To organize external lighting that emphasizes all the advantages of the house and the garden plot, you need to understand which lamp is installed for what purpose, features of hidden wiring and similar trifles. Knowledge of the requirements that the device must meet is also one of the most important points. In a word, in order for street lighting to cope with its role as well as possible, you need to thoroughly prepare, plan everything, comprehend many of the subtleties of this issue, then the result will be really impressive.
Features and standards
The modern world cannot be imagined without street lighting, and if there are certain well-known rules dictated by the style or proportions of rooms for the selection of lamps inside the house, then outdoor lighting requires a completely different approach. The focus here is not so much on aesthetic requirements as on the safety of the installation and the performance of the device itself.
It is a well-known fact that outdoor lighting absorbs a huge amount of electricity, and it is quite logical to want to keep costs as low as possible. Designers have worked in this direction for a long time, so today we have bulbs that absorb much less electricity or whole batteries that are charged from alternative sources of electricity.
The number of street lights depends not only on the area that requires lighting. Often they serve as a decorative function, allowing you to focus on particularly significant elements, such as statues, fountains or plant compositions. All this must certainly be taken into account when drawing up a landscape design project. Depending on the planned installation frequency of the lamps, the power of the lighting sources selected for them depends.
The type of luminaire depends partly on the required power of the light bulb and partly on its appearance. Recently, hidden backlighting is most often used, but this does not mean at all that all other types have been completely abandoned. Sometimes only a classic-looking lamp can harmoniously complete an idea, frame it properly.
Returning to the thought of a design project, it is worth making a reservation that its preparation is mandatory if you want to get competent street lighting at the output that works without interruptions. Luminaires often require underground wiring, so you need to know exactly where to pull the cables.
This will play into the hands of two more points:
- It will save you money, because when you buy a large roll of cable at once, you will most likely get a good discount.
- If you lay all the wiring at once, you get a safer design, since the wires will not intersect with each other, moreover, they will be laid at the same depth, which will simplify repairs in case of malfunctions.
Aesthetics is aesthetics, but first of all, street lighting is designed to ensure the safety of people, to protect them from accidents due to an oversight. In our country, there are a number of established standards for outdoor lighting. They are agreed at the federal level, so it is highly recommended to take them into account.
There are a number of requirements for lighting fixtures
- Suitable size;
- Rational consumption of electrical energy;
- Ease of management.
In order to determine the required amount of illumination for a particular area, it is worth referring to Building Codes and Rules (SNiP) 23-05-95, which sets out in detail what the average illumination should be, what illumination distribution is necessary for a particular area.
Below are some recommendations based on SNiP:
- For outdoor pools, the lighting should be installed to provide an average illumination level of 100 lux;
- For recreation areas, alleys, parks, the illumination rate should be at least 10 lux;
- The average illumination of the entrance to the building must be kept at a level of at least 6 lux;
- The spare entrance should be illuminated at a level of at least 4 lux;
- For the track in front of the entrance, the same limitation applies - at least 4 lux.
Based on the listed values, it will turn out to create good ambient lighting in your personal plot. If you study SNiP in more detail, you can improve the layout of the lamps.
It is imperative to remember the federal lighting standards when designing landscape design. Their use will greatly reduce the risk of injury due to insufficient illumination of any area, and will also help to decide on the purchase of bulbs.
Thus, it is necessary to take into account the features that street lighting possesses, as well as the restrictions imposed on external lamps, such as safety, durability, resistance to an aggressive environment, ease of maintenance, rational use of electricity, creating a sufficient level of illumination of the site.
What are the requirements for networks?
There are clearly defined rules regarding the installation of outdoor lighting. Firstly, they are carried out by cable or overhead and only using insulated wires. This limitation is set for security reasons.
In some cases, when there are serious reasons for this, it can be violated, and it is allowed to use bare wires in overhead networks, but this is a very rare exception.
