High Voltage vs Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

Which Voltage is Best for your Maryland, DC, or Northern VA home

The Best Voltage For Your Outdoor Lighting

What's the difference and which one should you get? These are the only questions that need answering, but you'll need to find the answer in this article. This is because it depends on your wants and needs. Some homeowners prefer high voltage landscape lighting because they may have larger yards or like brighter lights. Others may want low voltage landscape lights because they have kids and pets running around. These are only some of the reasons people get one or the other, read on for more!

Learn why else people install landscape lighting >>

Low voltage landscape lighting at the McAuliffe home in Alexandria, VA

Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

You can go cheaper without giving up quality with low voltage landscape lighting! The equipment used to install it lowers the power put into the lights from 120 volts to 12 volts. It may be a big jump, but it doesn't have a significant impact on how well the lights work. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of low voltage:

Pros of Low Voltage

  • Lower Cost - fixtures, bulbs, and electricity are lower. This lighting is more energy efficient as it has more light output per watt
  • Wider Selection - more types of fixtures, bulb type, the spread of light
  • Easier - installation (no conduit needed, won't tear up the yard), maintenance, smaller fixture sizes, relocating fixtures
  • Safer - less risk of shock, operates in wet weather, safe for children and pets

The best wattage for low voltage lights is less than 40 >>

Cons of Low Voltage

  • Transformer Needed - you will need to have a transformer installed to reduce the voltage
  • Possible Dimming - the bulbs can dim IF the cables aren't the proper size

Homeowners and Premier Outdoor Lighting of Maryland prefer using low voltage landscape lighting. The benefits outweigh the slight cons by light years. Overall, this type of landscape lighting is best for residential areas due to their higher safety ratings and energy efficiency. This doesn't mean you can't use high voltage landscape lighting, keep reading to learn about it.

transformer used for low voltage landscape lighting

High Voltage Landscape Lighting

120 volts of power at your fingertips. But don't let the impressive power level get you to think it's automatically better than low voltage landscape lighting. Let's see the other side's pros and cons in this high voltage vs low voltage comparison:

Pros of High Voltage

  • Bright Lights - great for lighting larger areas and bringing a sense of security
  • Fewer Fixtures - the brighter the lights, the fewer fixtures you'll need
  • No Transformer - the lights can handle the raw power and there's less chance of dimming too

Cons of High Voltage

  • Essential Electrician - you may need permits and have everything up to code, plus it's more dangerous if you don't know what you're doing
  • More Difficult - relocation, installation (18" deep), less beam spread control, bigger fixtures
  • Expensive - installation is harder and thus pricier
  • More Dangerous - higher shock risk, doesn't work well when wet
House with uplighting creating a wall grazing effect

The Best Voltage For Your Landscape Lighting

The winner of high voltage vs low voltage landscape lighting is....low voltage! The benefits for low voltage far outstrip those for high voltage, plus the high voltage landscape lighting has more negatives than positives. This is specifically for landscape lighting, high voltage works better in other areas such as public spaces and parking lots.

These are some of the best landscape lighting brands >>

If you decide to install landscape lighting, then the low voltage comes with the highest recommendation! See some low voltage landscape lights at work in this video:

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