One of the most important considerations when thinking about outdoor lighting is what exactly do you hope to light up? There is a huge difference between a lighting sensor for security and an uplight to enhance your favourite tree. Are you aiming to light up the deck or patio so you can read in the evening or simply highlight the deck railing?
To create the best outcome you need to figure out these questions first as the projects will differ completely. Also keep in mind what your needs may be in the future. If you are thinking of getting a qualified electrician to install sensor lights by your new garage then consider that you may wish to add lights in the garden next to the garage in a year then get your electrician to take this into account now.
Some of the key terms you will come across in your planning process will be:
UPLIGHTS: simply lights that are directed upwards so that the light is cast skyward. This is a type of landscape lighting used to enhance the visual impact of specific features in a garden such as plants, trees or sculptures.
DOWNLIGHTS: opposite to uplight in that the light is directed downwards. The light is presented more naturally to the human eye as we are used to light coming from this direction. They are more functional than uplights and are commonly used for purposes such as security.
LOW-VOLTAGE: outdoor lighting is generally low-voltage as opposed to indoor lights which are a higher voltage. This is for safety reasons. Low-voltage basically means the lights run on a low voltage; typically 12volt (12v).
TRANSFORMER: due to the low-voltage of outdoor lighting a transformer is required to reduce the high-voltage running through the power lines and into a more suitable form for the outdoor lights which are a operate on a lower voltage.