There are two established norms for outdoor lighting depending on the intended use; they are either strictly functional or aesthetic. A typical example of functional outdoor lighting can be found around the home illuminating the porch or the sidewalk while outdoor low voltage lighting is used to illuminate landscaping and other exterior features of the house or garden. Another common way to distinguish the difference is to consider the power source.
The power sources for exterior lighting include low voltage, mains power as well as solar. Outdoor low voltage lighting makes use of a transformer that converts 110 volt incoming power to perhaps 12 volt power to the lamps. This type of low voltage lighting is frequently used for decorative lighting but can be employed for functional options as well. The common uses for low voltage lighting include stairs, outside of restaurants and bars and around swimming pools, this lighting adds considerably to the ambiance.
High voltage lighting; lighting connected directly to the source power includes spotlights, floodlights and overhead lighting that is common in parking lots and along suburban streets. Spotlights are used where a concentrated beam of light is needed while floodlights offer a wider range of light.
Solar powered lighting is becoming increasingly popular for exterior use. During the day when the sun is shining these types of lights, using a solar cell, charge a battery which is integral with the lighting fixture. As the day comes to an end the lights automatically illuminate. These solar powered lights are ideal and extremely versatile as they require no hard wired connection, they are simply placed where the homeowner wants them. They are ideal for use as mood lighting in the garden or to illuminate a long driveway leading to the house.
Many high voltage exterior lights around the home are fitted with motion detectors. These lights are normally off, they illuminate when the on-board sensor detects movement within its range. This is a security feature as it tends to scare off any potential intruder, they are also ideal to provide additional lighting when arriving home late at night. Much of the outdoor low voltage lighting that is commonly available is fitted with a photocell which automatically turns the lights on at dusk and off again at dawn. This feature is ideal as it prevents the lights from being left on inadvertently during the day.
Outdoor low voltage lighting is ideal for use in gardens, on decks and to highlight any outdoor architectural or landscaping feature. For a full range of safe, secure and energy efficient low voltage outdoor lights you are invited to shop on-line at Touchstone Accent Lighting.