Wall Lights, the Three Step Selection Process


Wall lights serve to illuminate stairs and tread, accent patio retaining walls, and give outdoor landscapes a 3rd dimension. Proper wall lights can enhance the value of your property with little investment. The full wall illumination process contains three pivotal steps.

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Step one is the selection process. For the novice this step may seem the easiest, but due to an overwhelming amount of choices the end user may feel fatigued. To narrow down your choices, draw three boxes on a sheet of paper. Label them Cheap, Standard, Expensive. Don’t rule out any because of their sticker price. The upfront costs may be deceiving in total energy usage over time. Low end patio illumination will typically run 10-30 dollars. These use incandescent bulbs and cheaper metal bodies, sometimes even plastic shells. They tend to wear fast in direct sunlight. The normal lights are most users choice. They are durable LED Wall 21, usually made from aluminum. The middle of the line wall lights have two problems, one make sure they are not over priced cheap lights, two they still draw more energy than the final choice. The expensive lights, are LED wall Lights. They draw 75-90% less energy but cost 40% more than their cheaper cousins. The lifetime and maintenance is much less with the LEDS.

Once you have weighed to pros and cons and made your selection it is time to determine all the tools you need for the job. What good are outdoor lights in a box? To get them ready for installation, the owner must decide if they want to install them or hire a contractor. If you choice the contractor they will have the tools. If you decide to install the wall lights yourself additional components and tools are needed. Note to speed up the process full wall lighting kits are available, they have everything ready to go. You will need a transformer, wire, connectors, a switch, and wire cutters. The transformer size depends on how many lights you install. (a rule of thumb the incandescent lights draw 11 watts each, the LEDs draw 2.4 watts. A low quality transformer, the cheaper ones do not give out constant power. A 60 watt quality transformer can power as many lights as a low quality 200 watt transformer.

Now the final step is installation. Integral lighting, one lighting brand, is a popular choice because they do not require cutting drilling or chiseling into retaining wall blocks. Make sure you check the installation of the light before purchase, this will greatly effect the tools and time you need to finish the job. If you choice the simple wall lights such as integral, just wire to the transformer, plug in and your ready to go. The hardest part will be mounting the wire and transformer someplace hidden.

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