Outdoor Garden Lights – Types and Maintenance Tips
The presence of outdoor garden lights makes any family gathering, party or quiet evening at home just that much more special. The number of ways garden lighting can be implemented seems only to be limited by one’s imagination, creativity and budget.
Whether you’d like to incorporate solar-power outdoor lights along your property’s sidewalks, pathways or even driveway; or make your plants and/or trees come to life by the addition of outdoor string lights, outdoor garden lights are more than up to the challenge of creating just the type of atmosphere you are looking to achieve.
With that in mind, here a few garden lighting ideas to set your own personal creativity in motion.
These extremely popular outdoor landscape lights not only shine brightly, but also last a good long time – much longer than traditional halogen, incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. The high-powered, yet exceptionally clean light is produced by light emitting diodes.
Home gardeners highly favor these bulbs because the lamps used in LED garden lights emit wavelengths that help plants grow via the promotion of chlorophyll absorption. Most home gardeners opt for LED lights that produce a powerful white light, but, should you choose, you can always find these lights in many other colors options as well.
Lastly, should you find that your LED garden lights are not powerful enough for your liking, you can look for light fixtures that feature bulbs in which two or more light emitting diodes are installed.
(ii) Use Solar Garden Lights
If you desire a more subtle form of light while at the same time conserving energy, solar garden lighting may be just up your alley. This type of landscape lighting is not only quick and easy to install, but also as close to maintenance-free as you are going to find in any form of outside lighting.
These light fixtures have no need for electrical wiring because they absorb energy during the day from the sun. So all that is required is a battery, an LED lamp, and a photo-resistor to switch the lights on when evening arrives.
The majority of solar garden lights are designed to be situated in the ground of a garden for the purpose of outdoor path lighting. But, if you look, you’ll also be able to find solar-powered garden wall lights that are designed to light up patios, decks and other areas besides just pathways and walkways.
Additionally, should you desire solar garden lights that have the ability to be dimmed, you can also find varieties that feature this convenient function – as well as automatic on/off functions.
(iii) Use Garden String Lights
Garden string lights add a fun, festive and whimsical touch to any garden, deck or patio. Garden string lights create an atmosphere unlike that of any other form of outdoor garden lighting. These lights come in all shapes, designs, colors and sizes. They can be draped along any type of plant or tree and can be used to create just about any type of setting – from a bright and cheerful setting to a much more relaxed and warm setting.
How to Maintain Outdoor Garden Lights
Shopping for the right type of garden lighting involves not only designing the layout, but also selecting the appropriate light fixtures, and, in most cases, having the running wires and transformer installed yourself or by employing a professional service.
After having spent this amount of time, energy and money, you’ll definitely want to make sure your outdoor garden lights stay in good working order.
Here are a few tips to keep your garden lights working well all year long:
(1) Clean them at the onset of every season
This is an easy to remind yourself when your lights need just the slightest bit of maintenance.
Here, all you’re looking to do is merely remove the dirt and other miscellaneous debris that has accumulated on your garden lighting fixtures during the last season.
Don’t be lazy and skip a season.
Should you not decide or forget to do this fast and easy chore, the grime and dirt will continue to accumulate – which will make it that much more difficult to clean when you finally do get around to cleaning them. On top of that, the lights will not shine nearly as bright because the beam will continue to have to penetrate through increasing layers of dirt and muck.
How do you clean your lights? Simply grab a bottle of window cleaner and roll of paper towels. Then spend a few minutes getting to work.
(2) Inspect chords and cables
Amid the time spent removing the dirt, you should also use this time to inspect your chords and cables. Look for frays or any other type of damage. Frays represent a potential danger of shock for both people and animals – not to mention the possibility of rendering the light dark altogether.
You should also make certain the chords connected to your outdoor garden lights are securely situated beneath the ground or otherwise out of harm’s way. Obviously, you’ll want to thoroughly inspect this at least once a season, but this task is something you’ll also want to keep a close eye on throughout the year.
Exposed wires pose many potential dangers.
First of all, people can trip on wires. This can lead to either personal injury and/or damage to the light fixtures themselves. Additionally, your pets may end up chewing on exposed wires – giving them a shock that either sends them into next week … or worse!
(3) Store them during winter months
One final note: if you live in a climate that regularly receives snow during the winter months, you may want to strongly consider storing your outdoor garden lights during this time. The weight of the accumulation of snow can either damage or ruin these lights entirely. The snow can hide the fixtures, which leaves them open to the possibility of being stepped on or crushed in some other manner simply because they are not visible.
So, as you can see, there is not much required in order to keep your outdoor garden lights working well all throughout the year. If you manage to keep up with these very basic maintenance steps, your lights should last for years and years.