Lighting Style and Trends Blog

Hinkley Lighting: Illuminating Homes for 90 Years

Posted by Raven Lopez on Thu, May 10, 2012


One of our favorite brands, Hinkley Lighting, is celebrating its 90th birthday this year. They continue to be a leader in the industry with their unique catalog design and lifestyle advertising.  Producing innovative and beautiful lighting creations for indoors as well as outdoors.

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HINKLEY LIGHTING BEGAN IN 1922 as a small family lighting company and has developed into one of the most well-respected designers and manufacturers of high quality lighting fixtures in the world. We believe that light inspires our outlook and our lives, brightening each moment spent with family and friends. We are committed to keeping your life aglow by creating lighting that is defined by superior materials, distinctive designs and unparalleled craftsmanship. Continuing our family heritage with a fourth generation of visionary leaders in the lighting industry, Hinkley Lighting, Inc. continues to evolve while maintaining its tradition of unique designs and enduring quality.

TODAY HINKLEY LIGHTING CONTINUES TO FOCUS ON STRENGTHENING THE VALUES UPON WHICH ITS REPUTATION HAS BEEN FOUNDED FOR ITS 90-YEAR HISTORY. Award-winning product designs, innovative materials and cutting-edge LED technology continue to set Hinkley apart. Our new energy-efficient corporate campus features a progressive Design and Training Center and an open work environment to encourage collaboration among our team. Hinkley’s highly-trained Customer Care team sets the gold standard by providing exceptional service to reps, consumers and showrooms. Leading the way with outstanding lifestyle photography, Hinkley’s marketing efforts expand to include an updated website in 2011, digital advertising and social media.

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Tags: Hinkley Lighting, Outdoor Lighting, Landscape Lighting, Bathroom Lighting

Kichler Expands Popular LED Landscape Lighting

Posted by Gavin Martin on Sat, June 19, 2010

Kichler Expands Popular LED Landscape Collection with Wall Wash Accent Light

Wall Wash Fixture Features Kichler's Advanced Design Pro LED Technology

Kichler Wall Wash FixtureKichler Lighting continues to expand its popular Design Pro LED Landscape Collection with a new, energy-saving Wall Wash accent light. Kichler® Design Pro LED Wall Wash creates a low, even light spread, ideal for illuminating shrubs, plants and textured wall surfaces and silhouetting special detailing.

The durable aluminum fixture not only delivers the warm, white light contractors and homeowners expect from professional lighting, but uses 80 percent less electricity than comparable halogen fixtures. Plus, the LED light chips last up to 40,000 hours, or approximately 18 years, so there's no need to change bulbs.

"We're very pleased to continue to provide landscape lighting professionals with the most advanced LED technology that meets the increased demand for energy-efficient outdoor products," said Jack Miller, Kichler senior product manager. "Our Design Pro LED fixtures not only provide cooler operating temperatures and superior color rendering, but are optimized for easier installation to save contractors time and money."

Offered in both Textured Architectural Bronze or Textured Black finishes, the fixture's durable, efficient electronics deliver consistent light output across a wide input voltage range (9-15 volts), virtually eliminating voltage drop issues. Optional mounting accessories also are available.

For additional information about this new product and Kichler's full line of Design Pro LED Landscape fixtures, which include path and spread lights, well lights and cowl lights, visit Kichler Landscape Lighting.  

Kichler Lighting is The Premium Choice in Landscape LightingTM. The company's landscape products include decorative path lights, accent lights, specialty items, transformers and accessories.

Lighting Catalog is a leading online retailer of Kichler Landscape Lighting. Best Prices, Large Selection, Excellent Service and Fast Shipping to your front door.

Tags: Landscape Lighting, Kichler, LED lighting


Posted by Gavin Martin on Sat, October 03, 2009

Hinkley LandscapingStep 1
Make a Plan
What do you want to light? Pick favorite trees, interesting plants, fountain or statue, or attractive architectural elements. These items will be the focus of your lighting plan. Think about how you use the property. Are there areas you would like to illuminate for recreation, entertaining, or work? Think about areas in which added light would enhance safety - steps, or a dark wall around the side of your home.

