The Bright Ideas Blog

Design inspiration and outdoor lighting tips and advice for homeowners

5 Ways to Avoid a Bad Landscape Lighting System

Investing money in an outdoor lighting system is something that can go very well or very wrong. There are so many different fixtures, techniques, and options when it comes to lighting systems. How do you know what way to go? What fixtures to use? Where to put the lights? While there is never a full-proof way to avoid a light going out or a fixture being broken, there are many ways to create an extremely well built and thought out lighting system that is designed with your needs in mind, upholds against the elements of the outdoors, and last for years to come. 

Here are 5 ways to avoid a bad landscape lighting system.

1. Use well-constructed lighting fixtures 


When it comes to outdoor lighting fixtures, there are a myriad of different options. There are very few that can withstand the toll outdoor conditions have on a fixture. The most readily available fixtures at big box stores are typically made from aluminum or plastic. The issue with these fixtures is that they are not made to fight against the elements thrown at them in the outdoors. Fixtures made of aluminum or plastic will get worn down and need to be replaced after only a couple of years. 

One of the greatest ways to create a long lasting lighting system is to install high-quality fixtures. The best lighting fixtures are made from brass or copper and are designed to protect the socket and lamp from moisture. Doing so will keep your system and fixtures working for years and years to come. 

2. Placement of the fixtures is important 


It is so easy to think that installing a low-voltage lighting system is as simple as sticking a light in the ground and calling it good. This is the wrong way of thinking. In order to ensure your lighting system is going to produce what you want and need, it requires planning, proper fixture placement, and knowledge of how the light will look in the dark. 


When there is a plan and proper design for a lighting system, it helps you avoid issues with how the lights look and feel after dark. Since the lights will look different in the dark than they do during the daylight, it is important to consider how far, bright, and where each light will shine before placing and installing fixtures around the property.

As you can see from the images to the right, there is a difference between a well experienced lighting professional and one that is not as experienced or well versed in fixture placement. The lighting in the bottom image highlights the home in a subtly and beautiful way. The image on top has pockets of harsh light that creates an unappealing and unflattering look to the home. When you add lighting to your home you want to boost your curb appeal and that is why fixture placement is so important when installing a landscape lighting system. 

3. Protect the wires and their connections 


A low-voltage lighting system's life is dependent on power and the connection to that power. Since this power relies on wires and the connection to the wire it is important to be sure your wire is installed correctly and protected. The best way to keep your wires projected is to burry it a minimum of 6-8" deep. This helps shield it from something coming along and damaging the wire. 

The wire connections are important for keeping your wires insulated and protected from water. If water gets into your wire connections, it can cause shorts and other issues that will cause your system to fail. Using watertight connections is vital in the success and longevity of your lighting system. 

4. Service your system 


One of the most important and valuable ways to avoid your landscape lighting system failing or going bad is to service it. No matter if you get the best fixtures, burry the wires deep in the ground, or pay for the overall best system money can buy, lighting systems need maintained. Rain, wind, snow, and unexpected elements all take a toll on an outdoor lighting system.

Fluke issues like moisture leaking through to the bulb or your landscaper running over a fixture with the mower happen to the best of systems. That is why annual maintenance on an outdoor lighten system is so important. It is the best way to keep it shining beautifully .

5. Consult with a professional 


Lastly, if you aren't sure about your ability to install a great landscape lighting system, consult a lighting professional. A good landscape lighting professional will provide you with a comprehensive plan for a system that fits your wants and needs. They will take care of all the wiring and provide you with high quality fixtures that will last for years to come. Be sure to look for a landscape lighting professional that offers warranties on their fixtures and a service program to keep your system working at its best. 

If you are curious what exactly to look for when hiring a landscape lighting professional, download our guide to help aid in your decision making. This guide helps create a road map of what to look for in a landscape lighting professional before sign free to schedule a consultation with one of our lighting designers by filling out our consultation form.

Want to learn more about low voltage landscape lighting systems?

If you are looking for a high quality lighting system for your home but don't know where to start, take the first step and request a consultation here! Let our designers create not only a functional property, but one that highlights the beauty of your home even at night. 

At Landscape Lighting Pro, the art of outdoor illumination is a real passion we work to perfect. Designing elegantly bespoke landscape lighting systems is simply all we do. For nearly 20 years, our award winning team of designers and craftsmen have striven to bring the best outdoor lighting experience possible to people's homes and businesses across the Wasatch Front & beyond. 

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