Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting Types
Low voltage outdoor lighting can shed pools of light that define the perimeter of a deck or patio. It can light up pathways and tiers or otherwise provide accents in the garden. It can even provide floodlighting, uplighting, and wash lighting to display larger aspects of your home or yard.
Surface and Deck - Low voltage surface and deck lights don't provide a lot of illumination. That isn't their purpose. Rather, through strategic placement, surface and deck lights can help define the perimeter of your deck or patio. Placed at regular intervals, they cast small pools of light along the edge or shine upward, reminding you where concrete stops and lawn or garden begins.
Surface and deck lights need to be small and durable. They're likely to get stepped on, kicked, or bumped into. If they keep a low profile and are protected by a sturdy railing, this minimizes the hazard to your lights and to the guests who might bump into them.
You can find these lights in half brick form, either shielded with a sturdy prism lens or louvered for extra shielding. They also come in round form, either plain or with a shallow hood to direct the light downward and keep the glare away. More complicated designs such as oblong mariner lights are also available.
Path, Tier, and Accent - Low voltage lights are quite up to the task of illuminating a pathway or a garden. The traditional bollard light provides a sturdy cyliner and an internal, inverted cone to reflect the light downward. A mushroom light can accomplish the same task with the advantage of covering a wider area with light. The larger mushroom lights can function as flare lights, casting rings of illumination.
The basic walklight is also an attractive option. A short post with a simple transluscent or transparent shade will do the trick. The cap to this shade will reflect the light downward an also provide an elegant simplicity or a more complex artistic statement.
Tiered lights are another good thing to consider. These cylindrical lenses have two or three ringed tiers surrounding them. This casts the light downward while allowing the viewer to admire the design of the lamp itself.
Other options abound. Shades shaped like flowers or like your living room lamp are two possibilities.
Flood, Up and Wash - Perhaps surprisingly, low voltage lights can even be used to flood or wash large areas. Sporting 10, 20, 35, even 50 watt halogen bulbs (20 and 35 are the most common), these lights can illuminate dark corners, highlight architectural points, or show off an entire tree.
These lights tend to be basic cylinders, usually attached to an adjustable base so they can be angled wherever you like. Sometimes they're just well lights and are placed in the ground to shoot more or less straight up into a tree or onto a wall. Other styles may have zoom-focus lenses to adjust between spot and flood. Still others are usable underwater to light up a pond.