Most residential properties can benefit from landscape lighting – but many homeowners worry about any kind of installation project that could affect their lawn. Is that likely to happen when installing a low voltage outdoor lighting system?
Will a landscape lighting installation mess up my lawn?
The short answer is: installing a basic landscape lighting system is easy and, if done correctly, poses little-to-no risk of damaging or disrupting your current landscape. If the installation isn’t a project that you wish to do, hire a lighting installation service. Hired professionals will more than likely know exactly what they are doing and how to properly install outdoor lighting. Services will take extra care to properly bury wiring, which is the most important aspect that will affect the way you care for your lawn. Investing in high quality landscape lights -such as those made by VOLT®– will also provide added peace of mind.
The first step to achieving outdoor lighting that preserves and protects the lawn is proper wire burial. In addition to burying wire deep enough (at least 6 inches), the goal is to bury wire in areas that will not cause damage or result in future problems. It is best to avoid placing wire in areas where they may be easily exposed (such as a shallow mulch bed), or areas they interfere with edging your grass (edges of gardens or driveways & walkways). If placed in potentially hazardous areas such as these, you should always use a protective conduit. Finding the most efficient way of running wire from the lights to the transformer will differ for every project but is still simple for DIYers with a bit of research and planning.
If you hire a professional lighting service, the professionals should be trained and familiar with running wire to avoid damage and minimize future issues. Lighting professionals also understand how deep to bury the wiring, and the best and most efficient way to get the wiring from the lights to the transformer.
There is a large variety of lights available on the market to illuminate your lawn. Various fixtures can be used for differing applications but it is important to use products as they were designed/intended to be used. In-ground lights, like well lights for example, are lights designed to be installed flush with the ground. If you get high-quality well lights, lawn mowers are much less likely to cause any harm. They will sit perfectly flush with the ground, so routine lawn maintenance will not damage them. These are typically used for tree lighting or for columns in more commercial settings.
A popular landscape lighting option is path & area lights, which illuminate the ground and surrounding areas for safety and utility. Fortunately, path lights should have the smallest effect on lawn care because they are usually on the perimeter of a lawn or garden. Of course, it’s always best to be aware of where they are.
LED spotlights are another popular option for landscape lighting. Usually they are placed close to trees, as if to highlight the trees. Homeowners just need to be careful with these because they are typically placed somewhat in the middle of the lawn or garden to illuminate features from a distance. In addition to using a high-quality spotlight, proper placement and being cautious will keep yard work efficient and prevent any issues from arising.
Placement and Informing Lawn Care Service
Placement of your lights is important because they will need to be seen very clearly when doing lawn maintenance or else, they could be ruined by a lawnmower. At the same time, a beautiful design keeps light sources mostly hidden. As a DIY homeowner, this may take some practice and adjustments to accomplish whereas a professional service is trained to do so. A pro tip: if you use a law maintenance service, be sure to inform them in detail about your new landscape lighting fixtures after you get them; whether you installed them or a pro did. Otherwise, they could run over lights that didn’t exist the last time they were working on your property.
In conclusion, landscape lighting will not negatively affect your lawn as long as you are smart about how your system is installed. Low voltage landscape lighting is simple and safe to install, so you can do it yourself with a little research and experience. Or, many trained professionals can do the installation properly.