Brendon Manggos, technical sales manager at Lighting for Gardens talks about Elipta lights; product highlights and cheap imitations
At first glance, we can all be drawn in by cheap outdoor light fittings that look good and photograph well. The reality is these fittings more than likely have several design flaws, which sooner or later will cause the outdoor LED light to fail. Experienced, qualified electricians don’t come cheap either, and any initial savings made at point of purchase can soon be wiped out by repeat call out costs for repair and possibly a replacement fitting. Good technical help right from the start ensures you choose the right exterior light with the correct power supply, beam angle and output for the job
Elipta Outdoor Lights
Good quality light fittings refined over the years to make the fittings reliable, and designed for maintenance to be carried out with ease. The best quality cable and seals are used and unlike most cheap fittings, the cable is glanded to allow for rewiring in the event of cable damaged by garden tools or squirrels and foxes
Spike spot key features
- Flush lens, allows water to shed off the lens which prevents pooling which could cause fitting to leak or the pooling water can leave a white chalky crust which will reduce light output.
- Good seal around the lens.
- The use of good quality metals, Aluminium, natural copper and 316 stainless steel.
- Body design make lamp and lamp holder changing easy and allows for easy rewiring should the external cable get damaged by garden tools and vermin such as squirrels and foxes.
- Glanded cable entry makes rewiring easy and improves IP rating.
- Spike arrangement allows use of different spikes and the standard spike is longer than low cost fittings which allows a more stable installation.
- Supplied with a longer cable than lower cost fitting, which gives the installer more flexibility and easier to hide transformers for low voltage versions.
- Good quality silicone “O” rings which last longer and are less prone to perishing.
Award winning garden designer Sue Gilbert teams up with Habitat Landscapes to create a stunning back garden that’s both stylish and contemporary.
Sue’s modern garden design boasts a super fine finish, with sleek impressive lines, and with the introduction of some subtle LED lighting creates an ideal social space, perfect for entertaining friends in the warm summer evenings.
Project: Mr & Mrs P’s back garden
Project lighting products: Elipta garden spike spots, Elipta LED strip light, Elipta Compact outdoor wall lights & recessed LED step lights
Garden Designer: Sue Gilbert
Landscape contractor: Habitat landscapes
Outdoor lighting can bring real warmth to your garden in the late evening, but LED outdoor lights still need to look good during the day too.
Solid copper weathers to a mottled brown colour (verdigris patina) over time and beautifully compliments planting, surrounding gravel, stone or wood during daylight hours, whilst still managing to provide you with a choice of light; beam angles, brightness and colour well into the dark hours.
Without a doubt, LED optics have definitely gotten better recently. New, more powerful LEDs are now bright enough to light large trees and buildings, but unlike traditional lights they do not suffer from being switched on and off. This gives LEDs a huge advantage for anything that requires frequent switching such as security lighting. With the touch of a button or app based control they can be switched or dimmed. Colour changing LEDs can be used to change the mood and even switch between warm and cool white.
Cheaper running costs have been well documented, but good quality LED outdoor light fixtures are not only efficient, but now much more affordable. Some LEDs don’t cost much more than the halogen lamps they replace. Also in a garden the lower power consumption is a big advantage because it allows longer cable runs with less volt drop. Fewer transformers are needed for low voltage lighting circuits.
Stricter legislation has encouraged greater efficiency, with the result that inefficient lamps are being phased out, and LEDs are often the only products still available. But with careful selection, many halogen systems can be retrofitted with good quality LED lamps – offering dimmable, warm whites producing nice soft lighting, specific beam angles or even colour changing.
Life expectancy of LEDs is much better than most of the lamps they replace allowing manufacturers to bond the LEDs into their fittings. But even good LEDs don’t last forever, so with our more expensive fittings we make use of retrofit LEDs or replaceable LED modules allowing easy replacement.
Low voltage LEDs are inherently safer in outdoor environments, and pose less risk of injury. Lower energy use, improved reliability and longer lifespans help them to be regarded as one of the most energy efficient, artificial light sources available.
