Friday, October 11, 2013
Adding lighting to your outdoor or entertainment areas extends the amount of time you can spend relaxing in the garden. Whether you choose solar lights, or have an electrical point put in for low-voltage lights, installing outdoor lighting adds to your home in more ways than one.
Lighting is essential for outdoor areas such as paths, walkways, steps and changes in level, which are dangerous enough in the daylight.
Outdoor lighting is a practical must-have, which allows homeowners to set the scene and change the landscape.
Basic lighting plan
Before you rush out and buy outdoor lighting, take the time to draw up a plan which outlines where you’ll be placing the lights. Not only will this aid you with selecting the right type of lighting, but it will also make it easier to work out how to lay the electrical installation for your new lights.
Bear in mind that the further away from the building, the more expensive it will be to install. If you have a swimming pool pump, electrical cabling can sometimes be extended from this point with the addition of an extra switch.
Consider security in your outdoor spaces by placing the spotlight on dark corners where intruders may hide.
Placing outdoor lights
You can use outdoor lighting to add design elements to a plain garden by lighting interesting foliage plants, structures, features or statuary.
Install outdoor lighting to illuminate paths or walkways, and to ensure that steps or uneven ground is well-lit for safety.
Unless you already have an outdoor plug point, you will need to have a professional electrician install a covered plug point for you. These guys know the correct cabling to use and will ensure that proper earth leakage protection is installed.
Where possible, have cables mounted onto walls rather than buried into the ground, because this way you’ll know exactly where the cables are located.
Outdoor fittings should be housed in a water-tight fitting which is designed to withstand the elements. However, these fittings aren't maintenance-free and should be given attention from time to time to ensure that any rust that appears is removed, and ensure the life of the fitting.
While solar garden lights don't use electricity and are easy to install, they do have their disadvantages. For example, to get them fully charged, they need to be placed in direct sunlight for at least four hours, which limits the process to daytime hours.
They do not have a high-light output and the brightness is determined by the wattage and quality of individual lights.
Installed with a transformer, low-voltage lights are energy efficient. This type of lighting uses LEDs for illumination and is primarily used for decorative lighting for paths and walkways, borders and beds and on patios, decks and entertainment areas.
Install low-voltage lighting so that fittings are hidden behind foliage or plants to create a soft silhouette effect.
You can also install them for illuminating dark areas in the garden.
Go ahead and light up your garden for entertaining. Whether you choose solar power, low-voltage or outdoor lighting fitted with CFL globes, bear in mind that the key to successful garden lighting is that it should never be overdone. All you need are a few well chosen and carefully placed fittings.
Article courtesy of www.home-dzine.co.za