A Dresher homeowner asked for our help lighting their home, since the street is quite dark. They also asked that we replace their old mailbox, which was falling off of its post.
When we visited the property to give the clients their custom project quote, we discovered that there was an existing landscape lighting system in place, which included uplighting on a number of trees and shrubs as well as path lights along the front walkway. While we were able to salvage some of the system, parts of it needed to be replaced, readjusted, or removed.
The original design did not account for the fact that plants are living things that will grow over time, so the positioning of several fixtures needed to be adjusted. We also wanted to add some highlighting on the façade of the home and on some newer plantings, including a beautiful river birch. As we tested the lights in the existing system, we found that all of the bulbs were halogens, and many of them didn’t work. After discussing the situation with the client, we decided to make the switch to LED lamps for several reasons:
- Because of their energy efficiency, more LED light fixtures could be added to the existing transformer without needing to change it or run additional wires from the garage.
- LED lamps have a much longer life span, cutting down on required maintenance of the system.
- With a wider array of lamps available to choose from, we were able to highlight the color each plant with the perfect fixtures.
- Lower wattage means less energy consumption by the transformer, reducing operating costs.
Each fixture added to the system was wired from the existing fixture, and all new connections were crimped and sealed with heat shrink tubing to eliminate the chance of failure in the future. Some of the sockets in the path lights were bad, but all we had to do was replace those and rewire the fixtures.
For the finishing touch to the light installation, we added a light post next to the driveway. Not only will this help illuminate the pavement as cars pull in, but it’s a timeless way to add a welcoming feel to your home.
There are a few ways you can install a light post. In most cases, the lamp will require a 110 volt power supply, and the work will need to be done by an electrician.
The control of the light is usually a timer or a switch located in the house. This requires drilling holes and fishing wires. Any 110 volt line that is going to be buried should be a minimum of 18” deep.
Needless to say there is quite a bit of work involved in the installation process. For this particular project, we were able to save both time and money by using a lower voltage bulb.
Since we had already converted the rest of the system to LED lamps, there was much less draw on the transformer than there was before. When it came time to installing the light post, we simply tapped into the existing low voltage line about 10′ from where the post was to be installed.
After digging up the sod, the low voltage cable was buried and the light post was installed. By using a low voltage 50 watt bulb, the light emitted from the lamp post looks like any normal bulb, putting out quite a bit of light while requiring significantly less energy.
Once the sod was replaced and the entire lighting system was complete, a sturdy new mailbox was installed. Everything about the front of this house looks beautiful, and can be seen clearly both day and night!
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