Garden and Patio Lighting – How to Set the Mood

Garden and patio lights can be an excellent way to increase the safety and security of your home but it can be a daunting task choosing any kind of outdoor lighting. Considerations for durability styles and designs the versatility and ease of installation are all factors you must consider. Use the following information to help make a decision when choosing the best product for yourself.

When choosing a garden like, you must consider the finish of the product. Cheap plastic breaks easily, doesn’t weather well, and usually isn’t very waterproof. When exposed to the elements expansion and contraction can be factors in the durability of any outdoor lighting. Cold weather can make plastic brittle and it will break easily. Metal finishes are generally the best way to go and they look the classiest.

If you’re planning on putting garden lights in you have to realize the sheer volume of water they must be subjected to. For this reason you want a product with excellent water resistant properties. Nothing looks worse than a garden lights completely filled with moisture and condensation. An added benefit of good moisture resistance is the longevity of electrical components. The LED and halogen bulbs themselves are not particularly vulnerable, but if so equipped, the solar panels generally are.

As a general rule when it comes to patio or garden lights, you get what you pay for. While the technology behind LED and solar powered lights are cheap, the batteries are not. When a company tries to manufacture a cheap set of garden or patio lights, they frequently save money by using cheap nickel metal hydride batteries. They have a limited lifespan and only so many recharge cycles before they’re no good. When it comes to batteries lithium ions are the best choice, followed closely by nickel cadmium batteries simply for they’re number of cycles before replacement is needed. In this case well over 1000. The cycle is defined by a battery being depleted and recharged. In some batteries that have been sitting for quite some time, it is not unheard of to get less than 100 cycles.

A wide array of styles and designs are available suiting anyone’s needs. They range from contemporary to modern, antique and novelty. Also available are discrete designs, the cleverly mask the light inside housings that look like rocks or the light itself is designed to look like a flower. Oftentimes for an entirely discreet look, you must forgo the solar panels. In this case, I highly suggest you get halogen lights, as they provide the most volume of natural light with the ability to replace the bulbs easily if they ever burnt out.

The versatility of garden and patio lights are limited only by your own creativity, they can double as security lights, mood lighting, or a safety device to prevent injury and late night trips or falls. Easy installations for most products make enhancing your garden or patio a snap. One of my favorite creative installation ideas for patios is putting the lights on the underside of steps or railings so they’re not exposed. The indirect lighting is fantastic for ambiance and mood. Many patio and garden lights do not require electricians to install them and this helps keep the cost down. If you choose to hardwire all your garden or patio lights, you may however want to consult electrician, but you shouldn’t have to hire one to do the wiring itself.
Stand-alone solar units are very good but they have one downfall, they just don’t produce a lot of light. They can only absorb so much energy from the sun and their storage efficiencies are limited. For those of you that are eco-minded and refuse to use high energy consumption halogen lights, there is another option. You can set up your own solar dish on your roof or backyard and wire this up to batteries, which in turn supply power to the halogen lights in your yard. In this fashion you get the best of both worlds, both excellent natural lighting ability and eco-minded solar energy.

Now that you know a little bit about durability, styles and designs, versatility and ease of installs, you should be able to make an educated choice on which garden and patio lights are right for you. Good luck!

Thanks for reading my article! My other guides and tips can be found at Garden Light resources:
Types of Garden Lights
Garden Lighting guide

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