by Mike Casper, Maintenance Operations Manager, ArtisTree
Q: I’m building a new home in Southwest Florida and want to emphasize the architectural elements and landscaping with some cool lighting like I see in the magazines. What does ArtisTree suggest?
A: What a smart question, especially in light of (pun intended) the recent changes in bulb usage laws. Regardless of which system you choose, outdoor lighting is a highly efficient way to add curb appeal, safety and security to your home. Low-voltage halogen lighting has long been the industry standard for landscape lighting; however, new strides in commercial LED landscape lighting have made halogen a less attractive option. Both the flexibility and power requirements of a LED system save time and a ton of money over the life of the materials. Also, the voltage-drop issues that can plague a halogen system are virtually non-existent.
Energy efficiency is important when choosing an outdoor lighting fixture. For residential lighting, LED steals the show for being more energy-efficient and longer lasting than halogen. Sure, halogen’s initial price is lower, whereas the initial investment in LEDs can be rather expensive. But one study shows a savings of nearly $8,000 in operating costs of a LED system over halogen based on the same number of fixtures, lamp wattage and usage in an 18-year timeframe.
Regardless of what system you choose, it’s important to remember that all lighting systems require a little maintenance from time to time. You’ll need to check the wiring, clean lenses, and re-direct light to accommodate growth and changes in landscape.
Hope this sheds some light on the subject for you and that your results are every bit as good as what you’ve seen in magazines.