Installing a garden lighting scheme is one of the best investments you can initiate. Not only will it double the value of your garden by providing an exciting alternative experience, by creating views to illuminated exterior elements, may dramatically enhance the mood, ambience and aesthetic quality of your interior settings.
Bearing the above as their objective and the fact that Ireland has among the cheapest ambient light levels in Europe, it's disappointing that lighting is so underutilised by Irish garden ex's. While it has certainly grown in popularity over the last decade, the glaring truth is that the vast majority of garden lighting in Ireland is ill conceived, poorly considered and badly installed. That will help avoid the common pitfalls and get the most out of your nocturnal garden, I've put together a general guide with some useful tips and advice.
A spotlight on the pitfalls.
With a little insight, it's simple to get garden lighting right. Unfortunately, most people don't give it an extra thought and typically stumble into can a big pitfalls. The ones which can easily avoid include;
Being seen from space. Good lighting is about subtly but this often escapes potential illuminators. Instead of lighting everything, pick a few key elements and light your crooks to create a specific mood. Remember, for lighting to be perceived, it end up being complemented with darkness. Use too much and you'll wash out the garden, annoy your neighbours and run the risk of confusing air traffic. Less is always more.
Halt, who goes there? Invest in appropriate lighting units made to do work right. Using wall-mounted floodlights will not create a desirable effect and tend to be likely even worse people feel uncomfortable.
See the sunlight. It might be obvious but light is related to light, not about lighting units. When placing lighting units, do your utmost to ensure that they are concealed from view which is viewers see nothing however the lighting effect you should achieve. If lighting units have to be visible, pay a little extra and buy discreet, high quality ones. The same can be said of cabling. Bury cables to manufacturers specification and avoid trailing them around planting beds!
Rabbit in the headlights. When placing lights you need to make sure that garden viewers aren't exposed to glare. I've visited plenty of gardens through the years where upon turning most I found myself blinded with light glare. It requires a little thought, but correct placement and orientation of the unit and beam makes huge difference.
Green lumination. For various reasons, many people choose store-bought solar lighting contraptions. If you're considering this as an option, save your money. I've never seen a solar light work successfully in the domestic situation and worse still, they may be ugly, cheaply manufactured bollards that break within a few months. If you want conserve the world, you'd far superior manufacturing you keep candles. Previously mentioned noted, systems are available which work from a centralised board but power control remains an issue.
Cheap cheap! You don't have to spend a lot of money on lighting you can if a lot but remember to invest in quality accessories. Cheap, store bought equipment rarely satisfies and is actually prone to breakage.
Failing to organize. If you are having the garden designed or landscaped, ask your designer/contractor for a lighting intend. A lighting plan is a simple drawing, which illustrates light positions, lit elements and overall mood.
Miss the boat. Even if your budget doesn't accommodate the installing lighting units, ensure that you have not cables installed while any major works are being carried elsewhere. Cable is relatively inexpensive and becoming invest inside light units later on. It's far more expensive, time consuming and disruptive to put in a lighting system after a yard has been constructed.
So seeing that I've highlighted some of the pitfalls, lets take a quick look at how to carry out designing a scheme.
As almost all designed elements, the design for a lighting scheme begins using a brief, so before you rush to your local supplier, make use of the following information to formulate a solid lighting limited.
What could be the function among the lighting?
Lighting can be divided into three broad categories; effect, functional and security. Information is focusing on the former two it might must be noted that effect and functional lighting has indicated to do the same thing as those hideous heat-detecting floodlights. Where I refer to functional lighting, I'm talking about step lights, illumination for a dining areas, lights for external buildings and such like. Functional lighting should be kept as subtle as possible; they should perform their task with more.
What mood/response do you need to evoke?
Intimate, dramatic, inviting, calming, compositional quite a few. Different moods can be created using different lighting. See the end of this guide for introducing the many forms of effects easy use in garden occurrences.
What garden elements are worth illuminating?
Trees, plants, architectural features and the like. For an average suburban garden, you might pick three key elements to rays.
From what sort of the lighting be looked at?
Consider viewing points, inside, outside and from neighbouring properties. There is very little point in installing lighting that body fat see or which is likely to annoy your neighbours. Consider both seated and standing view ideas.
Light is rightfully considered a form of pollution and you should always careful to ensure it is as contained as just as possible.
How many circuits and switches?
It's much better to include additional circuits during an install than later on so don't be tempted get short haircuts. As a minimum, I usually incorporate four circuits; one for effect lighting, one for functional lighting, one for external power/features and another one in the. If you have an important plot you will have to include a great number of circuits as voltage diminishes the longer the signal. Make sure you have your switches installed a good appropriate location within household.
How much do Groundbreaking, i was spend?
As I mentioned above, have a look spend a profit but it is necessary that you buy quality equipment. If you are having a garden landscaped but don't have benefit the plan for lights, then your best advice I provide is to use the cables installed during the build. Cabling is not too expensive and you'll be able to add light units a few. If possible, purchase equipment from just an electrical wholesaler rather when compared with retail avenue. Most wholesalers will provide you along with a brochure all of which usually share their expert consultancy.
What type of power?
Garden lights are powered into two ways, mains and lv. Mains fed systems work directly on a standard voltage while low voltage utilises a transformer to reduce it. The first sort remains the most popular in Ireland as it does not require additional equipment that's available in greater collection. Although requiring the inclusion of a transformer, low voltage carries extra safety rewards. In addition, when coupled with LED lighting, the running price is a fraction of a mains fed system.
Most lighting available from retailers is low voltage and typically comes with a plug in transformer. From experience, the DIY systems are rarely satisfactory.
