A beautiful garden with colourful blooms and balanced greenery is a pleasure to look at and enjoy. However, it can get even better if you add the proper lighting to accentuate its features, add depth and dimension and increase safety. One of the experiences we most look forward to in summer are outdoor dinners and BBQ parties, so if you have one planned, here’s some advice on the lighting you need to make your summer evenings even more enjoyable.
Inconspicuous lights run through the wooden floors of deckings and patios, creating a subdued light to enhance the experience of outdoor dining on summer nights. These lights use only a single light source, usually placed in conservatories, sheds, or under a BBQ stand.
Thin flexible cables run through the wooden slabs as small acrylic lights inserted in holes of the decking emit discrete light. This fiber optic outdoor lighting is safe in all weather conditions as there is no electricity and the light source is stored in a fan-cooled box, protected from the elements. The PVC coating of the sheathed fiber protects the cable from mechanical, chemical and UV damage and prevents it from glowing so that light is emitted only through the light pointers.
Installing such a kit is an easy DIY project for deckings — Drill the holes, insert the fibre, secure with adhesive or ties then trim off level. However, installing on patios can be a bit more problematic as drilling through pavers or stone is more time-consuming, but still possible.
Remember that you can mix fibres of different diameters in the same harness to get more variation in the brightness of the “stars”. Star density is a matter of taste and budget, but we find that 5 per square metre works pretty well.
Portable lights are ideal temporary solutions, easy for repositioning to create more versatility for each new season or even evening. They are often used to light pathways and outdoor seating areas. The variety in sizes and styles makes them suitable any designer patio or decking and liven up a landscape without installations of any kind. If you have a power outlet outside, you can buy electrical outdoor lamps to simply plug in and enjoy longer evenings.
There are also great varieties of rechargeable lamps in all kinds of sizes. From luminous stools to designer lamps, you can find the perfect illuminating object to fill an awkward space, create ambience and increase safety. Rechargeable lamps can be found from 1.8 metre pyramids to 30 cm orbs with convenient handles to easily bring outside or inside.
Most exterior landscape lighting, including railing lights and uplighting for trees, is low-voltage. A low-voltage system uses a transformer to convert regular 120-volt household current into 12-volt current. With less power, however, exterior lights may be dimmer than you expect. That’s why it’s important that your transformer is sized for your lighting scheme.
Installing low-voltage lights is a project you can undertake on your own for a big impact on your landscape — you can use it to illuminate not just patios, but also paths, stairs, and to emphasise the key features in your garden.
Before you begin, you need to map out a plan where you will be installing the light fixtures, what type of fixtures you need — think about waterproof lights if you want to illuminate pool areas or ponds, and of course placing and wiring them correctly. It is a good idea to consult a professional landscaper for the best design and safe installation, advises Pol Bishop, a landscaping expert at Fantastic Gardeners, London.
String Lights for Easy Deck Lighting
With string lights, you have various options to light up your decking or patio in a style that best compliments your garden furniture and landscape design.They are the top choice when it comes to backyard lighting. A big plus for these lights is that they can go up in any location and you won’t have to think of ways to conceal wiring, as it’s part of the lights.
The range of styles and sizes of string lights can accommodate any garden’s needs. There are standard lights which you can plug directly into an outlet, as well as low-voltage lights that require a 12-volt current.
Solar-Powered Outdoor Lights
If you want to avoid any kind of installation hassle and save on electricity, the best eco-friendly way to illuminate your outdoor space is with solar lights. By absorbing sunlight during the day through photovoltaic cells and storing it in rechargeable batteries, solar lights will offer you light whenever and wherever you need it.
This type of lighting is affordable, easy to install and with all the developments in the solar lighting industry, it has proven itself a popular alternative to the conventional and costly electric lights. And besides saving you money on electricity bills, they are also an environmentally sound way to light up your patio and decking on winter mornings and long summer evenings.