July 3, 2009
Lighting In and Around Backyard Waterfall
Well-planned lighting in and around your waterfall can make a backyard area come alive and extends your enjoyment.
You can choose high-intensity halogen lights, or you prefer subtle, low-voltage lighting that adds mystery to backyard. A hanging light make visible an otherwise unseen places of backyard.
Soft pathway lights help guide visitors around an area. Make the perimeter with gentle lights that reflect off the water’s surface of a waterfall. Create a lively area by using colored lenses, use color sparingly to prevent garishness.
Illuminate a waterfall with an inner glow by using submersible lighting. Submersible lights come with their own platform so that they can be moved around the bottom of waterfall.
They work better when the water is clear, because lighting will show that water is not clear.
After planning what you want to create with lighting, you have two choices for powering it: low- voltage or line-voltage (12O-volt) outdoor lighting.
Low voltage systems
A low-voltage system, which uses a transformer to reduce line voltage (120) to 12 volts, is usually used outdoors because it save more energy, and easier to install than a standard 120-volt system. Low-voltage lighting is great for stairs, pathways, and the edges of waterfalls. Low voltage systems are available with a variety of fixtures .You can choose light and kits at electrical and garden supply stores.
Installation is simple. With low voltage system there is little danger for people.
The cable may lie on or under the ground, or in a narrow trench.
Standard systems (120 volt)
A standard 120-volt system has some benefits.
The metallic fixtures and buried cable give the installation a look of permanence, and light can be projected farther than with low voltage system. If you have chosen 120-volt lighting, project it before build the waterfall. You also need to electrical permit for your safety. Code restrictions are particularly strict for installations in and near a pool.
Montage a standard system is more difficult than montage a low voltage system. Cable is often lying in pipes, which needs the use of connectors and special fittings. If you do not know the materials and techniques, give this work to an electrician.
Basic electrical projects are not very difficult, but they can be dangerous if you do not observe necessary safety rules.
The basic rules of wiring are: Never work if electric system under voltage. If fuses protect your system, remove the fuse before beginning work. In a panel equipped with breakers, switch the breaker to the OFF position to disconnect the system. If you need help or you have any doubts, ask an electrician.