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Pathway illumination, landscape lighting and safety lighting — these are just a few of the ways that people incorporate outdoor lighting around their homes. In particular, spike garden lights make for excellent lighting solutions anywhere outdoors. Below, we will explore ground spike lights, as well as some ideas for incorporating the best garden spike lights into your space.
What are LED Spike Lights?
LED spike lights at their most basic are smaller versions of garden spotlights. They rest atop spikes that you can easily install right into the ground. An LED spike light tends to come with an adjustable head that allows you to choose the direction of the beam itself, including up, down, or forward. This type of flexibility is one of the main draws of a spike lamp.
What Are The Benefits of LED Spike Lighting?
LED garden spike lights provide everything there is to love about LED lighting in your outdoor living space. Some of the main draws include:
- LONG LIFE – LED lights will provide illumination for a much longer period of time than traditional bulbs. Where halogen bulbs tend to burn out after 1,000 hours, LED bulbs provide illumination for a minimum of 20,000 hours. Because of their long lifespans, you won’t have to deal with maintenance or the expenses of constantly replacing the lights.
- VERSATILITY – LED spike lights give you plenty of customisation options, thanks to their colour temperature and lumen variations. These lights are commonly applied in areas with trees, pathways and architectural areas that you want to highlight. Adjustable light heads also mean being able to direct the beam of light anywhere you choose.
- ULTRA-DURABLE – Spike lights for garden illumination are capable of withstanding the elements they are constantly exposed to, including weather and extreme temperatures. Since LED bulbs don’t have any of the traditional fragile elements of halogen bulbs, they won’t break or crack easily.
- REDUCED COSTS – Since these lights are durable and long lasting, you won’t have to shell out cash to replace them frequently. Their energy efficient nature also means less money spent on your electric bill.
- ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY – LED lights lack any toxic elements that you’ll find in other light bulbs, nor do they output any harmful rays. The energy efficiency nature of LED lights also allows them to leave behind a smaller carbon footprint.
- ENERGY EFFICIENCY – As opposed to traditional bulbs such as halogen lights, LED lights are very energy efficient. They use very little energy to generate illumination, which means you are wasting less energy and less money on lighting your home and outdoor areas.
Why Use LED Garden Spike Lights?
One of the best landscape lighting design tips anyone can give is to use LED bulbs. LED garden spike lights are increasing in popularity due to the many perks they hold over incandescent and halogen alternatives.
Among the most attractive of their many benefits is the energy efficiency that the bulbs are known for. They are incredibly energy efficient, using 80 percent less energy to create light than traditional bulbs. Since they output next to no heat, none of the energy is wasted there. Instead, all of it translates to illumination.
LED bulbs also have a much longer life. Where traditional bulbs only output light for around 1,000 hours, LED lights can go for tens of thousands of hours. The reduction in energy usage and the longer life means you will spend less money on replacement garden spike spotlights and your electricity bills.
Every garden spike light has its own personality, and when you use an LED spike light, you can exercise more control over its customisation. LED lights are available in a number of lumen counts, colour temperatures and styles, allowing you access to the spike garden lights that best suit your space.
Furthermore, LED bulbs provide directional lighting. This allows you to shine illumination where you choose, letting you get creative with your lighting effects in the garden.
Great Ideas for Spike Lighting Applications
There are many ways to include garden spike lights in your outdoor living area.
- PATHWAYS – When you install garden spike light fixtures along walkways, driveways and other paths, you can create a well-lit, safe area to walk at night.
- LANDSCAPES – Ground spike lights are often employed for elevating the look of an outdoor living space. These can be used to highlight certain areas of the garden, such as trees, flowers, shrubs or other landscape-specific features you want to draw attention to.
- ACCENT LIGHTING – Other elements of the garden, such as sculptural and architectural features, can be highlighted with directional spike lighting. This also includes foundations, ponds and other water features.
- DECK AND PATIO LIGHTING – Using spike lights, you can outline the perimeter of the deck or patio while providing ample illumination in the area at the same time. They are particularly well suited to dining areas, seating locations or anywhere you plan to relax or entertain guests. In turn, this makes spike lighting a great choice for special occasions and events where friends and family gather.
