Updated: Sep 2, 2022
Illuminating the Outdoors
We were pleasantly surprised to find our new home had existing lighting, but we quickly observed it needed more. At the time, it consisted of three spotlights placed in front of the house. They each lit up a third of the front house facade. In my opinion, it was the equivalent of having three people point a flashlight at the house. I may be understating it, but It is how I viewed it.
Our system consisted of a 300W Transformer in the garage, which is needed to reduce the standard 120V power from ordinary household electricity to the 12 volts required to run low voltage lamps. The wiring was then channeled through the wall and out to the surrounding landscaping. I would also have to swap out the halogen style bulbs for LED to reduce the energy used even more while adding more light. The 300W transformer allows you to use multiple lights, but you can’t exceed 300W in total. You also have to account for the length of cable and how many you have daisy-chained, and you will have considerably less wattage available.
I added six more spotlights in addition to 6 pathway lights. The pathway lights made sense, as we have a pretty long walkway and very little light illuminating it to our front door. I had to use quite a bit of wire, considering the amount of square footage I was looking to cover. This required a certain amount of trenching to ensure the cable was out of sight and out of reach from accidental slicing (Lawnmower or weed trimmer). One other spotlight was strategically placed towards the front-most portion of our lawn to illuminate our street number (to be added later).
Overall, I was pleased with the results, but I had one more extensive project to take on. The side-facing garage was dark and unwelcoming, and I believed it to be unsafe for my family. The two wall lights emit some light, but they are quickly lost in the blackness of night. I had it in my mind I would take on the task of installing soffit lights. There were a couple of options to consider regarding sizing, but ultimately I went with the 6″ size. I installed four of these lights, and they were hardwired directly into our electric system. We needed lots of light, and this is what we received. My mission was complete, and the results are telling. Revisit Part 1