Your Guide to Buying Gorgeous (and Affordable) Garden Lights

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Your Guide to Buying Gorgeous (and Affordable) Garden Lights

Gardeners spend a decent amount of time making their gardens and landscape look beautiful and magical. With all of that hard work, it’s worth the time to consider how to show off all that effort not only during the day, but at night as well, using garden lights to showcase it. Garden lights draw attention to flower beds, plants, or fruits and vegetables. They give a romantic look to the garden and add a level of value to the home. In addition, garden lights not only add beauty, but they add a level of security to the home as well.

There are several different lighting options, power options, and styles to match the decor of the home and of the yard. While purchasing the perfect garden lights can seem like a complicated process, it will become much easier when buyers are aware of all of the available options and when they know what overall look they are trying to be achieved.


Garden Type

Before deciding on garden lights, gardeners should first define the type of garden they have. Gardens of flowers will look better with light that is projected down from above, while gardens with leafy plants will look better with light that is projected upwards. Because flowers face upwards, they are not showcased when lit from below. In this instance, gardeners should consider purchasing lights that can hang from trees or that have a tall stake. Gardens with more leafy plants and foliage will look better with lights that project upward. This offers the opportunity for projecting shadows upward through the plant onto surfaces.


Lighting Effects

There are a variety of effects that lighting can give a garden. Lighting effects should be chosen based on personal style and preference, as well as the type of garden. Lights can be very bright to demand attention, they can provide accent lighting, or they can give a subtle ambiance.

Uplighting

Uplighting is light that is projected from below. This is the most common technique used in lighting gardens and landscape. Uplighting produces a dramatic effect as it reverses the daylight perspective. The light shines diagonally which offers wide coverage of the garden.

Downlighting

Downlighting shines from above in a downward direction that shines over a garden or landscape. This type of lighting provides good illumination for a full view of the garden. The wide area of light also provides illumination for safety and security purposes.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting uses various spotlights to highlight specific plants, flowers, or areas of a garden. The lights can be hung from above or they can be staked in the ground and used in the form of uplighting. These lights are good for gardens that have special plants and flowers that are meant to be shown off.

Silhouetting

Gardens that have a wall or surface behind particular plants or showpieces can benefit by having silhouette lighting. Silhouetting creates a dark outline of the flowers or the plant when a light is shining against a wall or surface.

Spread Lighting

Spread lighting uses a light that is on a stem and is low to the ground. The stem has a light with a shield or mushroom shaped hat on top of it to create a circle of light beneath it. This type of light is best used for gardens with low plants. The pool of light will show off short, low level flowers and plants. It is also good for use along pathways.

Tiered Lights

Tiered lights are also located closer to the ground. They resemble a pagoda or temple and deflect light downwards. Similar to spread lights, they are mounted on stakes and are low to the ground. They look very decorative and are perfect for gardens.


Solar vs. Low Voltage Lighting

Solar lighting and low voltage lighting are very economical ways to make a garden look beautiful and enchanting. Solar lighting is powered by the sun, while low voltage lighting is powered by a power pack or transformer. Both types of lights are usually easy to install. They are also both shock proof and safe for children and pets to touch. Both types of lighting have several benefits.

Solar Lighting

Solar lighting conserves energy and doesn’t affect the electric bill; however, it can be an expensive purchase. Solar panels absorb energy from sunlight throughout the day which is converted into electrical power that is stored in highly effective batteries. When the sun begins to set, the lights begin to turn on. Solar lights that are fully charged can stay lit for up to 15 hours; however, they are much dimmer than other garden lights. Because solar lighting requires no wiring, it is very easy to install. It is also perfect for gardens that do not have an accessible source of electricity.

Low Voltage

Low voltage lights put out a very bright light at a low cost. These lights use about 50 volts or less and emit a brighter light than solar lights that give off a warm ambient light. The lights are plugged into a transformer or power pack that is plugged into an outlet. Installation and maintenance are a little bit more involved with low voltage lights compared to solar lights. Low voltage lights need to be connected to a power cord or wire that runs through the landscape and it also needs to be turned on, while solar lights turn on automatically without any wires or cords. Low voltage lights can be installed with timers to decrease the maintenance. The benefit of low voltage lights is that they come in a variety of styles and designs while the variety of solar light styles may be limited.


