Garden Lights for Security, Safety or Features?
Garden lights for effects or garden lighting for security and safety, the choice is endless.
PIR security lights, low voltage lighting, walkway lighting, external power boxes and right down to decking or wall lights, making the right choice depends on budget but safety is always paramount when it comes to installing of any lights.
Seek a local electrician for the job, regardless of your DIY skills, the risk of electric shock is real. Get the professionals in to do the job and have your lights wired correctly.
Garden lights are probably the most effective feature when used to light up foliage, trees or garden features.
Trees are beautiful and graceful in a garden of any size. They add structure and a sense of instant maturity to a garden. Yet, when we think of planting our gardens up, we often forget to include trees in the design. Trees are also useful as they attract beneficial insects and birds into the garden. They also absorb carbon dioxide which helps clean the air.
Lighting a tree effectively creates a beautiful focal point in the garden. Big and small trees can be shown off to their full potential when lit correctly.
Low voltage lighting such as the 12v lights are energy saving and a step up from the cheap solar powered garden lights.
Garden paths and side alleyways should always be lit up for safety reasons and also security aspect.
Wall lights with motion detectors such as PIR’s are common for gardens that want that extra security in the garden. Maximising your time in the garden.
Solar V’s Mains Lights
Most choices depend on budget and the need of lighting reasons.
Outdoor LED solar lights can be a lifesaver when mains power lights are simply not an option, but how do they measure up to hardwired electric lights? And what if your garden is shady or you live somewhere that rarely sees the sun?
Mains vs Solar Lighting
Solar LED lights can’t compete with mains powered lights where brightness is concerned in most cases. That said, high quality solar lights can be seriously bright these days and often surprise customers that are used to cheaper lights. From here on in it’s all good news.
Solar LED lights are simpler and safer to install, they are free to run, they give you the freedom to put lights anywhere and they are environmentally friendly. Utility lights, such as our high powered solar security lights, also provide a great backup in the event of power cuts which seem to be becoming increasingly common these days.
Location, location, location!
So, what if you live in the UK and you don’t have that perfect south facing garden? Designing solar LED garden lights that work year round in the UK is a real challenge, so we are constantly looking for new ways to innovate around the problem. We’ve added some great features to our lights in recent years which include USB charging and Power saving Technology.
Our enhanced USB charging technology on our Lumify USB Solar Fairy Lights gives our customers the option to fully charge their lights quickly and easily via USB in. Once fully charged by USB, Lumify can run for weeks in dull winter conditions with very little help form the sun. More and more of our products now feature Power saving technology.
At the flick of a switch you can put the solar LED lights into Power-saving mode which reduces brightness slightly in return for doubling runtime each night. We advise customers with challenging locations to use Power-saving mode when the clocks go back in October and then put them back into standard mode when the clocks go forward in March.
Garden lighting requires power unless you’re using DIY solar powered fittings. If you’re landscaping your garden, provision for cabling with ducting. Consider the length of the cable runs; cable run length will dictate where your drivers (for LED fittings) need to be located. Consider how you are going to control the lights and whether additional control cabling needs to be run
Use the right fittings
It might be midsummer but we rarely forget it rains quite a lot in the UK. Water and electricity don’t play nicely together so select fittings with the correct IP (Ingress Protection) rating for your application. IP ratings (e.g. IP20, IP65 etc) describe the level of protection offered by fittings against solids and liquids. Since it’s water ingress we’re concerned with here we’ll focus on the second number. You really shouldn’t be using anything less than an IPx3 rated fitting for external lighting.
- IPx3: Protects against water sprayed from up to 60° from the vertical – rain-proof. Allows limited ingress. A lot of lanterns carry an IPx3 rating.
- IPx4: Protects against water splashed from all directions – splash proof.
- IPx5: Protects against low-pressure jets of water from all directions – jet-proof.
- IPx6: Protects against strong jets of water (or heavy seas…).
- IPx7: Protects against temporary immersion down to 1m – water-tight. Not suitable for permanent immersion.
- IPx8: Protects against permanent immersion at the specified water depth – water-tight at the specified pressure.