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Updated: May 23, 2018

If you plan on installing your own low voltage patio lights, then you need to consider a few things first. You need to decide if you want low voltage lights or if you want solar lights. Then you need to decide if you want the lights to stay on, or go on and off on a schedule. After deciding, you can feel confident on your purchase.

Whether you choose low voltage patio lights or solar power patio lights, there are pros and cons to both. Low voltage lights tend to be brighter and easier to install. However, the bulbs burn out faster than LED lights and the wiring can be damaged. Solar power lights tend to be smaller and last 10 times longer than bulbs. Plus, LED lights don’t have a sudden burn out. The lights get dimmer signaling a need to replace them. However, solar panels are not effective if sun light is not readily available.

Next, consider how and when you want the patio lights to come on. Transformers come in three varieties. You can have manual transformers that allow you to turn the lights on and off as needed. Then there are automatic timers that are set to come on based on the time of day or night. Finally, there are photocell transformers that turn on the lights at dusk and off at dawn.

Choosing between low voltage patio lights and solar power lights will depend on your situational needs. The same is true for the transformer. Decide on what you want and what you need first, and you will find installing outdoor lighting to be a breeze.