Most outdoor lighting systems are powered by a low-voltage AC transformer, usually 12 VAC. For larger lighting projects, the air conditioning system is the best option. Because low-voltage DC is more likely to have losses and voltage drops, and the longer the cables are, the more voltage drop there will be. But 12V DC is fine if you're lighting up a small part of your yard.
Landscaping lights (incandescent and refurbished LED bulbs) are typically either AC or DC powered. If they were limited to DC, polarity could matter (if the manufacturer didn't bother to put a 2-cent bridge rectifier on each lamp). Low-voltage landscape lighting is the most common option for residential outdoor lighting. Some advantages of 12V landscape lighting include the fact that they are easier to install, less expensive, safer, and you don't need to be a licensed electrician to work with them.
Low-voltage landscape lighting reduces the risk of shocks and is easy to install, as there is no need to bury the cable. In addition, there are many more options for low-voltage landscape lighting fixtures, light bulbs, wattages and designs. For most residential applications, 12V landscape lighting is superior, preferred and more common than 120V outdoor lighting. Proper transformer wiring and operation of center-fed wires to fixtures at the correct voltage is one of the most overlooked pieces in building low voltage landscape lighting systems today.
There are important differences in the results when lighting your garden with 12V AC and 12V DC individually. Since most homes have a high-voltage AC supply, you need to transform it to 12V AC or 12V DC for landscape lighting. But, if you plan to do your garden lighting yourself without professional help, we definitely recommend that you use low-voltage options for your safety. Located in Midvale, Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah serves customers in all residential areas of Utah, including Salt Lake City, Park City, Draper and Holladay.
If you are planning to use landscape lighting in a small part of your patio, the best option is undoubtedly the DC supply. Operating a lighting system at its highest voltage is what usually happens when a system needs to send enough power to the last device in a long series of LED chained lights. Outdoor lighting at 120 V is mainly used to illuminate large areas, using fewer but brighter fixtures, or in residential applications where there is ample upward lighting in a large canopy of large trees (although modern low-voltage LED fixtures also have enough power for this application now). It is important that a garden lighting system is well designed to ensure the longevity and ongoing enjoyment that homeowners will experience.
LED lights also give lighting designers greater control over the effects they are looking to create. Whether you use landscape lighting in your residence as trail markers, for safety purposes or simply for decoration, they certainly look elegant and exciting, like the sparkle on your patio.