Step 2
Prepare Your Equipment
Low Voltage Systems
Most residential landscape lighting is done with 12-volt distribution. The system consists of a central transformer, weatherproof cable and low voltage fixtures and accessories.

Decide on what fixtures you will be using as part of your complete lighting plan. Choose styles you like that accept lamps that are appropriate for the application.

Transformers convert your 120-volt household current to 12-volts. Outdoor transformers can be installed on the side of your house and plug into an exterior outlet. They must mount at least 12" above the ground.

Transformers used indoors (such as in a garage or basement) must be listed for that application (see pro-series transformers, page 30). For indoor usage, UL requires an additional mounting plate to guard against fire and conduit must be used.

Calculate the total lamp wattage your system requires. Then, choose a transformer powerful enough to handle the total wattage and still have some extra capacity.

12-volt fixtures take power from a weatherproof, flexible cable that can be used above or below ground and generally does not need to be housed in conduit or buried as deep as 120-volt wiring. 12 AWG cable is the most standard. However, for cable runs of over 100', we recommend 10 AWG or 8 AWG.

Measure the distance from the last fixture on the run to the transformer to calculate the amount of cable needed.  Add 1'-2' of cable per fixture to allow for repositioning.

Step 3
Wiring Your System

Cable Fixture and Layout
If your lighting plan requires more than one transformer, you will need to divide the fixtures into groups or zones. To do so, consider the many areas of your property and how they are used. You may want all of the front yard lighting on one transformer, patio and deck lighting on another transformer, etc. The location of your electrical outlets will also help you to determine how to group the fixtures.

Maximum Cable Length per Total Fixture Watts

Cable Size 

50w   75w  100w  150w  200w  250w  300w
 12-2  300'  200'  150'  100'  75'  60'  -
 10-2  475'  318'  240'  160'  120'  100'  80'
 8-2  750'  506'  380' 250'  190'   150' 125' 

Determining Voltage Drop

Voltage Drop
Excessive voltage drop occurs when too much wattage is placed on a cable that is too long or too small for the load. Voltage drop causes lamps furthest from the transformer to be dimmer than those near the transformer. To help minimize voltage drop among each group of fixtures, use the following information to assist you:

Total Watts = sum of wattage on a single run of wire.

Cable Length = length of cable run (feet) from transformer to the last fixture on that run.

Cable Constant = thickness of copper wire. The thicker the wire, the lower the conductive resistance, resulting in a lower drop in voltage.

Calculating Voltage Drop
You can calculate voltage drop in volts using the formula below. It also shows the relationship of wattage, run length and two-conductor cable size (given by the cable constant). Adjust lamp wattage, number of fixtures per run, or the length of the run to maintain the right relationship.

Voltage Drop =  Total Watts x Cable Length
            __________________                              x 2
                   Cable Constant

The cable constant is based on wire size. (Remember that larger wires have lower AWG sizes).

Voltage Drop =            150w x 75
                             __________________         x 2
                        7500 (12 AWG Cable Constant)

Then, subtract the voltage drop from transformer output to operate in desired range:
15-volt tap-3 (voltage drop) = 12 (actual voltage)

Voltage should not drop below 10.8-volts. In this case you should choose to use higher outputs to keep voltage in desired range of 11.2-volts-11.6-volts.

