The types of spotlight bulbs
There are two types of bulbs that are generally used for spotlights in the garden; compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and low emission diodes (LED). The peculiar feature that makes them appropriate for this purpose is the fact that they produce directional light wherein light is focused in the direction facing the bulb. This is in contrast to ambient light bulbs which radiate light all around them.
CFL and LED bulbs are also cooler than other types of bulbs and will therefore pose no danger of overheating during the hours that they may need to be lit at night. Filament bulbs become hot because they burn their filaments as they produce light. If they are kept on for extended periods of time, the danger of the bulb overheating is ever-present. Overheating can lead to fires and fires are dangerous at night when they can start and spread while everyone is asleep.
Since these bulbs do not burn any of their components, they also tend to last longer. They are, therefore, suitable for continuous nighttime lighting. And since they have a longer life span, there is no need to spend for replacing them every so often.
Illumination and accent
One use of spotlights is for illumination and accent lighting. In this category we have the lights that are used to brighten paths and structures in the garden. This is also the type of lighting used for emphasizing areas in the garden for aesthetic and practical purposes. Spotlights used for accenting are ordinarily less intense that those used for illumination.
Accent lights may be colored in order to produce the effect that the landscape designer wants. Sometimes, apart from being colored, the colors themselves may be made to change at regular intervals. These are often used for party occasions.
Accent lights are normally not directed to the area to be lit. Instead, they are located in that area and shed light on the surrounding foliage. This technique can produce dramatic results when used to showcase trees, particularly if the light itself is colored yellow.
Spotlights are also used to provide light for human activities. They are useful for cooking and eating out at night. For this purpose, the light has to produce an illumination similar to what is found inside the house. The colors of objects should also be as close to natural as possible. It will then be possible to distinguish whether the barbecue or the hamburgers which are being grilled are cooked or not.
Surveillance and security lights
The brightest spotlights are used for shedding light on strategic points in the house to dissuade prowlers and burglars from approaching. One such place is the garage door.
A device may be attached to the spotlight to warn the owners of any suspicious movements in the area they cover. This is usually a sound alarm which is loud enough to alert sleeping people.
Since CFL light is brighter than LED bulbs, they are more often used for surveillance spotlights, especially if the area to be covered is a wide garden. For the purpose of lighting a smaller area like a shed or the garage, LED lights are suitable enough.
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