As the nights start to draw in and East Enders occupies our lounge, you will often find me sitting peacefully in the garden. Sometimes I just enjoy the quiet of the darkness. But this autumn I will also be able to press a button that adds some subtle lighting.
The winding pathway that otherwise carries the hazard of a painful 20-foot tumble down the waterfall (and then into the pond) suddenly becomes negotiable via tiny post lights. And there are likewise lights on the other paths that wind upwards from the house towards the summer house at the very top.
Creative use of garden lighting
But the real joy of a simple lighting system is that the garden takes on a completely different personality. Creative use of little spot lights means that you can induce atmosphere in a way that isn’t possible in daytime.
In my case, the lighting on the Gardener’s Call pub sign beckons you from one otherwise dark corner. Meanwhile, a small floodlight invites you to the seating on the deck in front of the summer house.
Along the way, the wooden arches each have lights to guide you up wooden steps. I have also positioned lights upwards through two or three trees and they will look all the more dramatic when their ghostly shape is accentuated by the loss of leaves. Quirky features likes our Easter Island head are also illuminated individually.
Easy to install and cheap to run lighting
The advent of LED bulbs has made 12-volt garden lighting a much more practical proposition because you can get a good level of lighting while burning as little as 1 or 2 watts per light. What’s more, even those of us who are challenged in the DIY department can install them quickly and easily.
All you need is an outdoor source of power from which you can run a small transformer. A main cable runs from there as a main feeder network, with smaller cables connecting individual lights that are plugged in along the way. It really is that simple and doesn’t need an electrician once you have your outdoor power.
The system I used is called “plug and play“ and is produced by Lyco. This short video explains the process. The Lyco advisors are good and will guide you to ensure you don’t attach more lights than the transformer is rated for.
Of course, if you do manage to trip the electrics you will have innocently restored peace to the house … free of east Enders!