Lamps for landscape design are currently used not only to illuminate the site and create comfortable conditions for human life. Currently, lamps are not only a lantern above the entrance to the house. These are amazing in their beauty additional lighting elements, which makes the garden in the evening and at night even more romantic and attractive. Decorative garden lights are divided into groups depending on their purpose.
Lamps perform in the garden not only utilitarian functions, but they also occupy a worthy place in the list of small architectural forms. Gone are the days when, in the evening, in the garden to illuminate the doors and steps, a light bulb was lit on a cord mounted on a pillar or porch of the house.
You can not ignore the fact that garden lighting is not only the magical beauty of a night garden but also a difficult technical problem, gardening can be potentially life-threatening for owners and guests with illiterate work. Before proceeding directly to the topic of design of modern garden lamps that interests us, what kind of lighting we can organize in the garden, as well as some technical problems and important technical aspects of lighting the site.
Systems and Types of Lighting
Correctly selected systems and types of lighting allow you to create comfortable conditions in any area. Functional lighting is used for practical purposes: evening and night lighting of entrance and entry areas, residential and utility buildings, parking, paths, steps, ponds and other potentially dangerous places on the site. Most garden owners are limited to these minimum coverage.
Having arrived at the site in the late hour, it is nice to find that the gate, the path leading to the house, and the front door are clearly visible. These important and pleasant signs of comfort are provided by the so-called emergency lighting, which makes it easy to navigate the site and move safely on it in the evening and at night.
The main task that decorative lighting solves is to create a certain mood in the evening and night garden, especially in places of rest. Properly planned and made lighting will allow you to admire the garden in the dark, will allow you to stay longer in the air, create coziness in the evening in the gazebo, on the patio or on a comfortable bench, turn an ordinary garden into a charming night fairy tale. Many working owners of suburban real estate appear at home only late in the evening, it is simply impossible for them to admire the beauty of the garden without landscape lighting.
Decorative lamps “work” in the garden not only in the dark, during the day they act as small architectural forms, decorating plant compositions, paths, ponds.
Mixed lighting was widely spread in the areas when lamps simultaneously solve functional and decorative tasks. Of course, this is the best option. Properly selected lamps give the garden a special charm, setting spectacular accents during the day and creating fabulously beautiful paintings at night.
Do not forget about the festive lighting. If you add garlands, rows of lights along the paths, light nets on trees and a gazebo to the usual lighting of the site, but “flexible” light on the decor elements, the holiday will be remembered for a long time.
Classification of Fixtures by Purpose
The purpose of fixtures in landscape design may include a decorative and lighting function. By purpose and principle of operation, the lamps are divided into two unequal groups. More numerous are garden lights, of which form the basis of almost any outdoor lighting system. They are placed at the main entrance to the house and along the main garden paths. They illuminate the night garden and decorate it, creating captivating paintings.
The classification of fixtures for their intended purpose includes the second group, which is formed by floodlights, which are used to highlight individual attractive elements of the garden, creating amazing pictures of the night garden. Floodlights are installed so that they are invisible, their appearance is simple and minimalistic, they cost significantly less than garden lamps.
If you want to highlight the trunk of a pine tree growing on a site with beautiful bark, a multi-stemmed tree or a bouquet planting, then the spotlight is located at the very roots. If you want to illuminate the crown or individual branches, the spotlight is located a few meters from the tree trunk. This option is good for spruce with a dense crown, linden, huge oak, birch trees look wonderful as if glowing from the inside. Interesting fragments of the crown can be highlighted by placing spotlights inside it itself, this method is suitable for any large beautiful trees, it is only important to decorate the wires.
The searchlight can be positioned so that the tree casts an interesting shadow on the vertical surface of the wall or fence. It doesn’t matter how spectacular the tree itself is, only the unusualness and beauty of its shadow are important.
Design of Fixtures
Since the time of the first gas lantern, which appeared in the century before last, the design of the lamps has not undergone major changes. The base, mast, and shade are the three components of any flashlight, from Pushkin to a high-tech column. However, the design of the lamps, giving them an unforgettable appearance, is constantly being improved.
There is a generally accepted division of groups of outdoor lighting fixtures – classic, spherical and hemispherical, posts (bollards), reflected light fixtures, road, recessed. The design of the lanterns depends on the stylistic decision of the house and garden. For the convenience of customers, the lamps in the catalogs are represented by sets, which include 3 different in height (from 1 to 3 m) lamps, as well as several sconces for mounting on the walls of the house.
Types of Street Lights for the Garden
Classic street lamps for the garden make up a significant share of lamps, they are also called Pushkin or park lamps, as they preserve the design of lamps for park lighting. There is a wide variety of their models with column heights from 0.5 to 5 m. The flow of light from park lamps is directed to the sides. For this reason, the road surface is poorly lit, trunks and tree crowns, sculptures and walls of neighboring buildings are better lit. The design features of park lights cause a strong blinding effect, at a distance, the viewer sees a light source, surrounding objects are hidden in the dark. Manufacturers offer models of lamps with frosted glass shades, but these measures only mitigate the effect of dazzle. Their bodies are made of cast aluminum alloys, followed by processing and applying a special protective powder coating. The color of the housing and the supporting parts of the fixtures varies quite widely.
There are other types of street lights, which differ in a number of functional features.
For spherical lamps, the plafond is made in the form of a ball, the luminous flux is uniformly directed in all directions. Lampshades can also be made of matte plastic. These lamps also blind the observer – the stronger, the more powerful the lamp. At a distance, only a spherical ceiling remains visible, and the surrounding objects are lost in the dark.
