It’s not unusual, in general conversation, to hear people moan about the terrible light that energy efficient lamps give out but luckily the days of having to wait several minutes for the lamps to warm up and actually give out some form of decent light are rapidly passing.

Lighting technology has come on leaps and bounds since the original compact fluorescent came on the market with it’s grey undertones, and the every-day bulb is now being replaced with LEDs and making our lives clear again!

So how about a revamp? Given that the compact fluorescent lasts for such a long time, many of us will be still using lamps that were purchased several years ago and just think how things have progressed since then.  Remember to dispose of your CFLs carefully (see Recolight) as these lamps contain hazardous materials so cannot be just thrown out with the general waste.  Then how about investing in some quality LED lamps that have good colour rendering properties and a sharp crisp light.

There were some excellent examples on display at LuxLive in November, amongst them the new Philips Master LEDbulb; the clear 40 watt equivalent version seemed to give out the crispest light but at the moment only comes in an E27 fitting (large screw-in base) and may not be quite bright enough for every situation.  Other, more powerful ones are available with bayonet fittings and greater output although not quite the same sparkle.  Instant light though and well worth the investment.

Controls

Ideally there should never be less than two control circuits, three being the optimum and a fourth giving prime flexibility. The first will be atmospheric lighting close to the house, the second will be security and facility lighting (this will often be on a PIR with a timer and over-ride facility), and the third will generally be for landscaping beyond the immediate vicinity of the house, such as driveways and additional features. The luxury of the fourth can allow for an entertaining circuit such as illuminating a barbeque and dining area, swimming pool or hot tub if such indulgences exist.

Lighting a garden can be a functional exercise or an exciting adventure which will add a totally new dimension to a property. There’s no quick fix solution to creating it but with careful consideration and measured planning the effect can be a work of art. It’s a matter of choice.