There are a few essentials we believe every professional in the outdoor lighting industry should be using. They’re the products we use on all of our jobs in the Orlando area and we focus on quality and long-term customer satisfaction. The four tools every outdoor light professional should be using are brass lighting fixtures, stainless steel transformers, lighting wire and LED bulbs.
Brass Lighting Fixtures
Brass is a copper and zinc alloy metal that is especially useful for outdoor and landscape lighting fixtures due to its durability. Aluminum and stainless steel models of similar fixtures will also be available, but if you prefer not to replace your lighting fixtures every 2-3 years, it is important to remember that the durability of aluminum and stainless steel fixtures is far inferior to brass and will corrode prematurely. Brass fixtures are much better suited for homes and businesses in Central Florida since they do well in coastal environments and areas where heat, salt, and humidity are corrosive threats.
Stainless Steel Transformers
In areas like Orlando and other high-humidity regions, you should ensure that your stainless steel products that are going to be spending a lot of time outdoors are coated with a protective silicone layer to prevent corrosion. Typically, high-quality transformers have a lifespan of 10-20 years and are capable of handling currents between 300 and 1500 watts. It is also imperative for you to use multi-tapped transformers as this saves electricity, improves bulb burn time, and enhances safety. Multiple taps ensures the transformer spreads the amp load across the transformer and prevents overheating, thus ensuring efficient performance which aids in increasing the longevity of the transformer.
When choosing lighting wire for outdoor applications, we recommend using 12-gauge wiring for LED lights and 10-gauge for standard halogen systems. Another consideration is the thickness of the sheathing on the wire: go for thickness and quality, as this will ensure a longer life cycle of the system. This will cover the majority of all outdoor lighting fixtures used in residential and commercial applications, but in case of uncertainty check the packaging recommendations or contact the manufacturer of your chosen lighting system. Additionally, don’t buy lighting wire that is not approved by the Underwriters Laboratories (“UL approved”). The UL is OSHA’s (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) safety certification company that tests products such as wiring for defects and ensures they fall within safety standards.
When choosing light bulbs for your outdoor fixtures, it is important to remind your clients that efficiency matters and will save them far more in the long run than the slightly higher initial investment. We use a 7-watt bulb with the equivalent lighting power of a 50-watt incandescent bulb. As with all lighting products, keep quality in mind. We use manufacturers based in the USA only because all the world leaders in LED technology are based here and US-based companies tech and customer service is superior to other countries. We recommend you shop by brand when it comes to LED technology. We use Cree & Phillips for our lighting chips, and National Semiconductor as our driver manufacturer. Both are critical when determining LED lighting quality.