Lighting is an essential element that is equally important for both interior and exterior spaces. Lighting can make or break a space and in and getting it right is crucial for creating a sense of comfort, safety and well-being, especially in an outdoor setting.Installing permanent lighting in your garden will not only help create a wonderful atmosphere, it will make entertaining all that more enjoyable. Garden lighting has come a long way over the years in terms of design and technology. Today there’s almost as many options for outdoor lighting as there is for indoors and the mood or look that can be achieved is every bit as impressive. So, what do you need to know before getting garden lighting installed at your home? We specialises in lighting design for homes and gardens.
Advantages of Outdoor LightingOutdoor lighting can help detract from those problem areas by highlighting what’s working, and leading the eye away from what isn’t. For instance, do you have a water featured installed? Perhaps there’s an old tree with beautiful twisting branches? See the strengths in your garden and use outdoor lighting to literally and figuratively uplight these. Feature those impact items in your garden.
Tips for Choosing Garden Lights
It’s a cliché, but less is more. Go for higher quality products they will last longer and perform better. Cheaper items on the market will break down very quickly due to poor quality,soil acidity and of coarse all that Mother Nature throws at it – from harsh heat to freezing winters, not to mention wind, rain and hail!
It pays to invest in quality products. Do it right the first time and you will be enjoying the fruits of your labour for years to come...... With quality products comes quality warranties, guarantees and solutions.
Ensure your lights are installed and connected properly - heat shrunk and sealed. If this is not done, moisture could enter the light and cause it to blow and / or breakdown.
Types of Garden LightsLike all lighting there are lots of different styles of garden lights, but there are three key types that will help you create effective garden lighting. Garden spots – these are perfect for uplighting trees and bushes. They come in a range of size/brightness depending on the height of the plant you want to light up. Step/Stair Lights – these are designed to throw enough light to illuminate each step. Pond Lights – if you've got a water feature in your garden like a pond or fountain, this is a great way to make it a focal point for both day and night.
LED Vs. HalogenGarden lights are available in either Halogen or LED. Halogen lights will generally draw more power than LEDs which are more energy efficient. With LED globes, the brighter they are the bigger the size of the actual globe. So always double check that the fitting that you have chosen works with the brightness (and therefore size) of LED globe that you need in that area. Halogen garden lights can suffer from voltage drop. What’s voltage drop? Simply it’s when the light that is furthest away from the transformer doesn't burn as brightly as the one closest to it. The problem is made worse when there are a lot of lights on the system, or the system runs over a particularly long distance. Making sure you use the right cable and transformer will overcome this. Refer to our table later in this article to help choose the right cable and refer to the in the section below. LED systems have a much lower power draw so voltage drop is not generally a problem. Furthermore, when choosing your lights, look for good quality materials and products with certified IP ratings. This will tell you how resistant to water and dust they are so that your garden lighting can survive the elements for years.
Best Outdoor Lighting BrandsHunza from New Zealand is a really reputable brand, as are the subsidiaries that belong to them such as Luxor. Aqualux, Unios also have an excellent names in the industry.
Key Things to Consider when Lighting a Garden
- 12 Volt vs. 240 volt
How to Plan a Garden Lighting SchemeWe suggest starting with a pen and paper and a tape measure.
- Draw up a rough plan of your garden.
- Mark in any trees or bushes that would look great uplit at night, any paths that need marking or stairs that are poorly lit, plus any power points already wired in the garden.
- Think about lighting plants or a group of plants that will draw your eye at night – this creates interest and a sense of depth in your garden.
- Mark in where you are going to lay the wiring to connect each of the lights back to the transformer. The transformer is best installed close to one of the power points.
- At this stage it's also good to think about how many watts, or how bright each of the lights in your system will be.
- 20 Watt Globe for a step lights
- 20 Watt Globe for a pond/water feature light
- 35 Watt Globe for uplighting a small bush
- 50 Watt Globe for uplighting a medium sized feature tree
- 1.5 Watt Globe for a step lights
- 3 Watt Globe for a pond/water feature light
- 5 Watt Globe for uplighting a small bush
- 5 or 9 Watt Globe for uplighting a medium sized feature tree
How to Choose the Correct Cabling
- Then you need to work out which thickness of cable to run. The easiest way is to cross check the table below.
- Set aside a Saturday afternoon to run your cables, and set up your system, and then enjoy your handiwork!