The wires must be waterproofmoisture can cause a short circuit. Sometimes this is very dangerous, especially in a wooden house, when all the dwelling and attached structures can break out due to a pair of sparks. The more insulation the wiring has, the better. If you plan to lay the cable underground, it is best to hide it in a special protective PVC box that protects against aggressive substances contained in the soil.
If an air structure is installed, special attention must be paid to the supports. They must not conduct current, otherwise, if the wires are damaged, irreparable damage can occur. The best solution would be to choose the following materials:
- Reinforced concrete;
Despite the fact that the last two options conduct electricity well, they are provided with additional grounding, which makes it possible to reduce the likelihood of an electric shock to nothing. It is unlikely that it will ever be possible to get rid of metal products at all, since they have not yet invented analogues in strength, flexibility and functionality.
There are different mechanisms for controlling street lamps. Manual control is carried out by the dispatcher, who manually turns on and off the lighting devices. It is worth noting that such a control system has practically sunk into oblivion, since it often loses to modern automated options in a number of ways.
The automated system works on two principles:
- The first type is equipped with motion sensors and a timer that determines how long after the movement the lamps should go out.The advantages include the absence of the need for manual adjustment and energy savings, and the disadvantages are the high sensitivity of the equipment. Often, a cat or bird that has passed is enough for the lights to work again, and this can continue all night.
- The next device is based on the degree of illumination of the street. The lantern is equipped with a photo relay that reacts to sunlight or lack thereof. Light enough - the lantern does not burn, when darkness falls, it lights up. This design absorbs more electricity than the previous version, but it also "behaves" more stably.
To control all lighting fixtures, a street lighting cabinet is usually built, to which all the wires of the fixtures are connected. Here you can de-energize them all at once in case of malfunctions, or control each device separately by switching control modes.
When planning the supply of current, one should be guided by the standards SN 541-82 "Instructions for the design of outdoor lighting in cities, towns and villages". There you will find detailed instructions regarding the power supply and grounding of lighting networks.
In short, from the Instruction it follows that a voltage of 300/220 W can be used, but in some cases it must be passed through a distributor.
Despite the permitted power, it must be remembered that 24 W or 12 W luminaires are recognized as the safest. With the correct selection of bulbs, they will shine no worse, while consuming several times less electricity.
Remember that the power of the lamps varies depending on where they are located: for example, in fountains or ponds it is categorically not recommended to use lamps more powerful than 24 W, while for lighting along the path it is quite permissible to install standard 220 W lamps.
When installing cables, you must not forget about safety. For overhead networks, it is imperative to use additional supports so that in the event of climatic changes, cable breaks do not occur. In addition to the fact that this can de-energize the entire site, a loose, torn live cable is dangerous to human life. When laying the cable underground, it is recommended to cover it with a protective mesh about 20 cm from the cable between it and the ground surface. If someone starts digging in the wrong place, he will stumble upon a grid and, most likely, realize that there are high-voltage lines passing there.
Types of landscape lamps
There is a huge variety of types of street lighting fixtures designed to highlight individual objects, a site as a whole, or only an area located close to the house. Analysis should begin with bulbs used as lighting elements in lamps.
Traditionally, the following types of bulbs are used for street lighting:
- Incandescent lamps. This type is gradually becoming a thing of the past, giving way to more progressive options. Incandescent light bulbs get very hot, converting most electricity to heat rather than light. They are distinguished by a short service life (about 1000 hours) and a small choice of light temperature (only a warm yellowish light is possible). Incandescent bulbs require a lot of installation space, their socket is about 12 cm long, so they can only be mounted in large luminaires.
- Gas discharge… More often you can find the name "discharge lamps", which this type of lighting sources received due to the fact that light is produced thanks to an electric discharge in gases. They have a high efficiency, effectively converting electrical energy into light. Discharge lamps have a longer service life than incandescent lamps. It varies between 3,000 and 20,000 hours.
It is not customary to install them in rooms because of the rather noisy work and due to possible harm to health: a damaged flask releases mercury vapors hazardous to humans. There are three types of discharge lamps.
