Here the team at Integral LED shares some top tips to help your customers ‘set the scene’ with their outdoor lighting.
The lighting of outdoor spaces has been transformed in recent years thanks to the key benefits brought about by LED over traditional lighting. The relative robustness of solid state lamps compared to their filament predecessors, coupled with their lower running costs, has created a renewed interest in the lighting of gardens.
Lighting manufacturers are producing new generations of LED luminaires for the outdoors to tackle the natural challenges of the external lighting. The widening array of new luminaires available at trade counters requires some know-how to navigate through the options when specifying outdoor lighting.
To help you to better understand your lighting options, here’s a brief overview of how fixtures are deployed, with examples from the new and comprehensive Integral LED range:
Setting the scene
Picture a garden as a theatrical stage. Imagine a scene framed with natural backdrops and scenery, while the actors or focal points are played by the trees, shrubs and ornaments.
After dark the lighting scheme tells the story. For instance, a wall with a rough stone texture or brickwork can be used to frame the view of an outdoor space and help balance the composition of the scene. Here ‘grazing’ or the washing of light across the face of an object is an effective technique that can be created with the use of a series of inground uplighters.
Integral LED’s range of Pathlux Inground Uplighters offers a selection of lumen levels and a choice of beam angles of warm 3000K illumination, which is ideal to pick out the detail in a vertical surface.
Locating a line of concealed inground luminaires at the base of a wall, hedge or fence, close enough to spread an interlocking wash of light, adds an important structural element to a garden at night.
Once the stage is set, it’s time to introduce the main players, features to draw the eye of the viewer and involve them in the narrative of the outdoor space. Trees are magnificent in all seasons and benefit from uplighting into the branches or canopies for a theatrical effect.
Lighting from the front produces a flattening appearance. Consider the placement of additional luminaires from the sides to enhance the 3D appearance and backlight for increased drama.
Integral’s 10.2W inground unit produces 800 Lm – sufficient to illuminate a tall tree. Moonlighting or fixing downlights within the branches has the reverse outcome, mimicking the rays of a full moon and creating a romantic scene.
Fixing LED PAR 38 lamps on easy-fix brackets and attaching directly onto the tree is a straight-forward solution. Consider using different colours too. Sculptures and ornaments add unique character to a garden.
Again, one lightsource will not accentuate the detail of a piece – using three PAR lamps on inground spike fittings highlights the relief of an object and when backlit, the object is separated from the background.
Pathways through an outdoor space have an important function of providing safe passage. Yet they do fulfil a creative purpose of dividing a garden, often into contrasting areas of planting and also activities like dining or lounging.
Whether you’re using bollard or low ground lighting, glare especially is a factor. Integral’s bollard range casts a downward light in a 120 degree cone. The LEDs are fixed to the underneath of the luminaire’s cap so the light is shaded from eyesight. Locate these self-standing fixtures on both sides of the path and resist equal spacing to break up the uniformity.
Another option is to keep lighting at a low level where illumination can direct footfall while not detracting from the visual theatre of the main garden scene. If there is a retaining wall, brick lights and wall downlighters can be used – especially over hazards like steps.
Here an inground luminaire can play its part, casting light horizontally across the path surface. Integral’s Pathlux range offers four-way, two-way and single direction lamps designed as a concealed fixture.
Despite the use of IP67 luminaires, the vulnerability of electrical installations to the inevitable exposure to moisture and water below ground level can dramatically shorten the life expectancy of an installation.
The team at Integral has been developing features to prevent the causes of ‘cable suction’, which effectively draws water into the core of the lighting installation.
As a LED increases in temperature during operation, heated air expands. Prevented access to the sealed luminaire, the air escapes along the connected cable. When the light is switched off and begins to cool down, the assembly effectively becomes a small water pump that draws moisture in the air along the cable into the fitting body.
H20 Stop is a device designed to eliminate this capillary action within a scheme’s electrical cabling and hence it minimises the presence of corrosive moisture within an outdoor lighting system.
Integral’s new Pathlux Inground series carries the H2O Stop feature throughout the range. Coupled with the additional benefits of solid-state light-sources it will preserve the operational lifetime of illuminated gardens.
For more details about Integral LED’s outdoor lighting collection, go to: https://integral-led.com/luminaires/outdoor