Chris Hudson, Managing Director at Hudson Lighting
For anyone that has followed me for a while on social media, you might know that I worked as an electrician and installed garden lighting for eight years. I have installed what feels like every brand and every type of light there is. Ironically, I have only learnt the following important lesson since becoming a manufacturer through the designers I’ve met.
Three different designers requested an addition of a glare guard to our spike light products. I figured it was about time I made something that could be added.
Now, at the time, I didn’t really get it, I saw the glare guard as a fancy but unnecessary extra that most wouldn’t use. But if the demand was there then it made sense to make it. After building the first I decided to test it in front of a medium-sized six-metre tall tree by my home.
‘Oh my!’ I’d clearly been not considering glare when I saw the results. I’m a big advocate for not seeing spike lights. After all, spike lights are normally placed within the planting and so should not be seen. So, the smaller the better and green or black in finish makes them just disappear. The glare guard, however, adds an extra magic trick when you see the light effect at night.
Without the glare guard, you can pinpoint exactly where each light is at night. But with a glare guard, you lose that ability, you can see what’s lit, but you can’t necessarily tell where it’s coming from. And that’s the point, spike lighting in gardens is about lighting features – such as beautiful Olive trees or stunning acers. It is not about seeing those lights. The lights are not the feature, the planting is.
I have one pet peeve, however; whenever I see that an electrician has done a fantastic installation of some outdoor lighting but then place recessed lights facing upward at the end of decking area or along a pathway. Can you imagine for a second, standing over that light or merely walking by it, you’re bound to be temporarily blinded.
So when next designing a garden lighting installation, consider the glare. If you eliminate it and light all those stunning features, you’ll have one really happy customer!