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Garden Lighting

Discussion in 'Garden Projects and DIY' started by Sandy Ground, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. Sandy Ground

    Sandy Ground Total Gardener

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    Garden Lighting seems to be becoming more and more common, but I've not seen much on here regarding it. So, lets see what those that have it have done, or even any thoughts on the subject.
     
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    • Irmemac

      Irmemac Gardener

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      I really like some lighting in the garden as it can enhance features nicely. However, I think it should be fairly subtle if your garden is visible to your neighbours, in order to be considerate. At present I only have solar lighting and 2 outside lights fixed to the side of the garage in order to light the back steps and steps down into the back garden, which I only turn on if I need to do anything there after dark. I am very interested in getting some lighting in the patio area, so will watch the progression of this thread with interest. What are your thoughts, @Sandy Ground?
       
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      • redstar

        redstar Total Gardener

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        I am also, about solar lights placed at certain places. there is the garage outdoor lights that are motion controlled. But aside from that, nothing special at all.
         
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        • Sandy Ground

          Sandy Ground Total Gardener

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          @Irmemac I agree with the first part of your post in its entirety. Lighting can enhance features very nicely, and consideration as to how it affects neighbours should be given if the garden can be seen.

          As regards the part of my garden that is used for barbies, etc., its totally private, so really I can do what I like in there. Even so, I think that it should be subtle, and possible to change to improve the atmosphere or mood of whatever is happening.

          I too am hoping the thread progresses nicely with a lot of input from other members.
           
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          • ARMANDII

            ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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            To be honest, I'm not a fan of any garden lighting except for safety but then, as an Astronomer, I'm not in favour of any light pollution just in the name of decoration or that it looks pretty:dunno::snorky:

            [​IMG]
             
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            • Irmemac

              Irmemac Gardener

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              I would qualify my original statement @ARMANDII to totally agree with you. Even if you are not an astronomer, neighbours might be, and if your light would impact on their hobby then I don't think that's fair. However, I live in the suburbs of Glasgow, and light pollution is pretty awful, so my star gazing involves travel to a darker sky area just a few miles away. Quite a few neighbours believe that it is important to have the exteriors of their houses and gardens lit from dusk to dawn with harsh, bright LED lighting 7 days a week. I detest that, which is why I think it is important to consider neighbours when planning lighting.
               
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              • ARMANDII

                ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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                [​IMG]

                What we should see...........and what most people see now, and nobody notices it and our Kids don't even know about it.:dunno::doh:
                 
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                • Irmemac

                  Irmemac Gardener

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                  Absolutely. I remember my dad pointing out different constellations to me as a child, and even seeing the Aurora Borealis in this suburb. All that has gone now due to the amount of light pollution, but courtesy of the University of Lancashire Aurora Watch alert system I did get to see the Aurora a couple of weeks ago in the Campsie Fells.
                   
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                  • Tetters

                    Tetters Super Gardener

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                    DSC00005 (2).JPG
                    This is the first time I`ve had any lighting in my back garden, and I am finding it to be very useful - for lighting up the plants, and to check up on the dogs when they go out....and to save me going base over apex when I`m out there in me slippers pulling out the odd weed when there`s nothing on the tele.
                    My lights don`t affect any neighbours.
                    At the front of the house is 4 acres of darkness - except for a few feeble solar jobs, and a light over the front door.
                    There are no street lights in our village, so we can see the stars at night, which is great.
                     
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                    • noisette47

                      noisette47 Total Gardener

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                      I finally got around to installing a proper mains light this year, at the end of the drive. Having spent a lot of money on solar lights that only lasted 2 or 3 years before packing up, I should have done it from the start. OH got carried away in the general enthousiasm and stuck a Lidl solar special with a PIR over the garage door:heehee: It matches the one he put over the cold store, so in terms of getting around the house safely, we're sorted. For effect? I'll leave that to the night sky. Full moons are particularly spectacular and the light pollution levels here are negligible so it would be shame to miss out on the natural beauty......
                       
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                      • Jack Sparrow

                        Jack Sparrow Super Gardener

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                        We have a motion activated light by the front door and by the patio door. It is very dark at the end of the garden where the shed is so some kind of light there would be nice. Ideally I would like it to be solar powered but at this time of year the sun is in the wrong place.

                        :snorky:

                        G.
                         
                      • noisette47

                        noisette47 Total Gardener

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                        Don't know if it helps, G, but the Lidl one has a separate panel of solar cells with quite a long cable between them and the light itself. It doesn't require direct sunlight, so it would perhaps be possible to mount the solar panel where it'd get maximum light?
                         
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                        • HarryS

                          HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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                          I have white fairy lights on a tree in the garden. The power is taken from an outside 13amp socket fed by 3 core SWA cable. I can switch the socket on and off from inside the house.
                          I have a pebble pool fountain with lights around it . These are controlled by a Steinel control and come on at dusk.
                          I have a motion floodlight outside on the drive and a motion porch light at the front door, this works whenever it feels like ! Not worked for 6 months and just started working again two weeks ago.

                          steinel-nightmatic-2000-twilight-switch-black-8505018-31.jpg
                           
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                          • Clare G

                            Clare G Gardener

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                            For practical I have a bulkhead LED light from Lidl beside the back door - the switch is inside the kitchen and it is useful for bringing in the washing, visiting the compost bin etc after dark.

                            For pretty, I was seduced by a string of flower-shaped solar lights in Sainsbury's earlier this year. However by this time of year they barely come on and whether they will survive the winter I rather doubt!

                            If I was installing a lighting system in the garden I would do that at foot-level, again using bulkhead lights. I have loved this kind of lighting ever since I was a student at Oxford and saw it used in the lovely gardens at St Catherine's College, designed in its entirety by the great Danish architect Arne Jacobsen. (Some photos here though none at night alas: Step Onto the Modernist Campus of St. Catherine’s College at Oxford University | Architectural Digest). It's safe, practical, doesn't create too much light pollution and when carefully positioned lights up low-level plants like ferns most beautifully and romantically.

                            In default of such a system I do have a collection of clear/frosted glass tealight holders which can be plonked down at ground level around the patio for evening entertaining in summer. Occasionally one will get broken, so I only use ones picked up for pence in charity shops..

                            Has anyone been to those festive garden light displays which seem to be popping up all over now, at this time of the year? I have been a couple of times to the one at Syon Park, Welcome, where they use different designers every year, and then last year to Kew, Christmas at Kew | Kew Really enjoyed them both and while lots of it's just Christmassy/ and/ or wildly OTT other things might be inspiring for smaller gardens - I remember some clever use of very simple lighting at Kew for instance, on the trail round the gardens, just to illuminate interesting bark on a single specimen tree, or whatever.
                             
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                            • pete

                              pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                              Two 300 watt floodlights that I turn on only if I want to go up the garden after dark, unlike a bloke three doors away who has an array of lights linked to a sensor that turns them on at all times of the night when a cat or fox walks by.
                              They light up the whole row of houses backing onto ours, not that close really, but they are aimed upwards to light the very end of his garden.

                              Cant work out why no one hasn't taken an air rifle to the bloody things yet, must admit I would be tempted if I lived over that way.
                               
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