Outdoor Lighting – Southern Exposure

Outdoor Lighting

Don’t let your landscape disappear in the evening. Reclaim your space with thoughtful outdoor landscape lighting. Southern Exposure’s lighting division, Southern Lights, specializes in the design, installation and service of low voltage outdoor lighting for home or business. Our staff is backed by years of experience with outdoor landscape lighting design and installation.

Our certified installers guarantee expert installations on every new project. Our installation crews attend multiple training schools to stay on the cutting edge of technology. We offer a wide variety of low-voltage lighting product lines to meet just about anyone's budget and only use the safest, most efficient and versatile outdoor lighting equipment available on the market today. Once your system is installed, we offer ongoing support and maintenance packages.

Ron Booker
"I have a landscaping lighting system that Southern Exposure installed for me years ago and I still get compliments from neighbors and others about how great it makes my home look. The crew there did an awesome job, from meeting with me to showing me all the various possibilities and creative ideas they had, to professionally and promptly installing the lighting system to being ultra-responsive to any maintenance issues that have arisen. They have even gone as far as to deliver replacement light bulbs to my door step! All the folks there do such a great job and truly show that they care about what they’re doing and really want to help you. Southern Exposure is the kind of business that you can’t wait to work with. They have set the bar for other landscaping companies and in my opinion, maintain the “Disney” customer focus culture of the industry."
City of Randleman
"The city had a very complex project with lots of moving parts. From the initial planning meetings to the completion deadline, we always knew we could count on Southern Exposure."

Planning Your System

Low voltage landscape lighting is the best choice for residential outdoor lighting. As the landscape evolves: plants mature, trees gain height and breadth, & shrubbery beds are reconfigured. A lighting system must be flexible to encompass these changes with minimal disruption of the initial installation. The ease with which changes are accomplished with a low voltage system are key factors in accommodating the slow-paced dynamic of the outdoor environment. Planning for the present includes planning for the future.

Landscape lighting reveals the house and grounds in the setting that is lost as night falls. The purpose of lighting is to re-establish the relationship between the house and the landscaping. Lighting should enhance the setting, extend the hours of enjoyment of the outdoors and provide for the safety and convenience of guests. It can also address issues of security in a manner that is aesthetically pleasing and appropriate to the site.

To achieve these goals it is necessary to plan, design and execute the lighting carefully and methodically. Low voltage lighting is an optional outdoor amenity usually added to a property after construction is completed and the landscaping has matured. Most often it is the final touch to a carefully designed and maintained landscape plan. It is therefore important that the lighting be appropriate to the landscaping. Some homeowners, particularly those, who have done their own landscaping, may wish to attempt to do the lighting as well; most others will enlist the aid of an outdoor lighting professional.

Outdoor lighting is the addition of lighting effects not just the purchase of equipment. The ideal lighting system is one that meets the practical and aesthetic needs of the owner without adding yet another maintenance requirement to the burden of ownership. Service and maintenance is intrinsic to outdoor lighting. Planning, design, installation and service are the components of effective and appropriate lighting.

In new construction it is important to contact an outdoor lighting professional before driveway and walkway paving is completed. This is also true if the site is already fully built and landscaped, but changes in the hardscaping such as new walkways or a patio are planned. It is ideal if wiring conducts can be put in place prior to paving to avoid costly and disruptive excavating at a later date.

Most low voltage landscape lighting is retrofit into existing landscaping. An experienced designer/installer can accomplish this with minimal disruption.

SEE IT BEFORE YOU INSTALL IT, with our amazing 3D Software. It not only will layout and plan your lighting, but your plantings, hardscapes, structures, grading and more... Check out our PINTEREST board and see more designs.

Benefits of Low Voltage & LED

The nightscapes we produce are dramatic, thoughtful - and thoroughly practical. They make the most of your yard, your patios and porches, your plantings, your pool (or outdoor recreation area) - and your home's architectural features.