- SAFETY AND SECURITY – A well-lit outdoor area can be a great deterrent for intruders. If there are fewer shadows cast onto the ground, there are fewer areas for them to creep around in. This makes spike lights an excellent addition to security lighting.
Types of Spike Ground Lights
Within the scope of spike lights, there are various types of them to choose from.
- ADJUSTABLE – Adjustable spike lights allow you to move the direction of the heads and therefore the angle of the lighting to provide more precise illumination.
- FIXED – With a fixed light, the head doesn’t move, meaning light will shine in one direction only. These are better suited for highlighting general features or lighting a more general area.
- DIMMABLE LIGHTS – Spike lights with dimming capability let you change the brightness of the light, making them ideal for mood lighting.
- MOTION SENSING – With motion sensors in your spike lights, the lights will only turn on when someone walks past them. This makes the already energy efficient lighting even more so.
- IN-GROUND – In-ground lights are made to be installed directly into the ground, as their names suggest.
What is The Best Construction Material For Spike Lighting?
The materials that the lights are made of is important to consider when shopping for spike lights. While the types of materials may change depending on your needs, there are a few that are used more often than others. Some of the most commonly used materials include:
- ALUMINIUM – Aluminium is a durable, strong material that is also resistant to corrosion and thermal conductivity. Due to its lightweight nature, it can easily be shaped into different designs.
- STAINLESS STEEL – Stainless steel is a common material because of its durability and resistance to corrosion. It is capable of enduring difficult weather conditions while giving a sleek appearance to the area.
- BRASS – Brass is a beloved metal that has a classic look and feel. Like the others metals listed, brass is also resistant to corrosion and the elements. It is likely to develop a patina in time, something that might add to its visual appeal.
- POLYCARBONATE – Polycarbonate is a durable, yet lightweight material that is commonly used for outdoor applications due to its UV-resistant and impact-resistant nature.
How To Maintain Your Outdoor Spike Lights
Maintenance on your outdoor spike lights may be necessary from time to time. If you don’t want to call out an electrician a few times a year just to check the lights, there are a few ways you can take care of this yourself. Below are some tips on how to keep them looking and working their best:
- CLEAN THEM REGULARLY – Dust, dirt and other debris can gather on LED spike lights, which can make them appear dimmer and less effective. Cleaning the fixtures occasionally using a gentle cleaning solution and soft cloth can prevent this from happening.
- REPLACE DAMAGED PARTS – Occasionally take a look at the lights and see if any parts of them are damaged or need repaired. This means checking the cables and light housings and for loose parts.
- LOOK FOR WATER DAMAGE – Even though outdoor lights are made to be water resistant, moisture may still find its way inside over time. This could indicate that the light has a faulty seal or other crack that needs to be addressed.
- ADHERE TO THE MANUFACTURER’S GUIDE – Be sure that you refer to the upkeep and safety notes provided by the light’s manufacturer to ensure you are providing the best maintenance for your specific light.
What IP Rating Should Spike Lights Have?
IP ratings are a way to tell if a light is resistant to water and debris damage. The two digits in the ratings indicate this durability in terms of moisture and debris. IP ratings are important to note for any light you plan to buy, but they are especially important for outdoor lighting. This is due to the elements that outdoor lights are constantly exposed to.
First Digit – Solids
0 – No protection against solid matter
1 – Protection against and solid objects with a diameter larger than 50 millimeters
2 – Protection from objects greater then 12 millimeters in diameter
3 – Protection from objects such as wires with a diameter greater than 1 millimeter
4 – Protection from solid objects with a diameter or thickness over 1 millimeter
5 – Protection from moderate amounts of dust
6 – Protection from all dust
Second Digit – Moisture
0 – No protection from moisture
1 – Protection from condensation and droplets of water
2 – Protection from water that drips vertically
3 – Protection from water that is sprayed
4 – Protection from water that is splashed
5 – Protection from water that is projected
6 – Protection from water from a strong jet
7 – Protection from immersion
8 – Protection from long periods of immersion
In order to ensure the integrity and safety of your outdoor spike lights, choose ones with a minimum rating of IP65.
How LED Garden Spike Lighting Can Improve Safety and Security Around the Home
Outdoor spike lights do more than just provide aesthetic appeal. They can also contribute to the overall security of a home.
