What are the latest garden lighting trends?
There is a trend towards creating outdoor living spaces in the garden and enjoying what is most people’s single biggest asset – their home. Gardens are not simply to be looked at from a distance, but are to be enjoyed and experienced. We are finding that more and more people are investing in their gardens and commissioning the construction of designer outdoor living spaces. These spaces include decks, patios, pools, barbeque areas and fire pits and do not only add value to your property, but also draw you outside by giving you a destination in the garden. Lighting plays an important role in the design of such areas as it helps to set a comfortable atmosphere in the area and removes the restriction of only being able to use the area during daylight hours.
Garden lighting can add an incredible atmosphere to a garden, making the garden earn its keep as a part of your property that can be enjoyed late into the night
The move towards greener living is very prevalent in the green industry and eco-friendly homeowners are moving to low voltage garden lights as well as LED and solar-powered lights in order to save on energy consumption and reduce carbon footprints.
LED rope lights are very popular as the strand or ‘rope’ can fit into tight spaces and easily be concealed, allowing the light to be emitted as a soft glow without seeing the source. This works especially well in water features, swimming pools and under the edges of decking or built-in seating.
RGB (Red Green Blue) LED lights allow the colour of the light to be changed remotely at the push of a button, instantly changing the look and feel of the area.
Cordless rechargeable lights using LED technology add a modern touch to the contemporary garden. Activated by remote control, they are made out of an opaque plastic material and produce a coloured or white glow. They are waterproof and portable, making them ideal for marking out impromptu pathways in the lawn or perhaps float a few in the pool to add a little spice to that special celebration.
What eco-friendly/low-energy options are now available, like solar powered lighting?
Solar-powered lights are becoming more and more popular, saving money while reducing energy consumption. As technology improves over time, batteries are made to charge quicker with less light and provide energy for a longer time. Light bulbs also become more efficient, using less power to emit more light, resulting in greater energy efficiency and better products for the consumer and of course for the planet. Aside from reducing energy consumption, solar-powered lights offer an additional advantage in that they do not require any wiring and can therefore be placed almost anywhere in the garden, as long as they have enough sunlight in order to charge their batteries during the day.
Solar-powered garden lights often include a function to turn on automatically after dark, so it’s a ‘set and forget’ product that is truly low maintenance.
LED lights are a low-energy option for mains-powered lights. These eco-friendly products do not use mercury in their production and can last up to 100 times longer than incandescent globes. Although the initial cost is currently substantially higher than that of incandescent globes, as technology improves and demand grows, the number of manufacturers will grow and increase competitiveness and so prices will begin to drop to more affordable levels.
What functions do garden lights perform: paths for safety, lighting entertainment areas, creating dramatic effects, focal points etc?
Lighting can take many forms in the garden and can be tailored to suit numerous different types of applications. For example, a water feature that would otherwise be invisible to the eye after dark can be transformed by a single underwater spot light, creating an elegant feature that makes a statement at night.
Bollards and floor-mounted lights can lead your way along a path at night as well as provide a warm and inviting look for the garden in the evening.
Spot lights can light up tree canopies and artwork in the garden. In the case of statues, display pots and other artwork it is preferable to use a spot light from the left and the right side in order 天花燈 to add depth to the piece – a single spot light in the front or from one side tends to create a comparatively ‘flat’ or two-dimensional look.
Lights can serve a more practical function in the garden by forming part of the security system or providing much needed visibility at the barbeque. Lighting is an important element in the garden – it’s simply a question of determining what purpose the lights are to serve and then selecting the correct product according to your taste and budget.
Which type of light is best for which scenario – up lighters/down lighters/back lighting etc – and what effect does each create?
A very ordinary garden during the day can be made to look like something quite extraordinary at night. It’s similar to the way ladies use makeup in order to conceal features which they do not like and exaggerate those that they are proud of. Artificial light (any light source other than the sun) is like makeup for your garden. It is predictable and can be manipulated in order to enhance certain objects and change the look and feel of an area that would appear completely different during daylight hours.
Concealed uplighters are an excellent way to light up tree canopies, tree trunks and tall pillars or columns. Floor-mounted uplighters can also be installed behind plant pots in order to create a silhouette.
Downlighters will create shadows on the ground, which are created by leaves, branches and other obstructions that are in the path of the light.
Backlighting creates a silhouette which is formed by the object that is placed in front of the light. Objects that have bold or distinct shapes work well when backlit.
How does the gardener decide which features to light up, and which to leave?
The type of lighting to be used is largely determined by the effect that is to be created as well as the way that the area is to be used. For example, a garden patio may have subtle lighting that will create a comforting, relaxing atmosphere, whereas a fire pit area may use a central fire as the only light source.
Too many lights spread throughout the garden will tend to look utilitarian rather than homely. Focal points such as large specimen trees, feature walls or art work benefit from lighting. Quite often it is the features that you enjoy in your garden during the day that you tend to also want to see after dark.
Lighting is best to fine tune at night, when one can see the effect of the different types of lights as well as that of the sheer number of lights proposed.
One can install different circuits of lights in the garden, each suited to a different purpose; one for entertaining, perhaps lighting up all of the outdoor patios, one that only lights up feature areas such as garden statues or a water feature, and one that uses motion sensors in order to form part of your security system. This will provide you with different functionality that can be used for different occasions.