- Mercury… General purpose mercury models are used for outdoor lighting. They get very hot during operation, and this fact should be taken into account when planning the wiring: it is best to use thermal protection. Because of their high brightness, they are often used to illuminate large open spaces.
- Metal halide… The power of metal halide lamps is higher than mercury lamps, so they are often used as decorative narrow beam lighting, such as architectural lighting. The lamps produce the closest to daylight without any blue tints, so that they can be used in classic gardens as well as in modern ones.
- Sodium… This type can often be found on city streets. The orange-yellow light is produced by sodium lamps. Despite the high efficiency, a significant drawback is the inability to withstand low temperatures. To maintain the desired microclimate, special expensive flasks are made.
- Xenon… One of the brightest samples presented, they have an important advantage: the temperature of the light varies significantly from soft warm yellowish to cold white-violet.
- Luminescent… The attitude towards fluorescent lamps is rather ambiguous. On the one hand, they have a lifespan of up to 10,000 hours, they produce bright light and they tolerate temperature extremes well. On the other hand, they can be disabled by elementary frequent switching on and off. Be that as it may, fluorescent lamps are the second most reliable street light source.
- LED lamps. LED bulbs are used everywhere. At first, they began to be used inside the home as a bright and economical lamp for a chandelier or as point ceiling elements, and then the diodes migrated outside the houses. A device equipped with LEDs is not subject to heat, which makes the choice in favor of them obvious. Moreover, today such bulbs last the longest - up to 50,000 hours.
LED lamps absorb little electricity, allowing you to significantly save on electricity; due to their low energy consumption, they can be powered by solar panels. Charging during the day, they shine up to 6 hours at night without interruption. Their only drawback is their high cost.
By design, the lamps are very different:
- You can often find ground lamps installed to illuminate alpine slides and other plant compositions. They focus on plants, highlighting the selection of varieties favorably.
- For illumination near the path, ordinary lanterns on supports are most often used. The height of the supports can be very different, from short models close to the ground and ending with options that exceed human height.
- In some gardens with a touch of romance, you can find whole suspended structures over the path. A garland is used for their construction. A bracket is attached to the post, and a garland is attached to the bracket, and so on until the very end of the tunnel structure.
- Ceiling or wall mounted luminaires are used to illuminate terraces or backyard verandas, and they also illuminate the main entrance area and the perimeter of the house. If the house uses spotlight-type lamps, most likely they are needed to create a narrowly directed stream of light on any part. It can be an architectural delight or a work of art, such as a beautiful sculpture. As ordinary surface-mounted luminaires, simple lamps with a grill are used.
Recessed luminaires are used when it is necessary to create the illusion of light pouring out of nowhere, or to focus as much as possible on the backlit detail. They are commonly used to highlight vegetable accents, but they can also be used as a backlight for a track
Many luminaires are made with a motion sensor. The pros and cons of this type of control were discussed in more detail in the previous section of the article.
How to organize the lighting of a country house?
In order to correctly place the lighting on the territory, it is necessary to take into account the characteristics of each of the areas: size, the presence of decorative elements, the need to create a special atmosphere, stylistic orientation, and the like.
The outside of the house should look as attractive as the inside, which is why you need to attend to the planning of landscape design, including lighting.
When choosing facade lighting, you can choose either the option in which all walls are well lit, or accent architectural lighting. In the first case, all walls as a whole are illuminated, no nuances are highlighted. Backlighting is needed in order to emphasize the features of the house, its size and majesty, to create the illusion of the fundamental nature of the design.
In the case of point architectural narrowly targeted lighting, design delights stand out, for example, curly facades, niches, carvings, statues and the like. It is appropriate to use accent lighting when there is a really interesting nuance that you want to draw the viewer's attention to.
It is important to choose the right color of light: bright white will create a sense of formality, while diffused yellow will give a feeling of comfort. For the illumination of a residential building, it is best to choose exactly warm lighting colors.
