How to Transform Your Garden into a Magical Oasis with LED Lighting
There's nothing quite like enjoying a summer night in your garden. The warm weather, the fresh air, and the general sounds of nature are all part of the experience. But what if you could add even more to the enjoyment of your summer nights? That's where garden lighting comes in. Garden lighting can transform your outdoor space into a magical oasis. It can create a sense of ambiance and relaxation, and it can even help to deter pests. But with so many different types available, it can be difficult to know where to start and what to choose. That's why we've put together this brief guide where we'll discuss the different types of garden lighting products available, as well as the benefits of using each type. We'll also provide some tips for choosing, installing and controlling garden lighting.
Ambient Lighting for Summer Nights
One of the best things about garden lighting is that it can create a sense of ambient lighting. Ambient lighting is soft, diffused light that creates a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. It's perfect for those summer nights, when you want to enjoy the outdoors without being blinded by bright lights and when you want to stay out after the sun goes down. There are several different ways to create ambient lighting in your garden. You can use ground lights, decking lights, or even LED string lights. The key is to choose lights that emit a soft, warm glow.
Recessed ground lights are mounted into concrete or decking and provide a minimalist but bright lighting effect. While they can be tricky to install, they can add an additional layer of light and help to improve your garden lighting effect. Ground lights come in various cut out sizes from smaller styles which are sometimes called marker lights at around 16mm to larger and more brighter versions that go up to 300mm.
Colour changing ground lights are a popular choice as they give you the option to cycle through all of the primary colours. In recent years the more warmer colour tones such as 2700K have become increasingly popular. They provide more of an ambient style of light, that's easier on the eye and creates a more soothing lighting effect.
The more cost-effective style of ground light option; generally purchased in kits, LED decking lights aren't as substantial as ground lights. They're not manufactured from the same type of steel and only used in decking, not in stone. They’re not as bright but are easier to install and cost less. Supplied in plug and play kits, you just plug the lights into the LED driver and away you go. We also have a new selection of smart LED decking lights that work with voice activated systems such as Alexa, Google Home. These are known as the Baru from Forum Lighting and are available in 30mm or 45mm sizes.
LED String Lights
LED string lights have become a popular choice for outdoor lighting due its bright and flexible design. Its basically a series of lamp holders that are connected together with cable. You can fit whichever E27 lamp you like but the most popular lamp is an extra warm white LED at around 2200K. LED string lights can be used on fence panels, around the perimeter of your garden or hung anywhere you like. They provide a bright, yet soft glow and are easy to install. The Forum Hardy shown below operates on 230V and comes with 20 lamp holders with 480mm spacing distances between each light.
LED Strip Tape
LED strip tape is widely regarded as the best invention of the LED lighting era, its flexible design offers truly limitless capabilities. Outdoor LED strip tape is rated at IP68 which means its totally waterproof and dust resistant, it's even submersible. Not only can it be cut down to small sizes, with cutting intervals at 100mm or 125mm but you can also have infinitely long runs strategically positioned around your garden to produce the ultimate seamless lighting effect.
Available in single colour or colour changing which includes RGB+WW, which is colour changing and warm white in the same strip. This gives you colour changing effects as well as a true warm white colour, the best of both worlds!
Outdoor Wall Lights
Outdoor wall lights are a great way to add both beauty and security to your home. They can be used to highlight architectural features, such as doorways or windows, or to create a sense of security by illuminating pathways and driveways. There are many different styles of outdoor wall lights available, so you can find one that suits your home's décor. Some popular styles include traditional lanterns, up/down lights and LED floodlights. When choosing outdoor wall lights, it is important to consider the following factors:
- IP rating: This rating indicates how well the light is protected from water and dust. For outdoor use, you will need a light with an IP rating of at least IP44.
- Bulb type: LED bulbs are a good choice for outdoor wall lights because they are energy-efficient and long-lasting. With options available for integrated or retrofit. An integrated LED is non-replaceable while a retrofit has a separate LED bulb that can be replaced in the event of a failure. Integrated LEDs take up less space which allows for smaller, more compact light fittings.
- Color temperature: The color temperature of a light bulb refers to its overall warmth or coolness. For outdoor wall lights, you will typically want to choose a light with a warm color temperature, such as 2700K or 3000K. The cooler colour temperature of 4000K is still a popular choice but it’s a bit too clinical for an ambient garden.
Once you have chosen the right outdoor wall lights for your home, you can enjoy the beauty and security they provide for years to come. Here are some additional tips for choosing and using outdoor wall lights:
- Consider the height of the wall: If you are mounting the lights on a tall wall, you will need to choose lights that are tall enough to provide adequate illumination.
- Position the lights for maximum effect: You want the lights to highlight the features you want to emphasize, so position them accordingly.
- Use dimmers to create different moods: Dimmers allow you to adjust the brightness of the lights, which can create different moods in your garden.
Solar Powered Wall Lights
No cables? No problem, solar powered wall lights have come along way in recent years. With leading manufacturers such as JCC Lighting now producing a good quality and bright version that you can rely on. Now you can harness the sun's free energy all year round. The JCC Square Solar 2W LED Wall Light shown below has a light output of 200 lumens, which is very impressive for a solar powered light fitting. JCC also have solar LED spike lights and solar bollard lights, which are available on special offer until August. The spike light also has a light output of 200 lumens and the bollard is 250 lumens, its also fitted with a PIR sensor to make it even more energy efficient.
LED lighting is the perfect choice for outdoors, it operates better at cooler temperatures and is the most energy-efficient form of lighting. LEDs also last for a long time, so you won't have to replace them as often. If you're looking for a way to add ambiance to your garden without increasing your energy bills, then low-energy garden lighting is a great option. You're not going to get more energy efficient than solar as it doesn't cost you anything to run.
One of the best ways to control your indoor and outdoor lights is with Lightwave. They smart power sockets and smart switches including wire-free smart switches that can be placed anywhere. You can stick them onto the wall near to you backdoor, so you don't have to worry about losing a remote control and all of the family can use them.
You'll then have proper looking switches to control all of your devices as well as full App control. Set scenes, automated timer switching and more.
For further research into garden lighting, check out the Collingwood Lighting Landscaping brochure here. It contains 180 pages of inspirational ideas from one of the UK's leading lighting companies. Or the JCC Lighting brochure here, which shows the solar lighting range on page 430.
If you'd like some professional help with you garden oasis dream, we can offer expert lighting advice and provide you with a professional landscaped lighting design for your garden. We can answer any questions you have about how to wire them, which accessories you'll need and which products will work best. Just contact us at [email protected].