Lighting fixtures will generate heat. To avoid excessive heat be sure to keep all lamps clear of dirt and debris. Input voltage at the lamp on low voltage fixtures should never exceed 12-volts. The following diagrams will help you wire your system. The black box represents the transformer:

Loop Installation
Here, fixtures are arranged in a loop, reducing voltage drop. It is essential that cable polarity be maintained in the installation.
Landscape lighting



Hub Installation
With a Hub installation, fixtures in a group are connected at a central hub. The voltage drop will be virtually identical for each fixture, which makes this installation option optimal. Fewer connections are needed, simplifying troubleshooting and servicing the system.
Landscape Lighting




Straight Run Installation
Fixtures run in sequence directly from the transformer.
Landscape Lighting


Split Load Installation
With a Split Load installation, fixtures run in two or more directions from transformer. Locating the transformer in the center of the run reduces the effect of voltage drop. Be sure to connect wires to the transformer as you would when using straight run installation.
Landscape Lighting



"T" Installation
A "T" installation allows more equal distribution of power to the center of the run, or to the run some distance away. If lengthy runs, Use 8 AWG cable to split. Use 12 AWG cable to cross the "T" between fixtures.  

Landscape Lighting





Fixture Connection
Hinkley low voltage fixtures come standard with a connection kit, (2) wire nuts and silicone caulk. Fixtures should be attached by splicing them into main supply cable. Wire nuts should be filled with silicone. Twist the wires, then screw on the wire nut. Wrap with electrical tape. Bury any extra wire at the base of fixture to allow for relocation or adjustment.

After wiring your lighting plan, turn the transformre on and check the lamp voltage at each fixture:

Effect of Voltage on Lamp Life/Light Output

Voltage at Lamp  

Life Expectancy  

 % of Rated Candlepower  


 2/3 rated life



 1/4 rated life



 as rated



 2 x rated



 3 x rated



 4 x rated



 5 x rated



 9 x rated


 * Lowest recommended candlepower output

Hinkley low-voltage fixtures come standard with the 0014 BZ ground spike (see accessories, page 33) and can be easily relocated every several years to adjust for the natural growth of trees and plantings.

Step 4
Consider Accessories

Controls enhance landscape lighting, just as they do interior lighting. Photocells, timers and special lenses can help control your lighting plan.

Photocells turn the lighting on when the sun goes down. You can combine a photocell (on) and a timer (off) to avoid wasting energy after the household has retired for the night.

Timers provide automatic on/off control, according to how you program them and can be used in conjunction with photocells.

Hinkley lenses are available for use with spotlights to create directional beams of light, diffuse lamp beam spread, enhance color and to reduce overall glare.

Some of the more obvious reasons why a landscape lighting system will not operate are:

  • Te 120-volt power source is off, disconnected or the breaker/GFCI is tripped.
  • The 120-volt source is on a switched receptacle and the switch is in the off position.
  • The Transformer has an on/off switch and it is in the off position.
  • If unit has a built in timer and the timer is in the off position.
  • If the unit has a built in photocell and the photocell is receiving light and is therefore in the off position.
  • If the transformer has a built in secondary or primary fusing device that has blown due to a system problem.
  • If the cables leading from the transformer out into the landscape have been cut.
  • If the cables entering the transformer are wired incorrectly.


Lighting fixtures will generate heat. To avoid  dangers of excessive heat, be sure to keep all lamps clear of dirt and debris. Input voltage at the lamp on low voltage fixtures should never exceed 12-volts.

Hinkley Lighting is our featured brand of landscape lighting and Lighting Catalog has all of your Hinkley Lighting needs. is an online leader of Hinkley Outdoor Lighting, Hinkley Path Lighting and Hinkley Landscape Lighting.  We are a member of the Network of Online Stores. Free Ground Shipping on all orders over $99. Large selection, low prices and excellent customer service. The Home Lighting and Outdoor Lighting leader. Why shop elsewhere?

Tags: Design tips, Landscape Lighting


Posted by Gavin Martin on Tue, September 22, 2009

LIGHT the night...
There are many lighting techniques to consider when designing your outdoor lighting plan. Layering different types of lighting adds visual interest to your design. Keep in mind that several fixtures focused on an area from multiple angles can highlight an object with a softer light than a single very bright fixture that casts deep shadows. Here, Hinkley offers some basic techniques that will help add visual interest to your home's exterior and surrounding landscape after the sun goes down.


Uplighting refers to illuminating an object, area, or surface from below.          

