Many people that own outdoor lighting systems fall in love with the effect. Eventually they want to add on to their existing system. Perhaps you want to expand into the side or back yard. Or maybe you started with a smaller budget and now have been saving up for “phase 2”.
Here’s five things to consider when expanding:
1. How much space for expansion do you have on the transformer? Example: let’s say you have a 300 watt transformer. If you have 10 lights with 20 watt bulbs each, you have used up 200 out of your 300 watt transformer. Typically you don’t want to exceed 80% of the transformer’s capacity. Therefore you can only add two more fixtures at 20 watts, to total 240 watts. Exceeding capacity will overload the transformer, cause it to trip or completely fry it.
2. How much of a load do you have on a line? This varies depending on the side of the wire. Perhaps a good rule of thumb is not to exceed 100 watts per line.
3. Do your new fixtures match the brightness of your old? Simply be sure to match your watts. If your system contains all 20 watt fixtures, stick with 20 watt on the new ones. If you added 50 watts, your design would be uneven and also potentially overload the system.
4. Are you using LED? Not all LEDs have the same color. While some display similar light and can be mixed with halogen, many LEDs vary in color, quality and brightness. Make sure your new fixtures match.
5. What areas would you like to improve/showcase? Maybe your dormers are too dark or your trees could use some up lighting. Or add moonlights to shine down on your home and property for a cool visual effect. Did you build a new pool and/or deck? Add lighting to show off the new addition and provide safety as well. Don’t neglect the side and back yards, they can benefit from professional lighting too.