Alternative Energy Options

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Solar Lighting

Solar garden lights are getting better and better. It may be a great option for you to use in your garden. There are more and more options for battery and solar-powered lighting equipment for garden use, which is also particularly useful if you have a garden where it’s difficult to provide a cable power supply.

When it comes to solar-powered lights, you can buy single, stand-alone units mounted on a spike that you can simply push into the ground. They’ve got a small integrated solar panel that collects and stores energy during the day. They can be turned on manually at night, or many even have a light sensor that will turn them on automatically when it gets dark. You may even set up a cluster of lights that are all linked to a single large solar panel. Get helpful garden idaes at Sheds First webiste www.shedsfirst.co.uk.

Solar-powered lighting has a lot of great “green” qualities, but it also has its drawbacks. Solar lighting will only work best in a bright, sunny location where plenty of sun light energy is available for storage. Solar panels are becoming more efficient as years go by, but their storage life is still limited. The sensors and circuitry within the panels are also delicate and easily damaged, so must be handled with care. In the proper location, solar lights are ideal for lighting remote paths. They’re also great to use if you have children, because there is no risk of electrocution. It is intresting for you to know about gardening at http://www.shedsfirst.co.uk/ .


Other Options

Solar TorchesYour garden lighting doesn’t always have to involve electricity. You can use candles, flares, torches, or lanterns for an alfresco touch, although many of these options tend to work best around seating areas. You can set up such portable lighting anywhere in the garden, but wind can be a problem, especially when it starts to blow smoke in people’s faces. Many candles and flares release pleasant scents, which can add greatly to the ambient mood. You can also get scents or oils with chemical repellents that will deter insects (especially mosquitoes) that are attracted by the light. Here are some details about your non-electrical lighting options:

  • Candles, while they don’t provide a great deal of light, create a magnificent atmosphere with their gentle flickering. Protect the flame so that it doesn’t blow out and so that no one gets burnt or gets smoke in their face.
  • Flares or torches resemble large candles. They are often on sticks (short or tall) that can be stuck into the ground. They’ll burn for 6 to 8 hours and cast a warm, romantic glow all around.
  • Lanterns, lit either by candle or oil, can be hung around the garden to give a gentle, golden light.

Six Great Ideas

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lightGarden and landscape light is great – it can allow you to create and enjoy a beautiful atmosphere at night, and it will also make it much safer to walk around in the dark! As you’re thinking about the lighting you’d like to set up, you’ll probably want to try one or more of these great ideas:

1 – Use the minimum amount of light in your garden so that you can enjoy the special qualities of night time. Low-voltage lights work great for this. If you flood the entire garden with bright light, you’ll just create an artificial atmosphere and wash out the great moonlight, the night sky, and the intimate atmosphere of the darkness.

2 – Try to simulate the light level of a night lit by a full moon. That will create the ambience recommended above.

3 – Light the pathways in your garden. Even if you don’t have well-defined paths in your garden, you’ll probably still want to specify a route or two that you should illuminate for safety purposes. And if you do have paths, lighting them up will add beautifully to the organic parts of your garden. Use path lights or create a series of pools of light to lead through your garden.

4 – Hide the light sources. Unless the lights or lamps themselves are meant to be decorative elements, your light fixtures should illuminate the garden without drawing attention to themselves. Even a beautiful stone lamp doesn’t need a visible, glaring light bulb.

5 – Use decorative light fixtures and elements in moderation. Introducing a decorative light fixture is an ideal way to add a bit of style to your garden. Just be careful you don’t overdo it.

6 – Use lights to accent the most dramatic trees in your garden. You can illuminate the trunk and branches of a tree from below, which will draw attention to their beauty and add the perfect amount of ambient glow to make the garden safe to walk around in at night.

Make Your Plan First

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Pathway LightingBefore you begin, you’ll need to ask yourself “What are my gardening needs and what am I trying to achieve by lighting my garden?”

Unless you choose to use solar garden lights, most garden lighting requires some kind of electrical cabling, so it would be wise to keep your lights away from areas that you’ll often be digging in or around. For example, you probably shouldn’t put lights in or right around areas where you’ll be planting and maintaining annual or bulb flowers.

When you get to the point when you’re ready to choose your lighting, think about what you’re trying to achieve. Do you want the beautiful tree in the middle of your garden to stand out more than the rest? Do you want some spindly plant silhouetted in light from the back? Do you want your garden lit from above, below, behind or in front? These are all things to consider. Here are some types of lighting to give you an idea of your options:

  • Up Lighting – this is achieved by placing lights at the base of a plant, tree or architectural feature and can be very artistic.
  • Down Lighting – this is a common form of lighting. It can be created by placing the lights higher up so that they illuminate an area of plants or other feature from above.
  • Shadow Lighting – place lights at angles in front of a plant or structure to cast a shadow on a wall. This type of lighting can be very dramatic if done well.
  • Silhouetted Lighting – this is the opposite of shadow lighting, which is achieved by placing a light behind a plant or landscape feature to silhouette it as you look toward it.
  • Illumination Lighting – there is still a need for illumination in the garden so that visitors can find paths, navigate steps and stairs, and walk freely without falling victim to a hazardous toy left by your 3-year old child.
  • Lighting for Water Features – there are so many options for lighting your ponds, fountains, waterfalls, and other water features. Many are easy to install and only run on 12 volts.

There are as many options available as there are ideas you could come up with. Why not turn your garden into something you don’t have to enjoy only in the daylight? You better get started!