For a summer cottage, it is logical to organize a place for gatherings with friends, which needs a special lighting design. In order to make the “meeting place” look as attractive as possible, it is recommended to organize it under a canopy made of a garland. Such unusual lighting will add a sense of celebration, disposed to funny jokes and dancing in the evening. If you choose soft, subdued light, you can create a trusting atmosphere conducive to intimate conversation.
Most often, only the territory next to the house and the paths are additionally highlighted in the country. It is recommended to install ordinary lanterns as an illumination of the paths; you should not bring special delights to the summer cottage.
For the porch, ceiling or wall lamps are used, installed under the very visor. They should provide enough light to be able to see the steps without making any effort or looking closely. The porch to the house can be equipped with lanterns placed on both sides of the steps. Such a move will add grandeur to the look of the structure, since it is often used to decorate classic large staircases.
In the garden, they use lighting for trees, for plant compositions, or simply in insufficiently lit corners of the site. Illumination of fountains or other bodies of water, for example, a small pond, is mandatory. This is done not only for aesthetic content, but also for security purposes, so that a person lost in the dark does not accidentally fall into the water.
For reservoirs, both monochrome and multi-color lighting are used: the choice of one or another option depends on the general design of the garden.
In a private house on the street, a gazebo, veranda or terrace is often built. On an open veranda, sometimes it is enough to install only ceiling lamps. They can be classic pendant chandeliers or overhead lamps, the most important thing is to focus on materials of increased strength.When choosing, be guided by the value of the IP index: for streets, the values are 21, 22 (under a canopy), 43, 44 (far from water sources), 54, 65, 66 (near water bodies), 67, 68 (for backlighting directly in fountains, ponds and other bodies of water).
For the terrace, the installation of additional wall lights is also encouraged. It is not necessary to choose large models with a high degree of lighting, wall models are used more for creating comfort than for real lighting. Opt for cozy warm light sources.
To illuminate the gazebo, follow the same principles as for the verandas, but do not forget to highlight the path from the house. It is advisable to make sure that the path illumination is performed in the same way as the general illumination of the gazebo and the area next to the house. Then you will be able to create a truly breathtaking lighting design.
How to install wires?
As mentioned above, outdoor wiring can be installed in two ways. It is more common to run wires underground.
Having decided exactly on the number of lamps, it is necessary to draw a neat diagram of their location. To do this, first draw out a plan of your personal plot and mark on it where this or that lamp will be located. Do not forget to indicate its type: built-in, decorative, high or low - every nuance is important. Indicate the power of each of the lamps.
Begin drawing the layout of the wiring.
Remember a few rules that must be followed:
- The cable is laid at a depth of 70 cm;
- It should be 60 cm away from buildings;
- Distance from the pipeline - 50 cm;
- Distance from parallel cables - 30-50 cm;
- Cables must not be laid closer than 6 m from the carriageway;
- Cables must not be laid closer than 3 m from the paths in the backyard.
When choosing wires, give preference to copper ones. They are somewhat more expensive, but they conduct current better and are less exposed to negative environmental influences, including mechanical ones.
After the plan is drawn and the wires are selected, it is time to dig trenches to lay the wires. It is better to use a protective box for them. Dig trenches of the required depth and width and lay the cables on the bottom. Next, sprinkle them with sand about 0.1 m, and put pebbles or gravel on top. Such a dense layer will protect the cables from subsidence of the earth and possible damage.
Next, lay about 10 cm of soil and install a protective mesh as a warning about the location of the cable. Cover the rest with soil and tamp. In the place where the luminaire is to be installed, remove the cable from the ground with a loop. In the future, the loop is cut, and the wires are exposed to connect to the luminaires.
Arrangement of a hinged lighting structure is carried out using poles. The wires are hidden inside the pillar and then pulled out at the top and stretched to the next pillar, and this continues as long as necessary. Pay attention to the quality of the insulation of the cables and their strength. It is these little things that play a decisive role in the durability of the entire lighting suspension.
