Light Up Your Landscape

With such a wealth of creative garden lighting available it can be difficult to decide what to choose. Explore these options to choose the right lighting for your landscape.

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With such a wealth of creative garden lighting now available it can be difficult to decide what’s right for you. Here, we share the merits of each option.

Types of Lighting

Garden lighting has been revolutionized by the introduction of efficient LEDs, and the increased availability of relatively safe, low-voltage lighting and more reliable solar-powered units. Even “designer” effects are now available for domestic gardens. While home improvement stores carry an increasingly wide range, the largest choice can be found online and via specialist companies.

With the exception of solar-powered lighting, candles, and oil lamps, all other illumination devices need to be connected to an electricity supply. Lights either receive power directly from a wall socket or through a transformer that provides a low-voltage current—ideal for a garden, as water and electrical current are a lethal mix. Always employ a qualified electrician to install lighting and make connections to an electricity supply.

Light Show
A combination of colored fluorescent tubes, grazing and spotlighting creates a cool, watery effect similar to that of a giant indoor aquarium.

Colored Fluorescent Tubes Create Water EffectEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

LED Lighting

Where to Site
Almost anywhere in the garden. Can be used as pool lighting, recessed lighting, twinkle lights, or spots.

Extent of Illumination
Very bright for the size of unit. Casings can enhance and focus light output, and diffusers soften it.

Expense
More expensive to buy, but cost effective when efficiency and longevity are taken into account.

Installation
The same as conventional bulbs—running off wall socket or transformer. Useful for hard-to-reach areas.

Maintenance
LED bulbs last many times longer than a standard light bulb or even a compact fluorescent bulb.

Live Flame Lighting

Where to Site
Candles, oil lamps and lanterns may be placed on the ground, in wall niches, on tables, and hung or floated.

Extent of Illumination
Low-level, atmospheric lighting. Candelabras and lanterns are suitable for outdoor dining.

Expense
Candles, gel and oil lamps are inexpensive compared to electric fittings, but do not offer comparable lighting.

Installation
Take care to site safely on a non-flammable, level surface in shelter. Do not leave a live flame unattended.

Maintenance
Trim wick to keep candle flame low and efficient. Extinguish with a snuffer. Do not move candles when wax is liquid.

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Excerpted from Garden Design

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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