Low Voltage LED Landscape Lighting

By Andrew Ptasienski,

  Filed under: Landscape Design, Landscape Lighting
  Comments: None

Low voltage landscape lighting highlights landscape features such as specimen trees and/or shrubs, accents a home’s architecture, adds security to dark areas, and allows for added use of patios after dusk but there are several factors to consider.

Not all fixtures are created equal. At Poul’s, we use a variety of high quality, cast aluminum, long lasting fixtures to create amazing effects. Pathlights are used to light walks and paths, uplights highlight specimen plant material and your homes architecture, downlights mounted high above to create dramatic moonlight effects, and hardscape/undercoping fixtures to add ambient light in and around patios. These fixtures are typically guaranteed for up to 15 years and never need bulb replacement.


Placement of lighting fixtures is critical. “Less is more” is important to avoid the “airport runway effect” when lighting a walk or path. Uplight fixtures placed at the base of a tree, for example, need to be positioned to crosslight to avoid dark areas within the canopy. Downlights are mounted high above and angled to limit glare from the viewing angle. Finally, hardscape/undercoping fixtures, are positioned within steps, seatwalls, and columns so that the fixture is hidden yet the lighting effect is dramatic.

Installation, although simple in design, takes significant effort to complete. Each fixture

receives its power using 12 gauge cable tapped into landscape lighting transformer which, by the way, is often guaranteed for a lifetime. It is important each fixture receives the proper volts to operate correctly. Once all the fixtures are hooked up correctly the cable must be buried at least 4-6” below grade.

Operating features of today’s lighting systems have made using the system virtually fool proof. The aforementioned transformer is typically installed on an exterior wall of the house near a GFI receptacle and contains a timer to allow the homeowner the flexibility of turning off the lights at any given time. A photocell, installed externally, measures the amount of darkness and will automatically turn the system on at dusk and/or dawn as desired. This feature means the user does not have to adjust to account for lengthening or shortening days.



Maintaining your system is simple. The only tasks required to keep your system operating like new are to annually clean the lens of each fixture and adjust those fixtures that may have been bumped or need to be shifted due to growth of plant material.

Choosing proper fixtures, positioning those fixtures effectively, and installing the system correctly all adds up to an important landscape feature ever client should consider. Here at Poul’s Landscaping and Nursery, Inc., we look forward to designing and installing a new low voltage, LED landscape lighting system for your home.

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