How To Choose Garden Lighting - DIY At Bunnings
How to Choose Garden Lighting
Solar-powered and electric lights can add some much needed ambiance to your garden at night. Lighting is important in the garden. It provides both safety and security, plus it adds decoration and beauty. Whatever you're wanting to do, you'll need to pick different kinds of lights for different purposes in your garden.
Choosing Lighting for Safety
Pick stake lights for pathways.These lights are brighter than ambient lights, so they're meant to go along pathways. They're also easy to install because they have stakes built in, so you can just push or hammer them into the ground as needed.
- Lighted paths make it easier to get around outside at night. Solar-powered lights work well to illuminate pathways because you don't need a cord that could trip people up. A good option is solar-powered stake lights, which have a solar panel on each light.
- You should use more solar-powered lights than you would use if you were using electric lights, as they aren't quite as bright.
Add lights to your deck.Deck lights provide ambient lighting and are easy to attach to what you already have in place. They make it easier for people to get around without tripping, much like pathway lights, plus they help people see any obstacles in the way. Just make sure you choose lights that are bright enough to illuminate the area.
- You could use something decorative and practical, such as a string of lantern lights.
Place lights on stairs.It's also good to include lights on stairs for safety. It's especially important to illuminate stairs that aren't obvious, such as steps down into your garden. However, adding lights to all stairs is a good idea, to help keep people from tripping and falling.
- Try using stake lights, mini spotlights, or even rope lights over stairs.
Picking Lighting for Security Purposes
Use wall-lights and mini floodlights for security.To light up areas like your front and back doors, choose a brighter light that illuminates the whole area. Wall lights are a good option, as are mini floodlights. These lights can be both decorative and practical, as they help to keep crime at bay.
- Make sure to think about your neighbors when placing your lights. You don't want a floodlight that shines directly into someone's bedroom.
Install lights on timers or motion sensors.When lighting up your porch or back door for security purposes, it's a good idea to set up lights that will turn on by themselves. You can choose ones that are motion-activated, so they light up when anyone walks by. You can also install ones that are set to come on at dusk and turn off in the morning, thereby automatically lighting up the area through the night.
- To keep your energy bill low, use LED or other low-energy lights.
Try electric lights for more reliability.High-quality solar-powered lights can provide steady light, but they are less reliable overall than wired lights because they need sunlight to charge. Plus, they tend to wear out quicker. Electric lights, on the other hand, tend to be more reliable. They will provide lighting as long as they have working light bulbs and you have power.
Deciding on Decorative Lighting
Highlight areas you love with spotlights.Spotlights are great to use judiciously around your yard and house. They can be used to point to things you'd like your guests to see, even at night, such as sculptures and architectural highlights. Of course, these should never be pointed so they'd shine in someone's eyes. Rather, these lights should be pointed upward or downward at an angle, away from where people will be.
- Try using mini spotlights so you don't overwhelm your yard with lights.
- You can even use colorful spotlights on plain walls for a bit of extra pizzazz.
Add other ambient lights.Ambient lights can be placed around your yard to provide a soft glow. They are often decorative, such as lights surrounded by colorful glass or small lanterns with LEDs. Keep in mind, these lights will likely not be enough on their own for people to walk around.
Pick solar lights where you don't need as much light.Solar-powered lights have come a long way as far as brightness goes because of the use of LED bulbs, but they're not as bright as electrical. That makes them a better choice for decorative purposes rather than security purposes.
Deciding Between Solar-Powered and Electric Lights
Pick solar-powered lights if you want something easy-to-install.Most solar power lights just require you to stake the light into the ground or hang it up if it's a wire. You don't need to do anything fancy, as you would if you wire in electrical lights. Plus, these lights are easy to replace or fix if something goes wrong.
Use solar lights to keep your electricity bill low.Solar-powered lights, as the name implies, are powered by the sun. They have a battery inside that is charged during the day while the sun is out. That means they won't add cost to your electricity bill. The downside is they need to be placed where they get sunlight during the day.
- If you want solar-powered lights in the shade, you can have a landscaper hook them up to a solar panel that's in full sunlight.
Choose electric lights in darker cities.Solar-powered lights are great in places that receive a good deal of sunshine every day. However, if you live somewhere that is cloudy most of the time, your lights won't be as bright. Choosing electrically powered lights may be a better option for you.
Pick electric lighting if you're able to call in a professional.While you can study up to wire your yard with electrical lights, this job is generally best left to a professional. They know how to wire your garden so the wires are hidden and the lights are laid out well.
QuestionI bought driveway stake lights and my yard started dying a few weeks after I installed them. Is this normal?
HorticulturistHorticulturistExpert AnswerI wouldn’t call this normal. Your grass may not have been acclimated yet to the extra light during the night time. However, this is unlikely because your grass probably gets some light during the night anyway from outdoor lights on your house or street lights. Depending on how dark your yard normally is at night, it’s possible your stake lights were the cause.Thanks!
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