Post covid, we have seen an increase in queries about garden lighting from first time clients. Below is a basic introduction to some of the key aspects of outdoor lighting. Covered in two blogs.
Where can outdoor lighting be used?
Outdoor lights can be used to light up flower beds, paths, driveways, decks, trees, fences and of course house walls. Perfect for illuminating your garden for night time entertainment.
Outdoor lighting voltage
The most common residential garden lighting voltage is “low voltage” 12v. It is deemed to be safer then 240v (mains voltage), with less risk of an electrical shock. Moreover, 12v lighting can be installed by yourself when using a plug and play system. For other types of 12v lighting, we would always recommend a qualified electrician is involved in the installation.
Low voltage transformer
These are required with low voltage lighting and converts the mains (240v) down to 12v and allows the 12v lights to connect to the mains supply. 12v dc lights require 12v dc led drivers, however some 12v lighting can use dc or ac supply such as retro fit led MR16 lamps.
Integral LED lights have inbuilt LEDs so there is no need to instal a bulb. However, if the LED fails the whole light does too. Non integral LED lights, require a bulb and hence you can customise the light by choosing the lumens, colour output and beam spread.
This is the term for the amount of light that is produced by the LED, it measures the amount of light that comes out of a bulb. Lumens refers to the LEDs brightness, intensity and visibility of light emitted. There is a relationship between a lights wattage and lumens. Typically, higher the wattage the higher the lumens and greater the light output.
As well as lumens (brightness), the light colour temperature can be chosen, this is measured in degrees Kelvin (K). The primary colour range is between 2500-4000k. The lower the temperature, the warmer the ambient light. So for example 2700k is a warm white where as 4000k is a cool white which has a slight blue tint.
part 2 will review – wattage, IP rating, lighting finishes and type of garden lighting.