Landscape lighting adds both an elegant and functional element to your home landscaping. It creates an after dark curb appeal as well as a great security feature. There are several components to any landscape lighting package to consider; the type of lighting, the transformer and where the 110 power will come from, and types of fixtures.
First, there are several types of landscape lighting including line voltage, low voltage, and solar. Line voltage is meant more for commercial applications. Solar lighting is a low budget way of adding lighting but is quite ineffective, taking twice the amount of fixtures to create the same illumination as low voltage lighting. LED lights were introduced for landscape lighting applications several years ago. They are considered environmentally friendly because they provide an equivalent amount of light as a halogen bulb but with about 1/5th the electric usage. The fixtures cost a little more up front but will save in the long run on yearly bulb replacement and utility usage.
Transformers come in a variety of wattages. They transform 110 power to low voltage and are plugged into an outlet preferably near the location of the landscape lighting. Most people consider installing the transformer in a garage or basement to keep it out of the elements therefore prolonging its useful life. Low voltage cable runs from the transformer to the fixtures. The average wattage transformer purchased for properly lighting the front of a typical home would be in the neighborhood of 300 watts. Although with the new LED fixtures that can be significantly decreased to around 100 watts.
When considering landscape lighting, you will also need to look at what you actually want to illuminate. That will determine what type of fixtures you will need. Path fixtures spread light for a foot path or to accent a landscape feature such as a boulder or an annual flower bed. Up lights point light in a specific direction such as lighting the canopy of a tree, the corners of the house, or maybe a woods line. Whatever your goals; be sure to balance the look from one end of the house to the other creating accent points without just flooding the house with light. And keep in mind, landscape lighting can be used creatively to light back yard pool areas, steps, decks, and even your woods line.