We touched on landscape lighting in last months decor trends article. This month I wanted to look at garden lighting in a little more detail.
From post and wall lights to solar powered and security lights, good garden lighting can make your outdoor space by extending use into the evening, and create visual interest from inside the home at night.
And Lazy Susan is here to help share a few tips and tricks to help you light up your garden with style. Be it for entertaining, relaxing, beauty, security, and safety, modern solar powered outdoor lighting is the perfect choice for creating impact.
Garden solar lights work all year round, they’re powered by the sun, so no spiralling electricity costs.
The development of high-efficiency LED garden lighting has made solar powered lights the practical choice. Whether you need lights for a pathway, security, or entertaining friends, there’s a variety of solar powered lights to choose from.
They store the sun’s energy during the day so that it can shine bright light at night, providing a low cost and easy way to illuminate your garden.
How Solar Garden Lights Work
Without getting too techy, solar cells at the top of the light fitting charge the battery during the day, while at night, the internal battery is used to power an LED light. The light is entirely self-contained in the housing unit, so no need for wires to an external power supply.
The most common type of solar lights come with a long ground spike at the bottom, so that they can be easily planted anywhere in the garden, but there is a wide range on the market, from wall mounted to post lights.
Internal Battery Type
I have to be honest with you here, the big downside of solar lights is generally the internal battery. Most rechargeable batteries will only last a few years at best, before they start to wear out. Ideally, try and go for the solar lights that use rechargeable AA batteries so that they can be easily replaced when needed.
Unfortunately, information on the type of battery used is sometimes not often available, especially when buying online, so please make sure you do your research and avoid if they’re not replaceable. And if you’re buying from a shop, permission can be obtained from the sales staff to open up the packaging and check if the battery can be replaced.
Generally speaking, solar powered garden lighting that can store enough energy to last all night, are rare and expensive. 2 to 6 hours of illumination is what I would expect from your average ‘high street’ light. Plus this will slowly reduce as the batteries age, hence the need for them to be replaceable.
Performance will also be reduced if there isn’t enough light to fully charge the battery, for example in shady locations, during winter and when its rainy/cloudy.
Danger of Theft
Another aspect to be aware of is the fact they’re easy to install, means they’re also easy to remove. The ground staked style solar lights can be easily stolen by just pulling them out of the ground. If this is a concern (especially in the front garden), then you need to consider cementing them into place.
Environmentally Friendly Lighting?
All forms of lighting have some environmental impact, be it internal or garden:
- Fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, so disposal is an issue
- Incandescent (tungsten filament) bulbs use significantly more electricity
- Solar lights use rechargeable batteries, which need to be replaced every few years
Benefits of Solar Garden Lighting
However, that’s the negatives out the way… What solar powered garden lighting will do is add a whole new dimension to your outdoor space. Landscape lighting is a wonderful accessory, often overlooked, but one that will greatly enhance the beauty of your garden.
You can choose from traditional lighting schemes that illuminate focal points to patio party lights that decorate your garden and illuminate your outdoor dining space. A carefully considered lighting scheme can transform your garden:
- Add Character
You can express your individual style and add personality to your outdoor area with unique solar lights. There’s some really stylish and quirky options on the market.
- Create a Focal Point
Highlight a beautiful focal point such as a water feature or garden ornament and let it take centre stage at night with an outdoor solar spotlight.
- Add Ambience to Your Patio
Imagine sitting out on your deck in the evening with softly glowing deck lighting creating the perfect atmosphere for your outdoor dinner party.
- Go for Function and Style
Many outdoor lights do more than simply provide light, so look for the special features. You can get multi-coloured lights that let you set moods, multi-directional so that when fixed you can still shine light to different parts of the garden.
Lighting pathways, adding ambience, highlighting a focal point, solar lights are the ideal solution. By using the sun’s energy, they provide a smart and more eco-friendly solution for illuminating your garden.
Different Types of Solar Garden Lighting
- Deck Lighting
These lights are suitable for decking, gravel, paths and garden borders and ideal for safety highlighting of edges and steps. These lights are energy efficient and economical to run. They are available in stainless steel, natural copper and brass finishes.
- LED Lights
These LED lights offer low-level discreet illumination and never need replacing. They are highly suitable for decks, paths, steps and driveways. High intensity LEDs are capable of producing 65536 colours at 256 levels of brightness.
- Hanging Garden Lights
These hanging lights are compact and can be fixed in walls or pillars. These lights look fabulous while hanging from trees or a pergola.
- Rope Lights
These flexible lights are weather and force resistant. They are ideal for highlighting the edges of steps, decking, trellising and water features of your garden. Rope lights are ideal for parties.
- Spot Lights
Spotlights are used for lighting up walkways or highlighting trees and landscapes at night. They are available as LED spotlights; miniature spotlights and pole mount spotlights.
- Solar Lights
You can brighten up your garden with solar stakes and solar mini lights to light up the garden path. The solar panel recharges the batteries. These lights automatically turn on at dusk.
The festive-lights.com website have an excellent range of solar garden lights, and I would highly recommend taking a look at their extensive range.