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Basic concepts and terms to know
Lighting can add so much to your outdoor space. From safety and security, to curb appeal and extended evenings relaxing outside, the benefits truly add value and enjoyment to your home. “When working with a professional installer, knowing a few definitions of common lighting terms can help make the process easier,” says Alexis Deasy, marketing communications manager for Unique Lighting Systems. “When you understand the terms, communication is seamless and you’re more likely to create the design and access the functionality you’re looking for.” Here are a few common terms to get you to discuss the process like a pro.
Low Voltage Lighting
Low voltage lighting is one of the most common styles used in outdoor landscapes. Low voltage systems use a transformer to reduce the voltage in your power lines. Typically, low voltage systems use 12 volts. The lower voltage is safer for outdoor use and can be less hazardous when exposed to moisture such as rain and snow.
Transformers are the workhorses that reduce the higher voltage power in your home’s electrical system into a lower voltage needed for your lighting system. All Unique Lighting Systems transformers are built to the highest standards with top-quality materials including solid copper core windings and precision steel laminations. They’re engineered for safety, durability and energy efficiency.
Many homeowners think of safety as lighting front entry ways; however, adding lighting to walkways and feature areas such as pools, stairs and dining areas can make it easier to navigate what can otherwise be difficult spaces. Just because you know your way around your property doesn’t mean your guests are as comfortable. Lighting professionals know how to recognize areas that might be more concerning and offer a fresh perspective on added safety features.
CAD stands for computer-aided design. This drawing typically outlines the entire design of your system, showing where the fixtures, power source and other features of your lighting system are located. Presented to you before installation starts, a CAD drawing gives you a visual sense of what the design will look like.
Similar to fixtures in your bathroom or kitchen, when it comes to outdoor lighting the term fixture refers to the light sources. There are so many fixture options, the possibilities are endless. Be sure to ask your installer what type of lighting fixtures they’ll be using to create a specific light source and effect. It’s also important to ask about the warranty for each fixture type. For more information on the art of design and the different lighting styles each fixture creates, look at Make the Most of Your Outdoor Lighting.
Each lighting fixture requires power to perform. A wiring system is typically laid out in your CAD drawing, showing where wires will be buried in your yard. The wires connect a power source to each of the fixtures. Unique Lighting Systems uses proprietary HUB wirings systems which protect the fuses and reduce the number of wire connections needed. HUB systems are one of the safest ways to install outdoor lighting, and they also reduce the chance of outages and system failures.
Knowing a few basic terms and names of the parts of an outdoor lighting system can make working with a professional installer just a little bit easier, giving you the freedom to sit back and enjoy the beautiful results.