For the effect shown here, a spotlight is aimed at the tree in the foreground while the front of the home remains relatively dark. This method creates a focal point in the landscape.



Downlighting describes the illumination of an object, area or surface from above. Moonlighting creates a natural effect. The light, usually mounted high inside the canopy of a tree, bathes the ground with a soft glow.

For the effect shown here, spotlights are placed in hidden overhead locations and are pointed down to illuminate the sculpture in the center of the courtyard. Subtle areas of light and shadow are created on the ground.

Grazing emphasizes a textured surface (such as a tree trunk, a stone wall, climbing ivy, etc.) by placing a light source within one foot of that surface and aiming the light beam parallel to that surface.

For the effect shown here, spotlights are placed beneath each stone pillar to create shadows and dimension, complimenting the home's entryway.



Path Lighting




Path and area lighting is used to enhance landscaping such as flower beds, shrubbery and borders while safely illuminating pathways.

For the effect shown here, path lights are staggered around the walkway to illuminate a safe passageway to the home's entrance and to emphasize the dynamic design of the landscape.    


 Step Lighting  
Wall Washing


Step and brick lights can be used in masonry and wood constructions. These fixtures are designed to safely illuminate stairways and walkways.                    






Wall washing is a technique that refers to the general illumination of a wall or surface.

For the effect shown here, spotlights are placed along the front of the home to create a soft wash of light.





Also called backlighting, silhouetting is used to dramatize an interesting-shaped object.

For the effect shown here, a spotlight is placed between the tree and the front of the home. The spotlight is aimed at the front of the home creating a dramatic silhouette of the tree. 

Deck Lighting


Shadowing is an effect created by placing a light source in front of an object and projecting a shadow onto a surface behind the object.

For the effect shown here, spotlights are placed directly in front of the cacti, developing shadows which are projected on the home's face creating an interesting and inviting facade. 




Step and brick lights can be used in masonry and wood constructions. These fixtures are specifically designed to provide safety and accent lighting.

For the effect shown here, a surface mounted deck sconce is placed on the wall above each step to illuminate a safe entryway to the deck. Using an under bench light, a soft glow creates a warm atmosphere for seating in this outdoor area.


Hinkley Lighting

Hinkley Lighting is our featured brand of landscape lighting and Lighting Catalog has all of your Hinkley Lighting needs whether it is Hinkley Outdoor Lighting, Hinkley Path Lighting or Hinkley Landscape Lighting.  

Tags: Hinkley Lighting, Design tips, Landscape Lighting

Landscape Lighting Tips and Trends

Posted by Gavin Martin on Mon, September 21, 2009

Hinkley LightingNIGHT Aglow

Landscape lighting reveals your home and the surrounding grounds with a beautiful glow as the sun goes down.

The purpose of landscape lighting is to unify the relationship between your house and the landscaping that surrounds it.

Fixtures shown to the right are Ivy (foreground) and Essence in the (background) from Hinkley Lighting.

Landscape lighting should enhance the outdoor living environment, extend the hours of enjoyment you and your family spend outdoors and provide safety and security. Well designed landscape lighting will reinforce aesthetic appeal and add value to your home.

TIP: The ideal landscape lighting system is one that meets the practical and aesthetic needs of the homeowner without adding yet another maintenance requirement. To achieve these goals it is necessary to plan, design and execute the lighting carefully and methodically.

Low voltage lighting is an outdoor amenity usually added to a property after construction is completed and the landscaping has matured. Some homeowners, particularly those, who have done their own landscaping, may wish to attempt to do the lighting as well; others can enlist the aid of an outdoor lighting professional.

TIP: Exterior lighting draws your eye outward, creating visual expansion and continuity between the indoors and outdoors. In terms of aesthetics, the key to success is being subtle. Less is always more.

Landscape lighting provides functional lighting for your home's outdoor social spaces, such as decks and patios, so you can use them safely and effectively for entertaining after dark.

