Residential outdoor lighting is a billion dollar a year industry in the United States. It is getting so popular, there is now a corporation that franchises individual businesses dealing only in exterior landscape lighting design, supply, and installation! Line voltage systems used to be the only option for outdoor lighting but in recent years, low voltage lighting systems and solar powered lights have made exterior decorative lighting available to every home owner &Plastic Cups Suppliers8211;not just the rich ones.According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 67% of adult Americans are homeowners # (2004 statistics). Renovation, remodeling and home improvement are massively popular activities that only reflect the priority that consumers give in making their property as comfortable and pleasing as possible. Gardening has always been a past time homeowners enjoy in beautifying their property, both for themselves and to raise the "curb appeal", but up until a decade ago, beautifying the nightscape was not a mainstream idea.

  Hotels, resorts and similar type commercial properties have always used light to create beautiful atmospheres on their grounds, but given the cost of an outdoor lighting system, residential lighting applications were mostly limited to basic security needs. Landscapes were enjoyed during daylight hours but when the sun went down, the outdoor portion of a homeowner's property was not used.Low Voltage outdoor lighting systemsLow voltage lighting systems and solar powered lights are changing this. A low voltage lighting system plugs into a transformer and takes household current down to 12 volts. This means real energy efficiency and eliminates the building code requirements for burying cables 18 inches for line voltage systems. The lights can be used for any outdoor lighting application, although they still need to be wired together. Trenching and some cable burying will also probably be required. Additionally, the capacity of the transformer must be sufficient to cover the combined power draw (watts) of every light in the system.The Solar landscape lighting optionSolar powered lights are not wired to anything and require no transformers. Installing them is as easy as sticking them in the ground, or mounting them wherever you need them.

The draw back is that the photovoltaic charging panels (usually mounted on the top of the light fixture) that capture the sun's energy need direct sunlight during the day to charge the batteries that provide power to illuminate the light at night. And in higher latitudes where the period of darkness is longer in winter months, there is a good chance that the lights will not get enough sun during the day to be able to illuminate for the entire period of darkness.Even so, solar powered landscaping lights are becoming extremely popular although this was not always the case. Up until two or three years ago, solar lights were not as bright as many consumers wanted, didn't illuminate for long periods and too often, did not operate longer than a year or two before becoming defective.