Light Your Garden for Fall

The days are getting shorter and soon we’ll go back to Standard Time, but earlier sunsets don’t mean you can’t enjoy the beauty that fall brings to your gardens. The latest developments in LED and solar-powered lighting make it more affordable, too. Here are some options.

Solar Lights
Solar garden lights can be very simple to install and can provide attractive mood and accent lighting for your garden beds. It has its downsides, though. First, it needs a fair amount of sunlight to charge the unit’s batteries so they work at night. If your garden is shaded or you have an extended period of cloudy weather, you might not get the light you want. Speaking of the light you want, be sure what you buy casts a color of light that will give the look you want. Many solar lights give off a blue cast, and that isn’t always the best light to show off the colors of your garden.

A lot of the solar lights out there are cheaply-made and unreliable. Do some research before wasting money on lights that won’t perform optimally? Check warranties and store return policies.

Outdoor LED Lighting
Low-voltage LED lighting on timers and switches is a good way to be sure you have reliable garden lighting when and where you want it. They can be battery-operated or connected to your home wiring. It’s a good DIY project if you have basic electrical skills since the lower voltage reduces the risk of shock and fire danger that exists with 120-volt systems. The components are less expensive and sometimes easier to install than high-voltage lighting; just be aware that you usually get what you pay for. Pay attention to the same considerations you would with a 120-volt system. Be sure any wiring is protected from damage by shovels, edgers, mowers and animals. Squirrels and rodents love to chew on wires. So do puppies. If the wires are going to be run on the surface or to an outlet, make sure they don’t present a trip hazard, as well.

Remember that at some point you’ll have to connect a transformer to a 120-volt feed. An outdoor receptacle might be convenient, but it has to be GFCI-protected and exposed wiring needs to be weatherproof. That’s best left to the pros. They can also hook up your system to indoor controls for the greatest year-round convenience, in good weather and bad.

120-Volt Lighting
If lots of light and maximum versatility is what you want, 120-volt is the way to go. High-intensity spot and flood lights take extra current that can best be supplied by your home wiring. With 120-volt systems, you can mix bright spots and floods with softer garden bed and path lighting. At the minimum, consult with a pro before planning a high-voltage system, and don’t try to tackle it yourself. Call a professional electrician.

Allstar Electrical is Ready to Help
Allstar Electrical Services can make sure that your work is safe and up to code. We’re happy to offer a free estimate for the system that will work best for you. Allstar Electrical has served the Front Range since 2000. Since then, we are proud to have been recognized by the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Independent Electrical Contractors Association with numerous meritorious service awards, and we recently were honored with a 2013 Super Service Award by Angie’s List.

The pros at Allstar Electrical are ready to discuss your needs and help you determine the best solution for your home project. Just give us a call at 303.399.7420 or use our handy on-line forms to request an estimate or set up an appointment. Simply go to our Residential Services page or drop an email to us at estimating@allstarelectrical.com for complete details.