OUTDOOR LIGHTING - SAFETY
Even though outdoor lighting is low voltage, there are still safety concerns that you should consider. The popularity of outdoor lighting has grown significantly over the years, with more and more people going into this type of business. Then, you have homeowners who take it upon themselves to do all their own lighting. In either case, it is crucial that safety measures to taken seriously and adhered to.
Even with the LED lamps being such great energy savers, there are several problems with the types of models sold on the market today. The most important issues include heat buildup, optics that are undeveloped, poor color rendition, and just an overall low quality. Because there are so many people wanting to buy and install outdoor lighting, manufacturers are hurrying to get products on the market to meet customer demand. With this, important safety standards are not being followed, meaning poor LED performance and contractor reputations being damaged.
When outdoor lighting was first developed in the 1980s, there were many serious problems with the products. Over and over again, lighting was failing prematurely. It has taken many years of hard work and testing to develop a high quality product, especially the lamp. While there are some manufacturers that strive to regain and maintain a high reputation by pushing out only quality products, we go back to others who just want to beat others to the market with an inferior product.
Although consumer reports have proven to be very valuable in guiding consumers to the right products, there are still things each homeowner should do. For one thing, learn what you can about wiring. Too often, outdoor lighting is not wired properly. With this, not only are you at risk for having a lighting system that simply does not work but now, your home could also be at risk of fire due to faulty wiring.
For the transformer, you should purchase one that is equal or greater than no more than 80% of the total voltage of the light fixtures. This would allow any additional load that occurs by voltage loss in the wire to be handled. Otherwise, the transformer will become overloaded and then at some point, it will fail. The best option is using transformers that have multiple voltage taps so the voltage at each of the light fixtures can be controlled.
Just remember that instead of going with high voltage lighting, such as post lamps or flood lamps, you would do better to work with low voltage type outdoor lighting that is far more efficient. In addition to low voltage lighting being more efficient, it also looks better and is far safer to use to enhance your home and landscaping.