What Power Configuration To Choose
Consider these options:
- Battery powered lights are easy to install and are portable. Because they are battery powered, these lights have limited brightness, short life, and are generally used strictly for mild accents. Most battery-powered lights require on/off operation at the light and do not work with home automation protocols.
- Solar lights are generally brighter than battery-powered lights and have more practical applications such as lighting walkways and stairs. They are easy to install because they do not require any electrical wiring. Like battery-powered lights, these lights generally do not work with home automation protocols.
- Electrical lights, although more difficult to install because they most likely will require some electrical wiring, provide the brightest output and therefore the most useful applications. Most landscape and wall lighting runs off electrical power. Any light that runs off electrical power can be controlled with home automation devices such as X-10, INSTEON, or Z-Wave.
How To Control Backyard Accent Lights
The easiest way to control backyard lighting is through an automated light switch that replaces an existing traditional switch. In many cases, however, this may not give you the control you’re seeking, particularly if one switch controls all or a bank of lights as is often the situation with landscape lighting.
To provide independent control of different lights (allowing more elaborate scene control ), wire each light (or groups of lights) you wish to control with an in-line dimmer or in-line switch. You can then link the in-line device to your favorite home automation controller or use your computer to program elaborate timed sequences. One example of such a device is the INSTEON In-LineLinc Dimmer .
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