In summer one wants to spend more time outdoors, and even when it gets dark one does not want to leave the garden. To make it comfortable and enjoyable in the garden at night, it is advisable to think about the lighting of the plot.
There are two types of lighting – one is needed for beauty, and the other provides the necessary illumination of dangerous and important places on the site (the entrance to the house and other buildings, paths, parking lots, ponds, recreation areas, bridges, steps).
Technical Features of Lighting
When buying fixtures for the garden, it is important that they are not made for the room, but for the street, and the internal parts were protected from moisture, dust, snow. Luminaires for the street are marked with letters IP, a good level of protection provides a mark of at least IP44. The most suitable material for the luminaire is stainless steel and aluminum alloys. The inside of the lantern mount should ideally be painted or treated against corrosion.
Electrical wiring for street lighting is either 12V or 220V. The first option requires a step-down transformer and is safer for humans. The second option must necessarily be laid with observance of safety rules: the cable is laid in a corrugated tube, placed on a sandy base, deepened into the ground by 50-70 cm away from the foundation, trees and shrubs, the connection scheme must have a RCD and a switch.
For ease of use, the lighting system can be built in a relay that will turn on the lights at nightfall, it is installed on the street. There are relays that enter the geographic location of the site, and automation itself calculates the time of sunset and turn on the lights. In controlled lighting systems, you can set the time to turn off the lights, after turning them on manually. This option is especially suitable for parking lots: you come home, turn on the light, put the car and go to the house, the light goes off by itself. You can install a motion sensor, and then the light will turn on when a person walks on the path, for example. An additional advantage of such a system is the protection against intruders.
In an effort to illuminate the site as best as possible at night, do not forget that bright spotlights installed at a height can interfere with your neighbors, so use the illumination from below and the so-called marking lights to mark the boundaries of areas. Do not point the spotlights in your eyes.
To save electricity, you can use fluorescent, halogen and LED lights instead of incandescent bulbs. Long-lasting and easy to use fiber optic lighting systems can even be used in water. Do not require electricity and wiring solar-powered lanterns, there are quite a few options on the market for such lights, even a child can install them. They give a little light, but they are suitable for garden decoration. And another big advantage of such lights is the ability to move them without digging the earth, bored with lighting bushes, moved the lanterns and illuminate the flower bed.
Do not forget also that you will need to change light bulbs or fix the wiring, so the light fixture should be available.
Decorative Garden And Home Lighting
Decorative lighting in the garden is used for paths, alpine slides, flowerbeds, compositions, retaining walls, small architectural forms, lawns, benches, in general, for everything you would like to emphasize.
Light can be warm or cold. To make the garden and the house look harmonious, it is desirable to use lights of close light temperature. Even in decorative lighting, it is important that the lights look harmonious and in the daytime, and at night they were not too much.
Powerful lighting on poles from above is used mainly for technical needs, it does not give a beautiful effect, only floods the space with light. To create an atmosphere of romance, coziness in the garden, to emphasize some forms or plants use lighting from below. At the time of the holidays additionally use bright lights and illuminated figures.
Lighting can be spot, directional or diffused. There is a whole direction that deals with landscape lighting. With the help of directional light can be allocated on the house or on the site some individual elements, and in the garden – the plants. Depending on their distance from the spotlight is selected a certain power: too bright light, aimed, for example, at the tree will not give a beautiful effect, as it will light it up and remove the volume and texture. Therefore, you need a small power and frosted glass to keep the shadows and depth.
A spotlight installed under the tree and directed upwards will emphasize its crown, and installed on top will create a moonlight effect, especially if it is a cool bluish light. If you mark the lantern behind an object, you will accentuate its shape. If you want to admire a particular plant at night, install a light in front of it. In shrubs, you can install the lights right inside. For lighting large compositions, a diffused light is more suitable.
For terraces and arbors you can use Chinese lanterns, garlands, beautiful floor lamps, perimeter lighting. If you plan to arrange frequent gatherings at the table, it is better if not very bright light will fall from above. Relevant here will be hidden in the elements of finishing: in the floor, in the steps, in the railing.
For track lighting the easiest and most versatile are poles 30 to 60 cm in height, on top of which is a light source. They are easy to use, can be electrically wired or solar-powered. It looks beautiful when there is a clear rhythm in the arrangement of lights.
Also available in a metal frame fixtures that are built directly into the ground and they can be stepped on. Lights are made, imitating the paving, they are built directly into the track at the stage of construction of the track.
Underwater lights, floating battery-operated lights are used to illuminate ponds. To increase the depth of the pond, the light is directed across the surface into the depths. For safety, the borders of the pond, bridges and paths are also better illuminated.
A huge number of decorative lanterns are sold in stores, imitating, for example, stones, night moths, flowers. There are also containers for flowers, which begin to shine at night, gaining daytime solar energy and all kinds of geometric shapes (balls, pyramids, cubes), glowing even matte light and create the effect of an unearthly flying object.
If you like to make your own hands, you can probably make luminous decorations with your own hands. It can be light garlands from tin cans, old records, housewares, glass jars and candles.