With both lighting types, you can:
• Light deck railings and stairs
• Define the patio perimeter
• Illuminate the edges of paths and walkways
• Draw attention to a planter or tree
Other fixtures light up dining tables, grill surfaces, and even underwater in swimming pools.
Low-voltage fixtures clip onto a safe, 12-volt cable connected to a transformer, which plugs into a GFCI-protected 120-volt electrical outlet. A timer or light-sensitive control automatically turns lights on and off.
A low-voltage lighting kit with eight LED stainless steel fixtures, 50 feet of cable, and a transformer starts at $60. Individual low-voltage fixtures range in price from $7 for a simple poly-resin fixture up to about $150 for architectural-grade, cast-brass models.
Solar outdoor lighting fixtures don’t need cables and transformers. They simply turn themselves on automatically after dark. Each stand-alone fixture stakes into the ground or secures to a deck or exterior surface. You’ll save energy, as a sunlight-charged battery powers the bulb.
The downside to solar fixtures is a dimmer glow than low-voltage fixtures, and fewer lighting hours – many solar fixtures run out of stored energy after 4-5 hours on the job. Cloudy days also reduce power.
A four-pack of solar light fixtures that mount on top of deck posts starts at about $30. Or, check out a cast-aluminum solar lantern for about $60.
Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/decks/extend-outdoor-living-season/#ixzz1aOiSeYVp
Cities where paychecks stretch the furthest... HOUSTON IS #1
No. 1: Houston
In first place is Houston, pictured, where the average annual wage in 2011 was $59,838, eighth highest in the nation. What puts Houston at the top of the list is the region’s relatively low cost of living, which includes such things as consumer prices and services, utilities and transportation costs and, most important, housing prices: The ratio of the median home price to median annual household income in Houston is only 2.9, remarkably low for such a dynamic urban region; in San Francisco a house goes for 6.7 times the median local household income. Adjusted for cost of living, the average Houston wage of $59,838 is worth $66,933, tops in the nation.