Both pores and skin power are entirely safe when installed correctly.
What kind of light?
Surely light is delicate? Well yes and no. The a variety of forms of garden light available and all do their job better. The most popular forms of garden lighting include standard incandesant (just like your story have in your house), LED (the same light used for large displays, TVs as on) and fibre optics (just like those 70's lamps!).
While standard incandescent lamps are still the most popular form of lamp discovered in gardens, these are being replaced with more effective types, particularly LED. LED has happen a lot in the rest is distributed decade and initial difficulty with light power and colour spectrum have largely been overcome. LED will become industry standard in Ireland within 5-10 years.
Fibre optics has not taken off in Ireland despite perfect efforts within the couple of dedicated services. The advantages of fibre optics include; the range of colour effects that could be created, one light source for many points of light and no heat emission from light points. The disadvantages primarily center around the specialisation and expensive installation.
How I decide amongst the three usually comes down to a balance of budget and room or space. If a client has both to spare, I'll go for fibre optics. In the massive majority of cases I stick with mains fed incandescent.
The beam angle of a real light expresses its are spread around. The beam angle can be altered through the usage of bulbs or specific light units. Simply put, if you have a narrow element to light, you'd use a narrow beam, if for instance, you are uplighting the canopy of a big tree, you'd use several beam approach.
Standard beam widths are 12, 24, 36 and 60 degrees
Unless you're trying to produce a specific mood and have a suitable garden space, I'd stick to white light fixture. Most people prefer it and coloured lights can sometimes create a funfair consequences.
Who will install so it?
Unless you might be a qualified electrician I'd steer well clear of external electrics. Even with years of experience, I'd never consider working myself. High quality electrician ought to be do it for your. If you don't have access several good sparks, then call Dublin based, Alan Coyne (087 9874221), he's designed for in the company and is great value for cash.
If you've managed to digest facts above, you should be fairly clear about what you'd in order to achieve and just how you might go with it. If you're still unsure, seek professional expertise. Even a short consultation with a lighting trained designer will prove lighting up.
Below are a number of commonly used lighting effects plus this brief glossary of lighting terms, technical information and links to suppliers websites.
Single point up-lighting
This is the most common regarding lighting damage. A lighting unit is placed beneath a desired element along with the beam angle points in the upward direction. Be careful when using this effect to ensure that the beam doesn't cause unwanted glare or light spill over into neighbouring properties.
Multi point uplighting
Where an lit element can be observed from several points you can wish to use a number of lights. If glare is going to be an issue, consider using below ground units using a directional louver, this will ensure that light is directed in any certain direction.
As title suggests, moonlighting mimics can definitely of the moon. Typically, a downward light is concealed around the trunk of a large specimen tree and light is angled to filter down your foliage. Moonlighting can be an aesthetic alternative to omni security lights.
Downlighting is just like moonlighting but is normally used to illuminate social spaces. Use lower wattage, overlapping beams to create a desirable effect and evade over-lighting.
Creating dramatic shadows is a personal favourite of my personal own. It involves exploiting light in combination with interesting plant forms and difficult flat concrete. Think of the surface as a canvas and shadow simply because artistic way.
This effect is manufactured by using a lit wall to silhouette an element placed all of the foreground. Dramatic effects is realistic where an effectively structured tree or statue are tucked within front of a flat surface.
Spot lighting involves the lighting on a specifc goal. This can be achieved using up, down or side lighting and consideration should gain to beam angle, orientation and the concealment within the light ac unit.
This is really a form of functional lighting which is commonly employed for the purposes of visibility. The most common form of units includes in-ground/wall LEDs and bollards. If you might be intending make use of of the latter, please be sure that the unit is discreet and that is features some element of shielding lessen glare.
This to get extremely popular over covered ten years and typically requires the placement of small, recessed, LED lights within patio decking. I've never specified them myself as I feel they belong in dance clubs and not gardens!
Common lighting terms
Colour Rendering Index: A rating scale for light sources (lamps) from 0 to 100 to indicate how accurately colours can be perceived beneath a light root. The higher the CRI, the more accurately colours crop up. Technically, CRI ratings should only be compared for lamps concentrating on the same color heat range.
Footcandle: When one lumen of sunshine falls for a 1-square-foot surface, the resultant illumination level is one foot candlestick. One foot-candle equals one lumen per square foot.
IP Ratings: The rating the garden lighting product (luminaire) emerged to show its resistance to particles on the atmosphere and also its resistance to water. The pioneer number is resistance to particles as well as the second number shows the resistance to water.
Light: Light is subdivided by different wavelengths into colours. Light with the shortest wavelength is considered violet while light that's not a problem longest wavelength is violet. Light is altered by addition such that white light results via the proper combined red, green, and glowing blue.
Lamp: This is actually the industry term for is actually commonly refered to like a bulb.
Luminaire: This can be the industry term for industry or fixture that holds a source of light (lamp).
Lumens: light output is measured in lumens 100-watt incandescent bulb produces 1750 lumens. Lumens can be thought of as the measurement for the flow rate of light in weight.
Transformer: A device for changing voltage, typically from 240v to reduced voltage. The reason for this particular really is that when garden lighting it a lot safer and easier to run cables across beds and lawns in order to run mains voltage.
Voltage Drop When running distances in 12 volts the cable needs become matched to your load and distance. Otherwise you may develop less than 12 volts at the end of the cable run. This particular not can damage the luminaire but when the voltage drop is large then the light produced will have a slightly yellow effect and additionally appered slightly dulled.
Wattage: Load required to power or even more an associated with garden lighting fittings.