When discussing garden lighting, it is important to realize that there are dozens of different styles and literally hundreds of different shapes and types of fixtures. So, when you are sitting down to figure out what type of lights would look good in your garden; realize that you may be in for more than you bargained for. You might find yourself in information overload. This is especially true as you sit before your computer browsing the internet through all the outdoor lighting sites.
How can your garden light search be made easier? First of all, determine what type of lighting you are looking for. In other words, do you want the lighting to be something that is more for accenting certain elements in your garden space or do you want to illuminate a path or walkway? This similar line of reasoning can apply when looking for patio lights as well. The reason is that in both cases, some lighting will be better suited to provide a more broad type of light to illuminate an entire space, while other styles will work best as a type of spot lighting like you might find in your indoor spaces.
Once you determine what you will need in terms of your lighting preferences, then you can go on a search for the perfect style, shape or fixture. This is another whole area where you can go as simple and conservative as you like up to the most eccentric and artistic as imaginable and everything in between.
If you are just searching for something simple that will cast a light up a tree at night to provide a bit of dramatic lighting for your garden area, then you can find these at your local home improvement warehouse stores. You can, of course, also find these online. Some landscape lighting designers will tell you that the more readily available garden lights from the home improvement warehouses are cheap and unreliable. You’ll have to use your best judgment as to whether you want to put forth the added expense of the lighting that you might find online.
Most of these types of lights will be wired and buried in your soil. A similar type of light can be used to illuminate a path or walkway through your garden. However, instead of aiming upwards, the lights will have a cap to shine the light back to the ground. These come in both stake-in-the-ground models and hanging styles. The hanging ones are just suspended from what looks like a shepherd’s crook and hang about 12-16” from the ground in most cases. Again, these are typically wired to a main electrical line outdoors.
What About Solar Garden Lighting?
If you would rather save money on your lighting and don’t want to have to worry about burying wires and all that, then consider going with solar garden lights. They still come in a variety of styles and models, but you don’t have to concern yourself with the electrical wiring. With some models, it is as simple as staking them in the ground and that night they will shine a path for you. Simple.
Now, there are also some drawbacks with solar. The most obvious one is that in poor weather conditions, the solar panel on the top of the light (most common model) will not be receiving enough light to charge the battery to power the light. Also, if there is snow or grime that gets on the solar cells, they will not collect any energy. Additionally, the power that they put out may not be enough to last through the night if you so wish. One solution is to get a style that does have a larger battery backup reserve or one that can be plugged in just for days like this. There are also styles that have a larger solar cell panel that can be mounted nearby, then wired to the light fixtures so that each one is powered without the need for a solar cell on top of the individual lights. These are just some ideas to get you started or help you refine your search for your new lights in your garden.