A brightly lit outdoor area is instrumental in deterring intruders from approaching your property. Garden LED spike lights incorporated into the garden bed pathway illumination leave no shadows in the walkways for intruders to sneak around in.
Using spike lights, you can illuminate entry areas, pathways and the perimeter of your home, clearly lighting and defining these areas. Doing so will reduce the confidence of an intruder who might otherwise plan to sneak up to one of these areas, and since it will be bright and well lit, an intruder will want to avoid approaching and being seen.
With the bright, clear lighting that LED bulbs give off, ground spike lights provide better visibility overall. When you use them in conjunction with flood lights, porch lights, soffit lights and other outdoor lighting, spike lights for gardens can play a big role in keeping your property safe.
Beyond that, you can connect your spike lights to a smart lighting system. Setting the lights on a timer to come on when it starts to get dark or even having them on a motion sensor will give the sense of the home being occupied even when it isn’t.
How To Design a Garden Layout to Include Spike Lighting
When you are ready to start planning your garden lighting, the key word is “planning.” It is important to take the time to figure out the needs of your garden before anything else.
- EXAMINE THE GARDEN. Take a stroll through the garden and get familiar with its layout. Look at any plant beds, pathways, sculptural features, walls or any other defining features you may need to plan around.
- FIGURE OUT WHERE AND WHAT YOU WANT TO LIGHT. Identify these key features and think about how you want to light them. This could mean outdoor garden spike lights by entryways, lining pathways and placing near seating areas to ensure proper illumination.
- CHOOSE THE RIGHT LIGHTS. Ultimately, the best garden spike lights for your property are going to be the ones that suit your preferences, both practically and aesthetically. Take time to look for the lights that best suit your taste from colour temperature to style. Everything from metallic to black spike lights are on the table, so get creative.
- LAYER THE LIGHTS. Garden spike lights should not be the only lights that you have in your garden. Be sure to layer them with ambient lighting as well. This will cast a wider glow around the garden that you can then supplement with spike lights.
- SELECT A COLOUR TEMPERATURE. Warm white lights tend to be better for entertainment areas or seating areas in the garden, as they provide a more inviting atmosphere. That said, if you want your spike lights to serve as security lighting, you may want to go with cooler white lights. These provide crisper illumination and better visibility.
Do’s and Don’ts When Planning and Installing Spike Spotlights
Keep the following tips in mind as you begin to incorporate spike lighting into your property.
- DO use durable lighting. Waterproof LED garden lights are a must-have. Since the lights will be exposed to the elements, it is important that you have corrosion resistant garden lighting that can withstand the weather. IP65-rated spike lights work well here, as they are protected against entry of both moisture and solid debris.
- DO select the right colour temperature. As mentioned, warm and cool lights both have their place. Choose the right one for the job, and make sure you are only sticking to one or the other. Having cool and warm lights in one place can cause unattractive clashes and ruin the atmosphere of the entire garden.
- DO consider safety. When installing spike lights, do so with safety and navigation in mind. Position the spike lights to provide ample visibility along paths and near steps to reduce the risk of accidents.
- DO use LED bulbs. Energy efficient outdoor lighting can save big bucks on your electrical bills, which is particularly important for outdoor lights you intend to run most of the night.
- DO conceal the wiring. In order to make sure the lighting scheme looks its best, find creative ways to hide the wiring. Burying it under mulch or along pathways is a good way to do this.
- DO have professional help. Unless you are a qualified electrician, installing lights may pose a danger to you. It is always a good idea to seek professional advice and assistance when working with potentially dangerous materials like this.
- DON’T forget balance. It is important that you have a nice layered lighting design to make your garden look its best. Add accent, ambient and even task lighting where necessary to create a well-balanced look.
- DON’T over light the area. Be sure that you are using spike lights as a supplemental source and not the main source of illumination. Too many of these lights can quickly take on a messy appearance and will throw off the balance of the rest of the lighting in the garden.
- DON’T skimp on fixtures. You get what you pay for when it comes to outdoor lighting. Choose durable, high quality fixtures that can withstand the elements, otherwise, you’ll be replacing them quite often.
- DON’T ignore maintenance. In order to ensure your lights stay in good working order, periodically check them out. Look for cracks in lenses, loose wiring or burned out bulbs, and remedy these issues as soon as you can.
