far, the light at the end will not have the same brightness as the ones that were at the beginning. If you require more than 100 feet of wire, you should plan to connect several lines. Some transformers can be connected to multiple wires. They are useful when locating them in the same area and connecting two wires to them in various directions. In other cases, you might require planning to install multiple transformers that are situated in different areas. For instance, I have four transformers in my backyard, and two of them are connected to multiple lines. Also, you must determine the locations you will connect the transformers to. They must be connected to GFCI outlets that automatically shut off the power supply to the line off if water gets into the line (and it does happen from time to time). If you have a few lighting fixtures that are away from your view, You might want to consider solar lighting for them. It can make the installation much easier. Once you've figured the wiring layout, measure how long all the wires are to determine the amount you'll need. I always buy 12-gauge landscape lighting wire. It's a bit higher in cost, but it can handle a heavier load. It is also easier to add additional lighting later on without needing to replace the wiring. Pick YOUR LIGHT FIXTURES The next step is to select (or buy) exactly the fixtures you will use for your lighting fixtures. Be aware of which fixtures you would like to have low-voltage and which are solar. In most instances, there is no need for any more than twenty W of bulbs to create lighting effects for your landscape. I typically employ 20W for lighting up, 10W up to 20W for downward lighting, and 7 W-12 for lighting paths. You will need to add the Wattage of all the lights connected to the line for each wireline. This will be needed to calculate the power of the transformer.
What's the dimension of TRANSFORMER? All transformers that are low voltage come with a Wattage rating. This is the number of Watts it will provide on every wire connected to that transformer. For instance, if you purchase a 200W transformer, the total Watts for all lighting fixtures attached to the transformer must not exceed 200 watts. I typically leave at least 30 Watts of my capacity to spare if I need to add another light in the future. If the total power for one wire was at 140 Watts (the calculation you made in the earlier step) and you want to add 30 Watts, it means you'll need the transformer to have the capacity of 170 Watts. Also, as an aside, it is not a problem to acquire a larger transformer than what you'll need. If you purchase an electric transformer that can handle multiple wires, each line will have a wattage rating. This will inform you of how many Watts you could connect to every wire coming from the transformer.
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