What You Need for Porch Lighting
For those with porches, you know how important it is that you keep them lit. There are many reasons behind this. A darkened porch can be an invite to a burglar or other criminal who prefers to hide his activities under the cover of darkness. Porch lighting is also a boon for your safety by providing enough brightness to prevent tripping on steps or stairs. You do not have to only have your porch illuminated for safety and security, though, there are other applications for lighting which add a bit more fun to your yard. Depending upon how you use your porch and your own personal tastes, your choices for porch lighting will be different from anyone else's. This is why it is important that you consult with an expert about your specific project.
There are many choices for porch lighting available to you. Almost all of these fixtures have low voltage options. These will save you money due to their lower energy requirements for operation. For the layperson, you should choose low voltage lights, especially if you intend to install these lights yourself. This is because high voltage electricity is too dangerous and complex for anyone besides a professional to install. Low voltage lights are simple in their wiring, but you will have to remember that you will need a transformer for them.
Transformers convert the 120 volts coming from your home outlets to the lower volts needed by the low voltage lights. There is a simple formula to determine the number of transformers you will need. First, count the number of lights you have. Then look at the wattage of all of these lights in your fixture. Then multiply the watts of all the lights by their number. For instance, if you have 5 10 watt bulbs in porch lighting fixture, then the total wattage is 50. If you have three of these fixtures then your total system wattage will be 150. You would need a transformer that is capable of supporting at least 150 watts.
The amount of volts getting to the lights will depend upon many things. Distance is one of the most important factors as is the number of porch lighting fixtures wired into the one transformer. The farther away from the transformer the lights are, the fewer volts they will get. This will result in dimmer lights due to the voltage drop. There are a couple of methods to prevent this. You could follow the rule of not having more than 100 watts on more than 100 feet of wire. You can also tie all of the lights in on a continuous loop. If you still have any questions about what you will need for your porch lighting installation, just ask an expert's advice. He will be happy to assist you in finding the best products you need and walking you through the steps you need to take.
Choosing and installing these lights is not difficult to do if you have a basic knowledge of electricity, but if you need assistance in finding the best porch lighting for your outdoor project, it would be best to ask an expert who will help to guide you through the steps for the selection and installation of these dramatic lights.