For hemispherical luminaires, the reflector directs the light flux to the sides and down. Hemispheres, while maintaining a blinding effect due to the open ceiling, nevertheless illuminate the horizontal surface well. Of the park lights, the best are those with hemispherical shades pointing down.
An interesting option for garden lighting is bollards or hi-tech posts, most often made of polished metal, sometimes plastic or stone. Their height varies from 0.5 to 1 m, which does not reduce their blinding effect on the observer since the light distribution curve of these lamps has the same character as that of classical ones.
Manufacturers offer bollard options with shades in the form of gratings that redistribute the luminous flux down or with reflectors directing the light down. Columns are the most popular version of low-voltage landscape lamps. Their main purpose is to illuminate paths and paths.
The principle of operation of reflected light fixtures (indicators) is based on the fact that the light beam from the light source passes through a hollow light-tight tube, and then is reflected from the mirror surface. The light is soft, evenly directed, not blinding. These lamps use powerful metal halide lamps, which are good for urban lighting, the lighting of sports fields; in small suburban areas, their use is inappropriate due to the powerful floodlight and the large size of the lamp.
Road lights have been specifically designed to illuminate walking and pedestrian paths. The flow of light is directed strictly down, there is no dazzling effect. Lamps are available in height from 0.5 to 1.5 m. These lamps are a good solution for illuminating the pedestrian paths of suburban villages, parking lots and other public places. To illuminate the territories of private gardens, specially designed path lights of small sizes, most often copying flowers, mushrooms, etc.
Soil – the lowest and cheapest group of landscape lamps, they are installed directly in the ground, they are distinguished by the presence of various kinds of decorative grilles, protective visors, and rings, different in size of lamps, and the material of the cases.
Recessed luminaires are designed for installation on horizontal and vertical surfaces. For their installation, certain cells are needed in which the lamp itself is inserted, the viewer only sees its front side in the form of an overhead grille or a window. The luminous flux is directed perpendicular to the surface of the ceiling. On sale there are recessed lights with colored shades, allowing you to achieve the play of color in the compositions. The choice of recessed luminaires comes down to the choice of the geometry and dimensions of the luminaire, as well as the decorative design of the front panel, which sometimes comes to the fore.
They are mounted in the roadbed, soil, lawn, retaining walls, stairs. The luminaires built into the road do not light it, but only show the direction, in winter they find themselves under the thickness of snow. To illuminate the stairs, it is better to embed the lamps not in the steps themselves, but in the riser. The surface of such luminaires can be protected by matte shades and lattice reflectors to reduce the effect of dazzle, for example, when climbing an illuminated staircase. For parking lots or entry roads, as well as vertical surfaces, luminaires with a reflector and side slots for the exit of the light stream are offered. Due to the design features, there is no dazzling effect on such lamps.
Recessed luminaires can also be used for landscape lighting. Remaining hidden from the viewer, they highlight the trunks and crowns of trees and shrubs, small architectural forms, landscape compositions, paving surfaces and retaining walls. The advantage of such lamps is the lack of blinding action at night and their invisibility during the day.
There are several signs by which luminaires can be divided:
- by style (classic, hi-tech, modern, Chinese, etc.);
- by the number of shades (one or more);
- by the installation method (wall, ceiling, pendant, cantilever, floor, built-in);
- in the form of a lampshade (stylized as old gas lanterns, spherical, cylindrical, conical, pyramidal, etc.);
- by material (aluminum, copper, stainless steel, polyamide, etc.).
The most important difference between the lamps is that in some the light source is located above the level of the human eye, in others, it is lower (at a height of 10-70 cm). The first blind the traveler, who finds himself in a light spot cast by lanterns on the ground. Such lanterns do not allow you to see the surrounding landscape – only the area that is directly lit is visible. The lanterns of the second group pour light on the track without blinding. From above a spot of light, you can admire the surrounding garden. Such lights are closed from above by reflective surfaces – umbrellas, covers, etc.
In large gardens, lanterns are usually installed on poles 3-4 m high. They provide uniform diffused illumination of a large area. Medium-sized lanterns with a height of 1.5-2 m create a limited spot of light, serve to illuminate flower beds, enter the house, recreation areas. Small luminaires with a height of 1-1.3 m are often placed along the paths, choosing the height and power of the lamps so as to provide sufficient lighting without dazzling passing people. Such fixtures often use reflectors and light diffusers, frosted lamps and glass.
Low lights attract attention, their appearance should be treated with particular care, they should not look like alien elements. Lanterns several tens of centimeters high provide local illumination of paths, paved areas, they can indicate the boundaries of the site or garden areas. The direction of light in low luminaires can be adjustable, in which case it is convenient to use them for highlighting small decorative elements in the garden, such as a rocky hill, water cascade, plant composition or flower garden. Their design should be concise and discreet, combining both with other lamps on the site and with the general style of the garden.
Homemade Street Lights for Summer Cottages
There are two main areas in which home-made street lamps find their application. Most often, original support is made for a purchased lamp. As supports, processed logs, an outdated tree, on the branches of which fixtures, large driftwood can be used, can be used. Unusual fixtures for a summer residence can be made from anything you want, for example, using lampshades, flower pots, bundles of wire, unusual bottles, hats, pipes, baskets, etc. One should not forget only two things – good taste and safety requirements.
Evening lighting in the garden is not only lamps, but also candles, and even mosquito torches, such lighting “appliances” are unsafe, especially if the family has children.