Why You Should Have Mains Voltage Spike Lighting Installed By a Professional
Outdoor spike lights mains powered fixtures are not ones that you should be installing entirely on your own. A qualified electrician will know how to install these lights both safely and efficiently. Using a professional can save you headaches in the future.
Reasons to Involve a Professional in the Installation Process:
- LIGHTING REGULATION COMPLIANCE. An electrician will know the codes and regulations they need to adhere to, according to the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations (BS 7671). Their close knowledge of this information will ensure your lights are safely and legally installed.
- UNDERSTANDING CIRCUITRY. Electricians know about high voltage systems and can more safely install them. They will be able to ensure the voltage is distributed evenly, which can reduce the risk of voltage drops or overloads.
- SAFER WIRING. With their experience, electricians will be able to more safely wire the lights. This includes knowledge not only of placement but also the cable sizes and other protective measures. Proper wiring will reduce risks of electrical failures, fire hazards and short circuits.
- BETTER EARTH BINDING. One of the most important elements of outdoor illumination is safety. An electrician who can properly bind the lights to the earth will reduce the risk of electric shock.
KNOWLEDGE OF LOAD CAPACITY. After installation, professionals can test the load capacity and be sure that the circuit is able to handle the electricity without damaging the fixtures.
Common Problems with Spike Light Fittings
While spike lights bring many benefits to your garden, there are a few common issues with the lights that you should be aware of and prepared for.
Voltage drops happen when there is too much distance between the LED lights and the power source. This can cause fluctuating brightness levels or even flickering. Avoid this with thicker cables or even a dedicated power source specifically for your garden lights.
If your lights are not weatherproof, you run the risk of water damage. Water can get inside unprotected fixtures and can pose a safety risk. To avoid this, choose fixtures that are IP rated for outdoor use. You should also be sure all of the connections have been sealed properly.
If you try to wire the lights on your own, you may do so improperly. This can result in everything from the light not working at all to flickering to the risk of electrical shock. Avoid this entirely by having a professional wire the lights for you.
If your lights are incompatible with the transformer, you may notice inconsistent performance with the lights. Take care to use the correct transformer for your lights, one with the total wattage of the lights connected to it.
If the lights are not properly grounded into the earth, it could cause electric shock or even damage the lights. Be sure the metal elements of the fixtures are properly grounded. It is recommended that you allow a professional to do this part for you.
Ideas for Garden Spike Lights
Both aesthetically appealing and practical, the LFL018 1 Watt LED 600mm Tall Black Garden Spike Light is a chic choice for outdoor spaces. The light is also available in heights including 800 and 1000 millimeters, making any choice quite prominent. It features a rounded head with an opal acrylic shade that diffuses the 170 lumens of 3000k warm white light. The fixture is durably crafted from aluminium and has an IP65 rating.
For a more traditional garden spotlight look, opt for the LSP155 5 Watt LED Black Finish Garden Spike Light. This stout light sits low to the ground and shines brightly at 500 lumens. The 3000k warm white light can be tilted to shine upward or downward depending on your preference. With its durable aluminium construction and IP65 rating, this black spotlight can easily withstand the wear and tear of the elements.
Highlight and accent the beautiful aspects of your garden with the ODL035 6 Watt LED Black Finish Garden Spike Light. This spike light stands at 181 millimeters tall and features an adjustable head that you can use to point the 420 lumens of 3000k warm white light in any direction you choose. The light is crafted out of hardwearing aluminium that has been given a neutral black finish. The IP67 rating thoroughly protects the fixture against weather.
Perfect for security and accent lighting, the LSP157 12 Watt LED Black Finish Garden Spike Light is a classic-looking spotlight for any outdoor space. It features a moveable head that you can use to shine the ultra-bright 1200 lumens of 3000k warm white light either up or down. The light measures 150 millimeters in height and is finished in a sleek black hue. Its IP67 rating paired with its aluminium build makes it durable and strong.
Create an eye-catching outdoor area with the ODL036 9 Watt LED Black Finish Garden Spike Light. This spike light is perfect for accenting features in the garden, thanks to its tiltable head. It outputs 630 lumens of 3000k warm white light that washes anything it is pointed at in even illumination. This black spike light is fabricated out of high quality aluminium and given an IP67 rating to protect it from the elements.