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LED garden lighting – grow with a glow

Author: Glenn Harper
Published: August 27, 2013

The potential of LED as an energy-efficient indoor light source is big business, but when it’s moved outside LED really starts to shine as a fun and flexible light form that can be morphed into almost any application. Click here to view outdoor LED fittings.

As a garden light an LED can be as small or as large as you like; it can be wrapped around trees and pillars; it can occasionally be walked over, driven over, or submerged; and it’s as ‘tough as old boots’ as the saying goes, with an ability to operate in cold temperatures down to -20°C and lower without any adverse effect. They also make great security lights.

The lifespan of many LEDs is so long that the idea of ‘replacement bulbs’ is gradually going out of vogue. Designers can now make luminaires with 50,000 hour longevity in mind, so, for instance, an outdoor fitting can be comprehensively sealed against the elements with no need for access.

Around the house

You may by now have gathered that LED is different. It’s a versatile ‘solid state’ form of illumination that provides a very broad palette when it comes to getting creative with your garden lighting. You can use it to illuminate pathways and driveways, plants, shrubs, trees, statues, gazebos, trellises, parasols, columns, decking, patios, ponds, fountains, and lawns.

The stylish and contemporary Vega LED Wall Light comes in a variety of metal finishes. Its integral 5W LED delivers 300 lumens of relaxing warm white light, and is fully dimmable for extra control over ambience. An IP54 rating provides evidence of robust resistance to dust and rain. With an expected 30,000 hour LED lifespan, you’ll enjoy many years of maintenance-free use from this attractive outdoor luminaire.

Precise adjustment

A powerful level of security is provided by the LED PIR Twin Floodlight, which emits the equivalent output of a 200W halogen floodlight using only 8% of the energy. This light has a PIR movement sensor that triggers light whenever it detects changes in infrared radiation within its range. Any object with a temperature above −273.15°C (absolute zero) radiates IR heat, so the sensor is extremely effective!

One popular way to enjoy a garden is to add areas of decking, where you can wine and dine ‘al fresco’ style with family and friends. Products such as the Metro Set of 10 Ground Lights are often used at the edges of decking platforms, adding an element of safety as well as creating relaxing ambience. The low-voltage Metro set comes with cabling, a weatherproofed junction box, and a 12V transformer to provide an extremely safe outdoor voltage. Low-voltage lights are highly practical in the garden, since they do away with any need to dig a deep trench system for cable burial!

LED garden lighting image 2Demonstrating the sheer versatility of LED lighting, the Assisi Large LED Planter is a great way of highlighting large colourful plants and shrubs by night! One of the benefits of LED design is that LEDs themselves measure mere millimetres, and there are 15 of them in this decorative plant pot. These low-voltage planters look great in pairs as an adornment to the entrance of a home.

LED up the garden path

Moving away from the house and towards the charm of the garden itself, LED lights can play a role in highlighting special features, creating ambience, and making the garden a safe place to navigate by night.

Ideal for lining garden paths, the stunning 24-LED Short Stainless Steel Post from Searchlight oozes contemporary style with its smart stainless steel finish, and emits a cool daylight-simulating illumination that will bring out the natural colours of your flower and shrubs. This fully weatherproofed, IP44-rated post light is also obtainable in a taller version, which provides extra visibility amongst high grasses and plants.

Choice of colour temperature is a feature you won’t often find in incandescent or halogen lamps, since their output is constrained by the physical temperature of the filament (roughly 2727°C in a halogen bulb). Energy-efficient LEDs do not waste power in producing this phenomenal heat, which also makes them less of a safety hazard.

The superb Deltech GL7 LED Wall or Ground Spotlight is as hardy as your winter plants, with an IP65 Ingress Protection rating that allows installation close to water and makes it completely dust-tight and water-proof. This fitting is also fantastic for showing off dramatic features such as a rockery.

LED garden lighting image 3Versatile and discreet, the triple-set of Alder LED Spotlights can be dotted around a border, rockery, or lawn to highlight horticultural delights, and are easily moveable thanks to their compact design and spiked bases. These weatherproofed lights come with cabling and a 10W transformer, with an ability to easily add an extra light if required (available separately). Being low-voltage, they are also extremely safe for gardens inhabited by children and pets, and again require no extravagant cable concealment.

An exciting marriage of low-energy and clean-energy technologies comes about when LED lighting is partnered with solar. Take the Everbright Solar Fairy Lights - Warm White - 300 LED, for example; this string of LEDs can be draped around many garden items to great decorative effect, and has a built-in photocell that can be set to automatically turn the lights on and off from dusk until dawn. One of the biggest attractions here is that you can take these LEDs to any far-flung corner of your garden, since they require no access to an electrical point.

These days there is no reason why your garden shouldn’t be just as inviting at night as it is in the day. Though LEDs are as motionless as any rock, in the right hands they are nimble, clever, and agile, allowing an intricate painting to be created from the canvas that is your garden.

Why not take a look at our full range of Outdoor Lights.

Alternatively for more inspiration try our Lighting Ideas section.