Landscape and Architectural Lighting offers so many benefits, like:

  • Offer your family reassurance and security at night
  • Increasing your Home's Value and Curb Appeal
  • Creating a Resort-Like Atmosphere
  • Highlighting the Architectural Features of your Home
  • Developing Focal Points in your Landscape
  • Expanding your Outdoor Living Space
  • Extending Views from Inside your Home
  • Requires about 2/3 less power than a high voltage system
  • Less obtrusive fixtures keeping them less visible during daylight hours
  • Low Voltage systems are much safer than 120 volt systems because there is a reduced risk of shock
  • Minimum property damage during installation
  • Fixtures are easy to move as your landscaping matures
  • Expandable - Lighthouse systems are designed to meet your outdoor lighting needs today and in the future.
  • Worry free - Solid brass and copper lighting fixtures with a Lifetime warranty. Maintenance by full time Southern Exposure Lighting service crews.
  • 1/4 the cost of installing a high voltage system

Type of Fixtures


Landscape lights placed at ground level with the lights aiming upward to highlight focal points in the landscape, such as specimen trees, signs, and architectural features. The lights not only highlight features from the outside, but they also provide for an extension of the interior living spaces at night. Fixtures of this type may include spot or flood lights as well as in-ground fixtures.

Tree Lights / Downlights:

This is one of the most natural looking forms of lighting. Lights placed above an object or area and aimed downward to imitate natural light such as simulating moonlight, or for providing security to an area, such as at back entrance. Care should be taken to hide or shield these light fixtures from view to create a true natural light. Fixtures of this type include spot or flood lights.


Backlighting is another natural form of lighting where a fixture is placed behind artistic objects or plant material to cast a silhouette on a wall for a striking effect. This effect helps to provide depth and structure to the landscape. As with tree/downlights, care should be taken to place the fixtures so that they are hidden from view. Lights of this type may include spot or flood lights as well as in-ground fixtures.


Landscape lights placed just above grade level along sidewalks, driveways, or informal paths in the landscape to safely lead a person from one location to another. Path light fixtures are generally low to the ground and cast a spreading light.

Deck / Wall Lights:

Deck and Wall Lights are becoming one of the most popular fixtures due to the growing popularity of outdoor living. These types of fixtures are many times used to highlight seatwalls, stone work, decks, patios, etc. Wall Lights used in seatwalls typically will require a fixture to be placed every 7-10' depending on height of wall, straight/curved wall, and light intensity desired.

Specialty Lights:

Landscape lights that add accent to a space, especially in the evening. Their purpose is to set a particular mood or create atmosphere. Examples of specialty lights include string lights in a gazebo, lights that resemble patio torches and/or flickering flames, and lights used in underwater settings to highlight a waterfall or rock bank.

Go Green with LED Landscape Lighting

50,000 hour lamp life (12-15 years!)
The most energy efficient outdoor lighting source available
93% less energy used than 12Volt
Outdoor landscape lighting systems run much cooler
Less wire required to install

Contact us about the benefits of LED outdoor lighting

Maintaining Your System

Expert installation is the first and most important step in creating a great landscape lighting system. However, maintaining your low-voltage lighting system investment is just as important.

The low-voltage lamps we install typically have an average life of about 4,000 hours - which is equivalent to 12-18 months of life. However there is no written guarantee from the manufacturer. So, to make sure all of your lights are working properly, we recommend a 100% bulb replacement every 12 months for outdoor lighting systems that are bulbed with halogen lamps due to their short life span. When a lamp burns out, it reduces the voltage draw on the system and causes the others to burn brighter than normal, eventually causing successive burnouts.

Likewise, just as your home, your plants and your irrigation system require maintenance, so too does your outdoor landscape lighting system. As your landscape grows and matures, or if you make changes to your landscape, adjustments to your landscape lighting system may also be required. We offer basic, full, and comprehensive maintenance packages for your lighting systems to handle these issues on a regular, periodic basis.

Why annual service?
Worry free operation of your landscape lighting system
Regular incandescent light bulbs have an average lamp life of 8-15 months
Dirty fixtures and old bulbs diminish in brightness
Failed lamps often go unnoticed
Improper replacement of the correct light bulb can result in blown fuses.

