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Understanding Garden Walkway Lighting Basics

There’s not much that makes as big of an impact on a garden or other outdoor space as some mood lighting. Although your garden or walkway light won’t shine quite as brightly in the daytime, the lighting you choose can make a huge difference to the functionality and appearance of the space where you install it.

There are several different options when it comes to outdoor lighting, so how do you begin to choose the right lighting for your space?

What’s Your Lighting Goal?

Before you so much as shop for lighting, it’s important to determine what it is that you want your lighting to do. If it simply illuminate a path? Is it likely to highlight a particular garden element like a wonderful plant or a fountain?

Do you need to brighten stairs to help prevent falls? There are so many different types of garden and walkway lighting available today that identifying your requirements can help narrow your focus before starting. That way you won’t waste a lot of time poring over options that won’t ever be more suitable for the job at hand.

Next, your lighting location ought to be considered. There are loads of benefits to selecting a wired lighting system, but if your garden is far from your home, you may have to bring an electrician on the project to correctly run the wiring to the location in question.

If that’s not an option, you’ll need to seriously consider solar lighting kits. Although a freestanding solar panel can be installed to power all of your lighting, there are many lighting kits made of lights fitted with individual tiny solar panels.

Solar Versus Wired Lighting

Solar garden walkway lighting is undoubtedly a convenient option, but it will not work for each space or every need. Because solar lighting is powered by the sun, the location of your solar panels is vital.

Bright, direct sunlight is ideal for charging these lights, so if you live in a location that tends to have a lot of cloud cover or your vegetation is dense, you are going to get rid of a good deal of potential lighting hours. Generally, solar-powered lights need to be recharged daily, making them difficult to rely on during the darker, colder months of the year, even if they’re in an ideal location.

Low voltage landscape lighting, on the other hand, receives constant power from the electrical system, allowing them to work on demand.

Some homeowners fear this means they’ll run all day long and create expensive electricity bills, but most lighting systems are designed to come on at or near dark and turn off at sunrise, or on demand, or both, depending on the system you are using. On-demand systems come in pretty handy when there’s a weird noise out and you will need to go chase a raccoon out of the trash.

A handful of solar systems are also built to be disposable, so if that’s the way you are leaning, be prepared to spend quite a little more than you might expect for a low-end plastic solar light. There are solar light kits made to last much longer, but you need to be searching for light sets made with metal bodies that allow you to change the bulb, should it require replacement.

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