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Choosing low voltage path lighting fixtures and accessories.

Low voltage path lighting is very easy to install yourself, but it’s important to choose the right lighting fixtures and accessories for the pathway you want to light.

These days there’s an almost overwhelming range of low voltage pathway lighting products to choose from. Here’s a brief overview to help you make the best choice.

Three points to consider when choosing a low voltage outdoor pathway lighting system:

1. Solar or mains powered

All types of pathway lighting fixtures come as either a solar or a mains powered product.

The great advantage of solar lighting systems is that they’re so quick and easy to install. There’s no need for a mains power low voltage transformer, and there are no wires to hide. And of course, all the energy for your path lighting system comes free from the sun.

If your local climate doesn’t have a lot of sunlight, or the path you want to light is in a shaded area, a mains powered lighting system would be preferable.

2. Surface mounted or planted alongside the pathway

Surface mounted or recessed lights are literally installed right into the edges of the pathway, to create a tiny airport runway effect.

The other type of pathway lighting fixture is designed to be mounted on a short post and planted in the garden alongside the pathway.

Both styles do a very good job of illuminating your walkway. It’s really a matter of choosing the look you prefer.

3. Timer, light sensor or motion sensor

It’s likely that you’ll only need your path lights to light up for a few hours in the evening, or for a few minutes when you arrive home. Using an automatic system to switch them on and off means you’ll never accidentally leave them on all night or all day.

Solar lights will switch themselves off automatically when they run out of energy.

You could use an automatic timer, or a light sensor to switch mains powered path lights on and off when needed.

Motion sensors are a great way to switch your low voltage pathway lights on when you arrive home. They’ll switch themselves off again after a few minutes.

For more information on low voltage lighting, please read this article on three ways to control your outdoor stair lighting.

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