TIP: Low-level path lights (sometimes called area lights) spread circular light patterns, brightening walkways and highlighting nearby flower beds, shrubs and ground cover.

TIP: Deck lights typically mount to the outside of the home or to the railing around a deck. Like path lights, they distribute light in a horizontal direction and offer subtle lighting with reduced glare.

TIP: Sometimes called spotlights, accent lights use directional beams of light and can be used to highlight trees, statues and other architectural features.

TIP: Step lights and brick lights can be used in masonry or wood constructions to add safety and security on decks and steps surrounding your home.

TIP: Hinkley Lighting offers many outdoor lanterns that coordinate with the styles of our landscape lighting. Complimentary lanterns are indicated throughout this catalog. To view Hinkley's complete outdoor lantern collection, including eco-friendly options, visit Hinkley Lighting online:

Hinkley Lighting

Hinkley Lighting is the leading brand of Outdoor Lighting and carries all of your Hinkley Outdoor Lighting, Hinkley Path Lighting and Hinkley Landscape Lighting needs to make the outside of your home spectacular.  

Tags: Hinkley Lighting, Outdoor Lighting, Landscape Lighting, Path Lighting

Perfect Landscape Lighting Requires Planning

Posted by Gavin Martin on Mon, September 21, 2009
Landscape LightingDesign Center - Planning...

Our featured brand Hinkley recommends following these simple guidelines to ensure a successful lighting plan:    

  • Conceal the light source behind shrubs, etc., where possible - except where the fixture itself is a decorative element.
  • Don't "over-light" (a little light goes a long way).
  • Be creative in using a mixture of lighting techniques for drama and excitement.
  • Arrange for an automatic device to turn lights on and off, such as a timer or photocell.
  • Be considerate of your neighbors - position lights strategically so they do not shine into their windows.

The basic steps are simple:

  • Decide what you want to illuminate.
  • Select the appropriate lighting techniques.
  • Select the appropriate lighting fixtures and accessories.

•    Choose the power supply (transformer).

The featured path lighting in the picture above is part of the Balloon Collection from Hinkley Lighting.

Hinkley Lighting


Tags: Hinkley Lighting, Outdoor Lighting, Design tips, Landscape Lighting, Path Lighting

Low vs Line Voltage Landscape Lighting

Posted by Gavin Martin on Mon, September 21, 2009


LOW (12v) VS. LINE (120v)
understanding the difference

The homeowner should make an informed decision when purchasing residential outdoor lighting. Low voltage systems are generally more flexible in residential settings; line voltage systems are better suited to permanent commercial and institutional applications.

 12v  120v

Flexibility when installing or relocating; cable can be repositioned


Wire must be buried 18 inches and placed in a protective conduit; easy to install if area is pre-wired                        

Designed for wet locations and operates safely when exposed to moisture             

All fixtures and connectors must be absolutely waterproof (shock hazard potential when wet)

Lamps are small allowing fixtures to be smaller and blend with the landscape      

Lamps and fixtures are larger and less fixtures are required for a complete lighting plan

Lamps available in low watt type and many beam spreads; precise lighting effects can be achieved with low energy   Higher watt lamps and one or two beam spreads produce high light levels and can be wired into home's electrical supply
Can be plugged into existing outdoor receptacles; no need for an electrical contractor in most cases     Must always be installed by a licensed electrical contractor; local permits may be required

Transformer to convert electrical current from 120v to 12v required; voltage drop (dim lights) can occur if improperly installed and inadequately sized cable used

No transformer required; voltage drop not as critical



Hinkley Lighting

Hinkley Lighting is our featured brand of landscape lighting and Lighting Catalog has all of your Hinkley Lighting needs. is an online leader of Hinkley Outdoor Lighting, Hinkley Path Lighting and Hinkley Landscape Lighting.  We are a member of the Network of Online Stores. Free Ground Shipping on all orders over $99. Large selection, low prices and excellent customer service. The Home Lighting and Outdoor Lighting leader. Why shop elsewhere?


