One of the big trends in the landscape world over the past few years is the use of garden lighting. But DIY installations do not always achieve the results.
Look at the image above, were do your eyes go – then click on the link below and find out why…
When you have a dog (as I do) you must take a walk every day, at least once a day, rain or shine. Sometimes you have to go out before sunrise or after dark.
This can be a bit daunting even if you live in a generally safe neighborhood. When you can’t see your surroundings, there is always the risk of tripping and falling over something unseen.
Besides that, it’s just not as enjoyable to walk in the dark. What can be done?
Recently, on our pre-dawn and evening strolls, I’ve noticed that several of my neighbors have added pathway and perimeter lighting to their yards.
The lights seemed to just spring up while I wasn’t looking with no sign of an installation crew. It turns out that my neighbors have added solar lights to their yards.
I wondered just how effective these lights would be, so I’ve kept an eye on them.
In the final analysis, I think the lights my neighbors installed look nice, but they aren’t really very effective because they are very low-set and fairly dim.
They do provide some definition to paths and perimeter, but they don’t really provide enough light to see well or to improve security.
Still, these solar lights got me to thinking about installing lights in my yard. I’ve looked at a few options that I think will work well.
What’s The Solution?
I think it’s better for pathway lighting to be mounted higher, and it should provide enough lighting to be able to see well both on the pathway and in the surrounding area.
Naturally, I don’t want a bright glare on my pathways at night, but I think that if the lights are installed higher, it won’t take many to provide good lighting without being overwhelming.
I like the idea of a pathway with fixtures that don’t stand out too much or take attention away from the path and landscaping features.
Fixtures should be subtle and sort of hidden, and they should give off a gentle, welcoming light that calls attention to attractive landscape features.
Simultaneously, they should give off ample light to call attention to any tripping hazards or other problems.
Good Lights Provide Good Security & Safety
There’s no getting around the fact that good lighting improves security. No wants their house and yard to look like a high security prison, but they do want to see what’s happening in the yard and around the house at night.
That’s why lights should be very dependable and well-placed to illuminate doorways and areas under windows.
Safety is an issue in areas other than paths. It’s smart to have decks and stairways well-lit. It makes good sense to have a lighting system along hand rails and guard rails.
This type of system will light the stairs and other areas around the rails and make it easy for people to locate and quickly grab the rails if they need to.
Is It Possible To Do This With Solar?
For this kind of useful, attractive safety and security feature it may be necessary to have a wired system.
Solar lights that are individually charged just don’t have the “oomph” to dependably put out the amount of light that’s needed in these circumstances.
However, there may be some more powerful solar lighting systems that involve wiring from a centrally located energy storage arrangement that could do the trick.
Even though some people may think that a wired system is unattractive, it should be pretty easy to conceal wires along hand rails, guard rails and pathways.
Installing this kind of lighting system will make for a comfortable time when you’re out in the dark. Plus your guest will feel safer, more secure, more comfortable and more welcome.
It’s easy to see why shops, restaurants and other commercial enterprises that want to attract business at night have excellent lighting systems in place. It shows concern for the people who want or need to be out and about at times other than the daylight hours.