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.
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.
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.