What are the advantages of an annual maintenance contract?
Southern Lights Landscape Lighting can make sure that your lighting always looks spectacular and is checked on an ongoing basis to prevent problems. Our busy clients, and those who travel and entertain frequently, tell us that the maintenance contract is worth every penny. Having the security of knowing that your home and landscape are properly lit offers a peace of mind to those that may be worried about break ins or criminal activity. No longer do they have to remember to check their lighting. A maintenance contract eliminates their concerns; it ensures that their new lighting system will perform like new for years! All hassle-free! These services guarantee that your system will always look as good as it did the day it was installed. All lamps replaced under our maintenance contract are guaranteed for one year meaning your Southern Lights lighting system is worry free. Our ten-year warranty on (wire, connections, and transformer) is also extended each year a maintenance agreement is signed. Southern Lights Annual Service Agreement will ensure a year without interruptions and operate at an optimum level throughout the next year.

What is the cost for annual service?
Contact us for a FREE quote on maintaining your outdoor landscape lighting system today.

Lighting Maintenance Packages


Pricing is determined by number of fixtures. Contact us today to get a FREE quote.

Services Provided


1 Visit


2 Visits 


3 + Visits 

 Check connections X X X
 Check operation of: photocells, timers, remotes, relays, etc. X X X
 Prune shrubs that have covered light fixtures obstructing light output X X X
 Remove mulch and debris that might be covering lights X X X
 Check gaskets for wear or compression X X X
 Clean glass housing and fixture body X X X
 Straighten any leaning fixtures X X X
 Re-aim fixture to account for plant growth X X X
 Check tree hardware and re-adjust for tree growth as needed X X X
 Take amp readings at transformer on secondary and primary X X X
 Take volt readings at transformer on secondary and primary X X X
 Check transformer terminal lugs and cables for tightness X X X
 Re-lamp where needed using di-electric compound (cost of bulb not included) X X X
 Update maintenance log with any new information X X X
 Refer a friend that signs up for new installation & get $150 CASH X X X
 20% Discount on all non-warranty parts (Ex: timers, connections, lamps, etc.)   X X
 1st half hr service charge FREE (1 visit)   X X
 Reset timer for daylight-savings   X X
 Replace Battery in Timer    X X
 Label Zones or Scenes on transformer    X X
 Renew 10 year Warranty on System *    X X
 Re-locate fixture to account for plant growth      X
 Night time fixture aiming check     X
 Label Fixtures Individually     X
 Create Lighting Diagram w/ Fixtures & Placement     X
 * Includes wire, connections, fixtures, and transformers.      

Energy Saving Tips

Simply stated watts are watts! How, you might ask could a 12 volt outdoor landscape lighting system be more efficient than a 120 volt outdoor lighting system, and save you money? The key is that low voltage bulbs can be two to three times brighter per watt than incandescent line voltage bulbs. Low voltage lamp filaments are wound tighter, thus, they burn hotter and brighter. Therefore, 1000 watts of line voltage output would be similar in illumination to as little as 500 watts or even 300 watts in low voltage light output! The result is substantial savings.

This information is not new. It has always been an element of low voltage lighting and is one reason the 12 volt market has grown so quickly and continues to expand. Below is a chart showing the approximate power costs for a low voltage lighting system. The rates below are based on power costs of $0.09 per kilowatt-hour. Check your local rates to adjust accordingly.

 # of




Hours Per

Day Used

Hours Per

Months Used

 Cost Per


 Cost Per


Cost Per


 8  288  4  120  $0.03  $0.12  $3.72
 16  576  4  120  $0.05  $0.20  $6.20
 24  864  4  120  $0.08  $0.32  $9.92

** Price of Kilowatts per hour = $0.09 ** You can use 1000 watts an hour for only 9 cents.

Using the above chart, compare the operation costs and see how inexpensive lighting can be. For more savings, use timers and modules to regulate the time that your transformer or transformers are running. Another savings method used is to separate your lighting system into zones. By breaking up your system into zones, this allows the customer to only run the areas they need on (ex. Separating the front and backyards).

Southern Lights is knowledgeable, professional, and honest in each and every service we provide; and this is what every homeowner should strive to find in a 'Professional Installer."