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Residential Landscape Services

Outdoor Lighting FAQs 


What are the benefits of adding outdoor lighting?
Improved safety is a major benefit of outdoor lighting. Steps, abrupt changes in a path's direction and low branches can be illuminated to We Can Do It For Youensure safe passage. A well-lit landscape also dissuades potential intruders and gives a property owner a sense of safety and security. In addition, light creates ambiance and naturally gives a person a sense of well-being. Outdoor lighting allows you to enjoy your landscape, and see a return on your investment, both day and night.

Why should I hire The Bruce Company to design and install outdoor lighting?
Our Lighting designers understand the objectives of landscape lighting and know which products are available to best light any landscape project. We have over 125 years of collective experience designing 12-volt lighting systems.   We will work with you to find out what your lighting needs are and explore options to bring any landscape to life.

Will a low voltage lighting system use a lot of electricity?
No, 12-volt systems cost less to operate than 120-volt systems. The following example shows the affordability of low voltage lighting.  This simple formula shows you cost per night.

(Watts on system x Hours per night) x KWH rate Divided by 1,000

Example: (500 watts x 8 hours) x $0.06 divided by 1,000 = $0.24 per night

Will there be a lot of glare?
Glare and light pollution is eliminated or greatly reduced with low voltage systems.  Many of the fixtures come standard with frosted lenses that soften the light output. Many low-voltage fixtures use special mirrored lamps that can precisely control where the light is being emitted.

What is a transformer and do I need one?
Every low voltage lighting system requires a transformer. A quality low voltage lighting transformer is a constant voltage reducer that lowers a 120-volt A.C. house current to a safe, energy-efficient, economical, 12-volt current.

How is the lighting system controlled?
Low-voltage systems are typically controlled at the transformer. There are several different methods to choose from and can sometimes be used in conjunction with one another. Timers, photo cells and remote controls are options that can be used to regulate the system.

What type of light bulbs does your system use and how long do they last?
The light bulbs or "lamps" we use depend on the make and design of the fixture. The Vista Brand fixtures we install use a variety of lamps.  

  • Mirrored reflector lampshave a halogen capsule and vary in watts and beam spread and are rated to last 5000 hours.
  • T-3 and T-4 Tungsten Halogen lamps are used for all path lights and last on average 2,000 hours.
  • The T-3 Xenon is favored for its extended lamp life of 10,000 hours.
  • LED lamp assemblies have 3 different beam spreads and have an operating life of 50,000 hours.

When replacing lamps it is important to make sure lamps are of specified wattage and voltage are used in appropriately rated fixtures. Unspecified use will lead to short lamp life, breakage, and overheating of the fixture

What is an LED light?
LED is an acronym for Light Emitting Diode. LED's are solid state semiconductor devices that convert electrical energy into visible white light. LED's do not have a filament; they burn cool and are safe to touch.

Long Life- LED's are environmentally sound, rated to last up to 50,000 hours. They also have high moisture and cold tolerance.

Is any maintenance required of a low-voltage lighting system?
The systems are exposed to the elements and so some routine maintenance is required. This includes keeping surrounding plant material trimmed and pruned around fixtures. Keep light fixtures and lenses free of debris both inside and around. Check and replace lamps as needed. Gaskets and o-rings on the fixtures should receive a coating of silicone-based grease to prevent drying out and compromising the seal. Spray the sockets and back of lamp with di-electric grease to extend life of fixture and lamp. The Bruce Company also offers yearly lighting maintenance services. 

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