By Marci Glover

During the summer, when there are more daylight hours, we feel more relaxed when we are outside. However, when the nights draw in we feel less secure because we are uncertain of where we are and who is close by. This is even true when we are in our garden, in the dark it all seems unfamiliar.

We have all opened our front door and not been able to see the person standing on the porch very clearly. This is because there is no outdoor lighting to help us. If only for security reasons, it is essential that we have some form of lighting illuminating our outdoor spaces, however, the same lighting can be used to beautify the same areas.

There are many different styles of lamps that can used outdoors. It is not necessary to limit yourself to floodlights that dazzle any visitors. More discrete forms of lighting can be used outside, such as lamp poles along a footpath. It is also possible to get lamps that work using motion detectors, so that they are only on as your visitor passes by.

The type of lamps you use, and the way that they are powered, depends a lot on the location. If you are installing security lamps for the business, it is usually best to use a mains power supply due to the time that they will be on. If they are being installed in your garden, solar powered lamps should be adequate.

Just imagine if you could only have barbecues during the daylight hours, and had to send everybody home when the sun went down. With subtle and well-positioned lighting your party could go on well into the evening. People would still be able to see what they were doing, and where they were walking, with well-positioned walkway lamps, table lamps, and wall lamps, highlighting specific areas.

Well-positioned garden lamps could also double as security lamps. A lot depends on your needs, and the lamps that you buy, as you can get some that work on motion sensors, or timers. If you plan to install some outside lighting at the same time as having your garden landscaped, cabling could be laid, and lamp positioning be determined, at that point. However, if you already have a beautiful garden, solar powered lamps will probably be the best solution as they can be repositioned easily.

It is important to consider the light given out by your lamps if they are near public areas. Make sure that the lamps are positioned so that they do not dazzle people passing by, whether they are walking or driving. This could be very dangerous, especially if the lamp is operated by a motion sensor and flashes on into a driver's eyes.

There are a lot of specialists who design outdoor areas who can help you in your choice and positioning of lamps, but this could be outside of your budget. An alternative method is to make use of the free standing solar powered lamps available, though these will initially be expensive, but will have minimal running costs. Lighting your outdoor areas can add both beauty and security, and also allow you to spend more time relaxing in your garden.

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