Automation is done at the last stage. The corresponding wires are connected to the panel and to the junction box of the luminaire.
It is best if the wiring is done by a professional electrician. This is especially true when it is planned to install the luminaire on automatic control. The fact is that if the above conditions are not met, as well as the connection of inappropriate wires, there is a high risk of damage to a street lamp or a fire, which will lead to damage to the surrounding space.
If you are not completely confident in your abilities, it is better to give up the idea of installing the wiring yourself - this way you will save time and nerves.
How to wire underground, see the next video.
Beautiful design examples
A common technique for illuminating paths is to use pole-mounted luminaires along the path. The height of the luminaires varies: short decorative models are chosen for personal plots, and high lanterns for public places. It is important that the overall illumination pattern looks harmonious and attractive.
Particularly shocking owners may well opt for lamps that imitate fabric lampshades for indoor lighting. Such tall models look no less cozy than their little "brothers". They not only attract attention, but they also do a good job of their main role - creating a sufficient level of illumination.
It is common for modern gardens to use cool white light as it looks more futuristic. With the help of white light, you can set accents, showing interesting objects as they really are, because it is white light that is closest to daylight. Also, for modern trends, other lighting sources are practically not used, except for hidden backlighting. As conceived by the designers, light is pouring from the ground, giving the garden an atmosphere of mystery and mystery.
Track lighting does not have to be along the track. Recently, such an interesting technique as replacing several tiles with lamps made of impact-resistant glass has been increasingly used. The result is a rather unusual effect that is difficult to achieve with other installation methods.
Please note that replacing burned-out light bulbs in such models requires some effort, since in such cases luminaires with the highest IP index are used.
Placing outdoor luminaires on cord hangers can add a cozier look to any place. The lighting positioned in this way above the terrace for friendly gatherings promotes intimate conversations in a warm company. The choice of a soft color is beneficial to the entire atmosphere, making it more comfortable and trustworthy. If the designer chose a different shade of light, the effect would be completely different.
Outdoor lighting is placed not only along paths or above spaces, but also in pools. It should be noted that there is a large selection of all kinds of interesting solutions. For example, in this example, pink spotlights are used to add a surreal look to the entire landscape composition. Despite the fact that the picture was taken in the daytime, the color is preserved thanks to the choice in favor of powerful flashlights.
Please note that along the contour at the far end of the structure, duralight cords of a contrasting turquoise color are installed, making the garden look more shocking.
Another entertaining idea for multi-colored pool lighting is the use of round floating sphere lamps made of glass of all kinds of shades. Such "drifting" lighting will not only help to highlight the area of the reservoir. Due to the constant change of location, the lighting itself also changes, thanks to which the garden looks different every time, in a new way.
As a rule, replacement of bulbs in such luminaires-spheres is not performed. When a model fails, a new one is bought to replace it.
If stairs are provided in the landscape design, it is worth remembering that they require different lighting than ordinary paths. It is necessary to highlight the steps to avoid accidents during the operation of the structure. In this case, the designers have a solution - installing lighting directly along the edge of the steps. Bright white light, as in this case, illuminates the surrounding space no worse than the lamps along the contour, but looks more modern and futuristic.
Correct lighting of the facade is another important point to keep in mind when planning street lighting. In this case, a warm yellowish light was chosen, gently emphasizing the color and structure of the stone cladding of the building.
Please note that hidden backlighting is used, which makes you focus only on the house and surrounding objects, and not at all on the lamp bodies.
Not only free-standing luminaires should be referred to as outdoor lighting. Winter New Year's lighting for tree trunks successfully comes to the rescue when there is a lack of light in parks, squares, alleys. Most often, this option is installed in public places, but it is possible to use it in a personal garden on a year-round basis.
The illumination seems to transfer those who are in a fairy tale, making the general atmosphere more fantasy.