Garden Light Design

The design of the lights should match the decor of the home and landscape. There is a plethora of garden lighting fixtures to complement any type of garden. For those looking for a modern look, consider a minimalist lighting look. Whimsical gardens will look fun with ornate lighting fixtures. There is a wide variety of designs to choose from; lights can be tall, short, baroque, modern, or antique looking. Choose a design that shows off the garden and suits the decor of the home and landscape.


Things to Consider

There are a few last things to consider before purchasing some gorgeous garden lights. Buyers should keep a few things in mind such as their budget, the weather they will encounter, and the position of the lights.

Weather

Buyers who live in an area where it frequently rains or receives a fair amount of precipitation should be sure to purchase lights that are weather resistant. Weather resistant lights will ensure that the garden still looks secure and beautiful during the harshest of weather. Keep in mind that solar lighting may not be the best option if the gardener lives in area where it frequently rains and it is frequently cloudy as solar lights need sunlight to produce enough energy to create light.

Position

Consider the position of the garden and the lights before making a purchase. First, consider the size of the garden; this will determine how many lights are needed to illuminate the garden. Sometimes less is more with garden lighting, so do not go overboard. Try using several different lighting options to make the garden stand out. Using a spotlight pointing upwards can highlight a row of flowers or plants, while also lighting a tree or taller plant behind.

Budget

The budget is a very important factor when purchasing garden lights, but it’s also important to consider the long term costs of garden lights. While solar lights are expensive to purchase, they save buyers money in their electric bills. Low voltage garden lights are less expensive to purchase; however, they use electricity which can lead to a higher electricity bill. Buy garden lights that will give the garden an enchanting look while also providing the home with some security that works within the gardener’s short and long term budget.


Shopping for Gorgeous Garden Lights

Gorgeous (and affordable) garden lights may be found at discount stores, home improvement stores, and garden supply stores. While gardeners may find two or three options at each location, it is unlikely that the many garden lighting options will be available at one local retailer. This is why many people turn to eBay for garden lights. It is possible to find a wide variety of gorgeous and affordable lights from a variety of sellers.


Finding Gorgeous Garden Lights on eBay

Once you have chosen which type of garden lights you want, go to the Home & Garden portal, choose Yard, Garden & Outdoor Living, then select Outdoor Lighting. The subcategories will allow you to narrow down the search options further, such as:

Search modifiers such as price, condition, and location, will also help you narrow the search further.

When you are looking for a particular item on eBay, you can search the listings with specific words. For example, type "solar garden accent lights" (without quotations) directly into the search box to produce a list of related items. Use the Advanced Search options to narrow the results further.

Research the eBay Seller

Before making a purchase, be sure to research the product and the seller. Carefully read the details in the description of the item. An effective way to evaluate the seller is to look at the seller’s feedback. The feedback is located in parentheses after the seller’s user ID. The feedback will display the percentage of positive feedback he or she has received, and it will show what other buyers are saying about the seller. Also, be sure to check the seller’s terms and conditions and find out if there is a return policy. Remember to factor in the cost of shipping and delivery into the final price of the item.


Conclusion

Garden lighting is one of the most economical ways to make the home look safe and inviting. Having lights in the garden makes a yard or garden feel more welcoming; it can even give a romantic, ambient feel to the home. Garden lights can be sleek and simple or rustic and unique. Choose lights that match the decor of the home and landscape. Be sure to position the lights in spots that will show off the garden’s best features.

Remember to consider the budget before making a purchase. Keep in mind that while solar lights are expensive to purchase initially, they may save you money in the long run, while low voltage lights are more affordable, but may require more maintenance. Be sure to shop around a bit before deciding on garden lights, and keep in mind that garden lights not only make the yard look magical, they also offer protection.

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