Tags: Design tips, Landscape Lighting, Path Lighting, Line Voltage, Low Voltage

Landscape Lighting Tips

Posted by Gavin Martin on Sun, September 20, 2009

Night Aglow

Landscape LightingWith landscape lighting you can make your home stand out in your neighborhood, improve safety and security and expand your outdoor entertaining options.

  • TIP: Steps, paths and driveways should be illuminated to make sure family members and guests are able to move about easily and safely after dark.
  • TIP: Low-level path lights spread circular patterns of light and will brighten your walkway while highlighting nearby flower beds, shrubs and ground cover.
  • TIP: Decks, porches and patios can be converted into evening retreats by concealing low-voltage lights under steps, railings or benches.

The path lighting to the right is part of the Mission Collection from Hinkley Lighting. Hinkley is the premier manufacturer of Outdoor Lighting and Landscape Lighting on  

Landscape Lighting


Tags: Hinkley Lighting, Landscape Lighting

Night AGLOW with Hinkley Landscape Lighting

Posted by Gavin Martin on Thu, September 10, 2009

Hinkley Landscape LightingNight AGLOW.
Hinkley provides a collection of decorative and functional landscape lighting to help you complete your home's lighting plan. Whether you choose to highlight architectural features of your home, extend your living space by illuminating your landscaping, or accentuate an object of interest, we have the perfect fixture that will meet your lighting needs. Your imagination is your only limitation in lighting your landscape.

Lighting Catalog has all of your Hinkley Lighting needs. is an online leader of Hinkley Outdoor Lighting and Hinkley Landscape Lighting.  We are a member of the Network of Online Stores. Free Ground Shipping on all orders over $99. Large selection, low prices and excellent customer service. The Home Lighting and Outdoor Lighting leader. Why shop elsewhere?

Tags: Hinkley Lighting, Outdoor Lighting, Landscape Lighting

Kichler Lighting – Who is Kichler?

Posted by Gavin Martin on Sat, May 30, 2009

Kichler LightingKichler Lighting was started in 1938 by Leonard Kichler. In 1954 a gentleman by the name of Sam Minoff bought the small Cleveland decorative lighting company. As part of the purchase Sam promised to honor Leonard Kichler and never change the name of the company. He also agreed to maintain the excellence his customers had enjoyed. Sam kept his promises and Kichler Lighting is now the largest and most recognized Lighting Fixture company in the world.                                                                                      Kichler Lighting
Kichler Lighting is winner of 4 ARTS Lighting Manufacturer of the Year awards. Sam Minoff is a member of the Lighting Hall of Fame and is the inaugural winner of the ARTS Lifetime Achievement Award. Kichler Lighting is still family-owned and Sam brought the principals of leadership, loyalty, honesty and quality to this industry leading company.

These qualities are an important part of the makeup of every member of the Kichler Corporate family, each of whom understands decorative home lighting fixtures and who care about Kichler's customers.  In fact, each Kichler employee has been instilled, from the top down, with Sam's three guiding principals of Customer Care, Product Value and Excellence in Design.  Kichler is at the top of the list among retailers based on customer feedback about quality, reliability and ease of installation.                                             
At Kichler, they take pride in transforming light into beautiful, functional works of art. Kichler designers travel the world to discover the latest trends in interior and exterior style, colors and design. Then they translate the best of those trends into fixtures that will bring beauty, pleasure and light into your home to stand the test of time in both quality and design.

The result is a collection of distinctive fixtures that helps you express your personal style, taste and personality - whether it's casual, contemporary, urban or traditional. And to make it easy for you to decorate your entire home, we offer our lighting in family collections.

Kichler Lighting - Giving you a better way of lighting your world is not just our job, it's our passion.

Check out Kichler Lighting, Kichler Chandeliers, Kichler Pendants, Kichler Outdoor Lighting and Kichler Landscape Lighting at these fine retailers. 

Tags: Chandeliers, Outdoor Lighting, Kichler Lighting, Landscape Lighting, Kichler

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