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The different types of garden lights and how to use them

Garden Lights

Garden lights come in many different forms, and the various areas of your garden will benefit the most from certain types of light fitting.

What follows is a breakdown of the various types of garden light and the areas they tend to work best in.

Garden spike lights

Spike lights are mounted on top of a short spike, which is pushed into the ground at the desired location. They can be mains, battery or solar powered, so you have the freedom to choose the best option for your requirements.

Prices can range from £5 to £35, and good quality solar or battery powered spike lights give you complete flexibility in where you locate them in your garden.

Use garden spike lights in or around flowerbeds, lawns and paths.

solar led spike lights

LED Spike Lights

LED Garden Bollard Light

Garden Bollard Light

Garden bollard lights

Bollard lights look like miniature street lights. They work well in larger gardens and outdoor spaces and are available in a range of sizes and styles.

As well as giving careful thought to the size and style that you choose, you should also consider how light is emitted. Some bollards provide 360 degrees of light, which are ideal for large, open spaces. Others shine in a single direction, providing a narrower beam of light and illuminating what is directly in front of it, rather than what’s around it.

Use garden bollard lights for driveways, wider garden paths and lawns.

Outdoor spotlights

Spotlights can be mounted in an elevated position on walls or trees and angled downwards; or placed at ground level on a spike, pointing upwards or level. They provide a wide beam of light to illuminate a large area.

Spotlights are generally mains or battery powered, however there are also solar powered options, but these will not provide as high a light output.

Use outdoor spotlights to illuminate paths, driveways and lawns from above; and trees, bushes and walls from the ground.

Bear in mind that this type of light emits a wider splash of light, and are best used in large, open areas; or angled upwards at the base of trees and bushes to illuminate them.

Garden wall lights

Garden wall lights are different from spotlights in that they are decorative light fittings that both provide light to an outdoor area and look good in their own right. Most wall lights are mains powered but there are solar and battery powered options out there as well.

LED Garden wall light

LED Garden Wall Light

solar decking lights

Solar Decking Lights

Outdoor Floodlights

Floodlights emit a very wide beam of bright light, and are usually used as security lights with a PIR sensor.

Generally, using floodlights in your garden will simply wash out the effects of any other lighting, however they can be used in a similar fashion to spotlights when positioned at ground level.

If you have a large tree or wall that you want to light up, a floodlight at the base of the feature might be more effective than a spotlight, due to the higher light output.

In-ground lights

In-ground lights are essentially a spotlight that is embedded in the ground, with the face of the fitting sitting flush with the surface of the ground.

In-ground lights are most commonly used at the edges of driveways and paths, and IP68 rated fittings can be completely submerged in water features. They can also be installed horizontally into the face of steps and walls.

Deck lighting

Deck lighting fittings are similar to in-ground light fittings. The difference is that they are shorter as they will be fitted into wood rather than the ground. They can, however, also be used as ground lights if conditions allow, for example in small flowerbeds or rockeries.

LED candle lights

Candle light is ideal for creating a warm, cosy atmosphere in the evenings. LED candle lights provide a realistic effect, last a lot longer than real candles and aren’t affected by the wind. Use with patio furniture or along the edges of paths and water features.

String lights and lantern lights

String lights and lantern lights are used for decorative purposes, and can be used along walls, tree branches, bushes and gazebos. Opt for battery or solar powered lights for an affordable and versatile solution, or invest in mains powered for permanent use.

Lighting your garden

With the knowledge provided here, you can now plan your own garden lighting project, and you may find our Six steps to stunning garden lighting article helpful.

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