Low Voltage Lighting Has Never Been So Good
As with so many technical components, over the past 8 to 10 years, low voltage outdoor lighting has advanced “light years” over that time. Beautiful Nights has upgraded many systems that were installed 10+ years ago. The fixtures are better. The wiring is simpler. The transformers can run so many more light fixtures, out of one transformer. To the consumer, residential or commercial, all of this means that the system is probably less expensive to purchase and install, is simpler and more reliable to operate and is more energy efficient and costs less to operate.
An Excellent Example of Today’s Greater Efficiency in Lighting Systems
Beautiful Night’s recently completed a renovation of an older system. The light fixtures were old, decrepit, broken and just a mess. I believe that there were some 70 fixtures, most of which were inoperable. The system was run by 3, 1200 watt transformers and lets just call them old. One was wired to there Lutron System and the other two were in separate areas. Running into each transformer were 9 to 12, in each, 10 gauge wires. The drop in bulbs in the fixtures were 35 to 50 watt halogen bulbs. We got rid of the fixtures. We replaced 3 transformers with 2, 300 watt transformers with 3 to 4, 12 gauge wires running into each transformers. We increased the number of fixtures from 70 to 112. We added 27, path/area lights in that mix. I prefer drop in bulbs for their flexibility. (I’ll explain why in a later post maybe) All of the new LED bulbs were 2700 kelvin and ranged from 2.5 watts to 7 watts. And all with lumens running from 90 to almost 400 lumens. Maybe too much technical stuff but trust me, it all means for a better system. Bottom line, we dramatically improved the system from an efficiency standpoint and from the standpoint of the overall drama of the lighting on the home. It was quite spectacular.
Installation Cost are Lower
What does all of this mean to the consumer, either residential or commercial? The bottom line is that a quality system is now less expensive for a much better system. And do I speak in actual dollars vs. relative costs? Yes and no is the best answer. If you were to install a 10 light system at your home today using quality low voltage LED lamps it would be less expensive than a similar system that may have been installed 10 years ago and it is infinitely more efficient and more technically advanced. Most of the cost savings would come in the form of lower labor and installation costs. But it may all equal out. When the client sees that by adding a few more lights will add that much more drama to their home, do it. A ten light system is now a 15 light system for maybe relatively the same as that 10 light system from years ago.