Lighting. Tuesday , September 25th , 2018 - 11:00:09 AM
If you decide to install high voltage lighting I recommend that you consult an electrician for advice. Get him or her to carry out the basic cabling and installation work. If you choose a low voltage system (by far the most popular) you can much more easily install it yourself providing you follow some basic safety guidelines. The specification for the cables is still important, but you don't need to bury them deep underground as you would for a high voltage system. However, bear in mind that the cables are still capable of giving electric shocks if damaged. Most garden centers have a wide assortment of low voltage systems and fittings that are suitable for outdoor use. If you buy a low voltage kit it will come with a transformer as well as cabling and fittings. Make sure that you position the transformer in a dry place indoors or in a garageoutbuilding.
Fluorescent lighting has been around a long time and you may not think it is that efficient. Old fluorescent lighting certainly isn't T12 and T8 tubes and their drivers can be horribly wasteful, sometimes using double the amount of power they are rated at. However T5 fluorescent tubes coupled with a modern ballast is remarkably efficient, almost as efficient in fact as LED lighting. Modern warm start ballasts have also increased reliability and allowed for extending the life of the tubes which can now reach as much as 30,000 or 40,000 hours. Modern drivers also operate at high frequency, unlike their older counterparts, which mean there is no longer a noticeable flicker with fluorescent lights. Fluorescent lights do also suffer from early failures, and because they rely on a filament the more often they are turned on and off the shorter their life will be; this means turning them on and of with presence detection to reduce their use and save money on your bill could backfire when you have to frequently replace the tubes. If you do go down this route make sure the drivers feature warm start and don't set the controls to frequently turn the lights on and off.
The key decision that must then be made is what the most suitable replacement lighting is, after all there seem to be a massive range of different lighting all claiming to save you money and save the environment. The most talked about technology at the moment is LED lighting but it isn't suitable to replace everything; so what sort of lighting should you get?
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