Andy Douglas, MD at Timeguard, talks us through what to consider when specifying automatic LED lighting for a garden.
Your customer wants some automatic LED lighting for their garden, so what do you do? Grab the first one you see at the wholesaler? Pick out the cheapest item on the assumption that price comes first?
In our experience it’s always best to spend a minute or two thinking about the spec before you buy. If one option is priced higher, there’s bound to be a good reason.
With customer expectations higher than ever, there are a few key elements that we recommend you look for when trying to source the right product:
Polycarbonate reflectors and windows
Aluminium can tarnish within a few months; whereas, polycarbonate keeps its good looks. It’s a much better option than fragile glass, which also has long-lasting properties. Moreover, some models do away with the need for front covers altogether with rugged reflector plates and lens covers.
Light quality and coverage
LEDs emit a straight beam: if the array isn’t designed with side-emitting diodes as well as forward-facing ones – or with prismatically diffused design – the unit will have a spotlight effect. A good tip is to look out for lenses over the diodes, a sure sign the designer has considered light beams and angles. When you have a big area to illuminate, choose LED floodlights with arrays designed specifically to provide the wide beam required.
Efficient heat sinks
LED life will be extended if overheating can be avoided. Efficient heat sinks are especially important indoors or where ambient temperatures are high. Look for metallic vanes to ensure maximum efficiency.
Floodlights can offer anything from 10W to 100W – be sure to make the right selection for the location. Also, don’t assume that PIR switching is the only option; Timeguard’s LEDPRO range provides a choice of plug-in photocell, RF and PIR controllers. You don’t have to settle for black either. Pure white units will hardly show against a modern fascia or soffit, and that keeps the customer happy.
Every supplier claims their goods are installer friendly, but be vigilant. What you really want to look out for are captive screws, big terminals and spare terminals for looping out and adding slaves. Ask questions like ‘does the bracket clip on and off easily?’ so you know if you can easily pre-fix it to the wall.
Are the lux level and time on control adjusters clearly labelled? Or even labelled at all? Does the bracket allow for tilt? Some offer pan as well. Is the PIR detector easy to direct and, if necessary, can it mask to give the right detection field and avoid nuisance switching? These are all important questions to consider, as it’s your time that will be spent on the initial set-up.
Is corrosion going to be an issue?
In coastal and damp areas, rust can lead to tell-tale trails down the wall. Choose rust-resistant models, with top quality stainless steel componentry, if this might be an issue for your customer.
Is it guaranteed?
There’s really no need to settle for less than three years. We stuck our necks out when we first started offering extended guarantees, and now they’re the norm amongst good suppliers.
To download a copy of the latest Timeguard product catalogue, featuring the LEDPRO range of floodlights, go to: www.rdr.link/ei023