Invaluable Tips for Systematic and Effective Garden Lighting

The purpose of garden lighting is obviously to bring out the beauty of your finely manicured lawn at night. It is as if you were painting against a backdrop of black. The light is your brush and the natural color of the trees, flowers and shrubs is your palette. You have to daub light in combinations of colors that are available in your garden. To come up with an aesthetically pleasing garden lighting effect, you need a specific combination of hues to bring out an appealing ambiance.

Planning your palette

During the day, take time to list down the colors that are available for you in the garden. Then, using watercolor paint, simulate those colors on a paint tray. By applying the watercolor paint in different combinations on a white cardboard, you can eventually arrive at the color combination which, if combined with a black background, reproduces the ambiance that you have in mind for your garden. For the most part LED lights will suffice.

When identifying the color possibilities in your garden, take all objects into consideration. That means you will have to note the color of any rock arrangements that you have. Include the colors of the walls of the house fronting the lawn, as well as the color of the driveway.

Ambience lighting effect

For patches of color that need not stand out starkly, use accent lights. These are LED lights that are dimmer than other types. You will also need to find a spot where the light can be camouflaged. If you are accenting rocky terrain, you might want to use accent lights embedded in synthetic rock to forego the need for hiding it.

You may also use accent lighting to draw out slightly the color of foliage if you need greens in your garden lighting. Accent lights will also be necessary if you have places in the lawn that you need to remember, such as the water faucets. But for this purpose, the light should be so dim as not to be noticed except by you…unless of course, that portion of the lawn takes part in the aesthetics of the garden lights.

Use accent lights to draw the attention to any special portion of the garden that is not immediately visible from the lawn. For instance, you will need accent lighting to mark where your grotto is. Be sure and plant tall plants alongside your hidden grotto so that the accent lights will have something to brighten.

Focus lighting effect

The areas whose colors will need to stand out in the garden picture you are painting need to have focus lights. These are somewhat brighter than accent lights. Use white light, the better for the colors to be emphasized. If the area you are lighting is a row of flowers, strip lights will be more appropriate than single-bulb lights. Make sure the strip bulbs are LED or CFL (compact fluorescent lights). These are directional lights. They make it possible to confine the illumination to a certain spot or strip of your lawn.

The advantage of using solar-powered lights

In order to prevent electric wiring from criss-crossing your lawn, you should use solar lights whenever you can. The modern bulbs are capable of emitting more than sufficient illumination for your garden. And you won’t need to worry about recharging the batteries if you place the lights in such a way that their solar panels enjoy the benefit of full sun when possible.

If you’d like to enhance your yard with Garden Lighting we have more great tools and resources on our website

An Insider’s Guide To Types And Uses Of Outdoor Garden Lighting

There a number of facts about garden lighting that only landscaping specialists would know. This arsenal of techniques revolves around the effective use of ambient lights, directional lights, solar panels, solar lighting, electrical lighting and an array of various functional deco. Below are definitions and information that may be useful for DIY lighting enthusiasts.

Ambient light

It is easy to deduce what ambient light refers to from its name. This is the kind of light that you see in your dining room and kitchen. When used in landscaping, it radiates all around from the bulb to fill the entire garden.

Directional light

Again, from its name, this type of light is focused on an area forwards of the light bulb. It is not generally used to illuminate the lawn and is more appropriate for bathing special objects with light.

Light can be ambient or directional by nature or by design

Some forms of light, for instance, incandescent and fluorescent, are suitable both for ambient and directional lighting. To transform it from ambient to directional you will only need to cuff the bulb to establish the area to be brightened. However, the focus of cuffed, ambient light tends to be more diffuse than that of lights which are directional by nature.

Other types are not suitable for ambient lighting. Such is the case with solar lights which typically project their light forward from the bulb in a rectangular area. Compact fluorescent light is also directional in nature. To establish an ambient effect with these, you will need to use reflectors and mirrors.

Uses of ambient light

Ambient light may be used as diffuse accent lights in the garden. To do this, you merely place an ambient light source behind the plants or under the tree that you want to accent. The area assumes a glow that is magical and mysterious. It were as if some hidden treasure was camouflaged behind the shrubbery. It is also used to provide illumination for garden pagodas and similar garden shelters.

Uses of directional light

This is the type of lighting that is encountered with focus or spot lights. They are used extensively by decorators for realizing color motifs in a garden. For their purposes, landscape artists will prefer using directional light sources such as solar or CFL bulbs rather than cuffed ambient sources because the focus is more defined.

Powering up solar lights

Few people realize that there is an angle at which the solar panels must be oriented to absorb sunlight best. In the first place, you need to make sure that the solar panels are facing the equator where the sun shines at its fullest. So if you live in the US or the UK, that will be in a southerly direction. If you live at the Southern tip of South America, you will need to face the panels northwards. The angle of the tilt should be equal to the latitude of your location. Obviously, if you live on the equator, the panel should face straight up.

LED lights aren’t the only ones that work with solar power

Although we usually hear of LED when the talk comes around to solar power, all types of lights will work with it. Remember that solar power is also electricity (taken from a renewable source, and hence, green). The only concern will be to have enough power in your solar batteries to sustain the light in the more power-intensive types of bulbs.

Garden Lighting – What You Need to Know About Spotlights

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.

Task lighting

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.

If you’d like to enhance your yard with Garden Lighting we have more great tools and resources on our website