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Pros and Cons of Low-Voltage Outdoor Lighting

Low-voltage lighting is a wonderful tool for adding safety to your yard, pathways, and pool. Even simple solar lights can make staying on a sidewalk or following a pathway easier. However, any outdoor lighting plan has pros and cons.

Pro: There Is Inherent Safety in Low-Voltage Lighting

Low voltage lighting runs on 12 or 24 volts, rather than the 110 that runs through the lights inside your home. Running a cable for low-voltage lighting is easier and safer than running the heavy-duty cord needed to power your table lamp or ceiling lights.

The risks are minimal if you accidentally dig up or cut a low-voltage wire. Once your low-voltage lights are in place, you’ll have a good idea of where the wire runs, so you can avoid digging up or destroying one of these cables.

Low-voltage lighting, powered from your home, is also more reliable than a set of solar lights. You can rely on your low-voltage pathway lights no matter the weather. If it’s been wet and cold for days on end, you don’t have to worry that your front sidewalk will be dark when guests come.

Cons: Low-Voltage Lighting Can Be Dim

There are many applications where you want your exterior lighting to be subtle. A string of lights over your patio table doesn’t need to be excessively bright. However, if you have a security light with a motion sensor in a dark corner of your yard, you want it to be bold and bright. If you’ve already run a 110-volt line to power your security light, you can easily also add a camera for even greater protection.

Adding 110-volt lights around other yard features, such as your pool, spa, or hot tub, can also boost your security. Since you already need 110-volt power to run a pool filter or heat your hot tub, it makes sense to tie into that power source to light these areas and features of your yard.

A brighter light can also be an ideal choice for some types of landscaping. If you have low shrubs in front of your home, adding a light behind them that is focused on the lower planks or bricks of your home can make it impossible for anyone or anything to hide between the plantings and your home.

Tailoring Illumination to Your Needs

The choice between low and high-voltage outdoor lighting ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. Low-voltage lighting offers inherent safety, ease of installation, and reliability, making it an excellent option for illuminating pathways, yards, and pools. However, it may lack the brightness required for security purposes or certain landscaping features. On the other hand, high-voltage lighting provides the necessary brightness for security measures and can easily integrate with existing power sources, enhancing safety and visibility. Contact the experts at United Electric about the most efficient way to use outdoor lighting to brighten and protect your home.