When you want to install outdoor walkway lighting there are basically 2 options which you can choose from. Although a relative new source of energy, solar lighting has become incredibly popular as an outdoor lighting option. The other option is off course low voltage outdoor lighting, a way to really stand out your driveway and make it a valuable attribute to your home exterior. This article will outline what the pros and cons of both options are and why you should choose one of these two options.
Solar walkway lighting
Solar walkway is for several reasons a very popular way to illuminate your walkway. The main advantage is that it is very easy to install as everyone can do it. All you have to do is buy the lights and stick them in the ground next to your walkway. You don’t have to connect any wiring or connect it to electricity because the sun is all they need to charge their batteries and emit light from dusk till dawn. Another great benefit is that you will not see an increase in your electricity bill as solar energy is a free source of energy.
Off course there are not only benefits to mention when you use solar lighting. For one, your will need sunlight in order for the lights to charge their batteries. When it is cloudy all day the batteries will not get charged at the same capacity compared to sunny days and you will notice this on the brightness of the light they emit at night. You want your walkway lighting to work the entire night and with solar lighting the intensity will become less every following hour.
- Easy to install
- Save energy
- The light is not as bright as low voltage lighting
Outdoor Low Voltage Lighting
With low voltage lighting you are able to create incredible designs and astonishing ways to illuminate your walkway properly. Because the lights are connected to the electricity network you will not notice any difference in lighting intensity they emit no matter if it is a cloudy or a sunny day. The biggest con however is the fact that installing them is a lot more work. You have to place the lights in to the ground and connect all of them to a transformer which passes the electricity to the lights. A transformer is necessary because otherwise the bulbs will get way too much electricity to handle and they will break.
For small to medium sized walkways a starter set might be your best option. The starter set will contain 6 to 10 lights, a transformer and the necessary wiring to connect it all. All the accessories are balanced and chosen so they will work in any walkway. But if your walkway is quite large or if you are looking for a more intensive way to illuminate your pathway than you have to look for other options.
It is important to understand what transformer to choose with what type of lighting. For low voltage outdoor lighting you can choose between 20 or 30 watt bulbs. The more watts a bulb uses, the brighter the light it emits. The transformer can only handle a certain amount of watts and that is why it is important that it is able to support all the bulbs that you want to install. If you want 10 bulbs of each 30 watt than the transformer has to handle at least 300 watts. I say at least because in large walkways the wiring will cause a loss of energy and that is why the transformer has to be stronger than 300 watts in order to supply all the bulbs with enough watts.
- Emits very beautiful and efficient light
- Difficult to install
- Increase on electricity bill
Which type to choose?
What type of lighting you want to use will be dependent on how much light you want them to emit. if you want your entire driveway to be illuminated properly than the best way to do that is with low voltage lighting. However, if you want a more easier way to light your walkway and it is not that important that the light is bright enough than solar lighting is an excellent option.