Philip Milner Head of Technical LFG
Members of the LFG technical team managed to escape the office last week and were on-hand to answer enquiries at this year’s Futurescape event held at Sandown Park. The UK’s largest landscaping exhibition attracted over 1700 visitors from the landscape industry and included garden designers, landscapers, landscape architects and contractors. Many new Elipta products were showcased at the event and included new colour changing lamps, granite bollards and solid brass wall lights with 5 year warranties. A new Elipta brochure 2018/19 was also launched at the show and visitors were able to collect freshly printed hard copies. Follow the link and download your free copy now;
Bold urban spaces, roof terraces and courtyard gardens are often crying out to be integrated with their neighbouring environment. Images of a recent London based project courtesy of Paul Newman Landscapes, help to illustrate how links can be forged again with nature and how a new ambience can emerge with an urban garden renovation.
Glistening water and the shimmering light projected by underwater lighting through moving water can be fascinating. Some clever crosslighting of marginal planting from underwater can also produce a contrasting, subtle effect. Elipta underwater LED lights for ponds are available in kit form or sold as individual underwater LED spotlights suitable for most underwater features found in the garden. Heavy solid brass in construction, powder coated black or high grade 316 stainless steel fittings are ideal for submersion in water features, garden fountain, uplighting of a waterfall or just as fish pond lights underwater.
With contemporary water features, where the light fitting may be very visible, such as fish ponds, tiled or mosaic ponds, the P4SS Hydrus 316 stainless steel or the impressive Micro 316 stainless steel underwater lights may be preferred. For RGB colour changing lights the Brilliance and Luxes are excellent submersible LED light solutions and can be operated via a hand held remote control.
IP67 Outdoor LED strip lights, commonly sited around the water’s edge, now feature in many inner city rooftop or courtyard gardens.
These underwater lights are available with a comprehensive selection of mounting accessories, including base-mounts and spike-mounts, with optional extension stems which enable underwater lights to be positioned just under the water surface for effective pond lighting. Positioning an underwater spot light 20-30cm below the water level means there is less chance of the light beam being absorbed and dissipated by murky water and raises the light above the level of cables and pipes in the bottom of the pond, so there is less risk of a well lit liner!
Through the introduction of some subtle lighting, skilfully picking out branches or lighting the whole tree, one can create a lovely ambience and bring structure and warmth to your garden.
Trees vary enormously in size and shape, but most trees can be lit very well using fittings with 36° or 60° beam angles.
Narrow trees such as Silver Birch, Scots Pine and most conifers work best with a 36° light source. Medium spreading trees like Robinia, Cherry or Lime need lights with a 60° beam angle. While wide spreading mature Oaks and Cedars will usually require more than one light to achieve reasonable coverage. Extremely narrow subjects such as Italian Cypress could be lit using a very narrow light source, but in practice a 36° light will usually be effective.
If a tree has an open canopy the light can be placed close to the trunk and pointed upwards to good dramatic effect. But where the foliage is dense it is better to light it up from the edge of the canopy. Grazing the outside in this way emphasizes textures and avoids the lower branches blocking the light from reaching the top.
Good quality recessed fittings are available but surface mount fittings are easier to install and are more versatile. Ideally you should test out the lighting positions in the dark before making any final decisions. Unfortunately in the real world this is not always possible. But if you get it wrong it is much easier to move a spike mounted light than a recessed fitting. Make sure the lights are installed with a bit of slack cable to allow for adjustment.
Larger trees require something much more energy efficient such as metal halide or led. Metal halide is a very good light source but it does suffer from one major drawback. The lamp must be matched to the control gear which means you can’t change the lamp brightness later on. Also the lamps can’t easily be dimmed.
LED’s are rapidly improving and there are now led lights capable of lighting large trees. If you require a light with a very wide spread you could consider some of the new 30w, 50w or 100w led floodlights. But positioning them is critical as none of them offer any proper glare control.
For lighting very small trees you might consider one of the Compact Spike Spots (available in 12v or 240v) with a 5w or 7w LED. If you need recessed fittings the Modula range of lights are a good choice; very solidly built with adjustable lamp holders which you can angle up to 30°, also available in 12v or 240v. If you are using 60° lamps it is worth considering P520B and Taurus spike spots which have excellent glare control while not constricting the spread of light.
For further information click; http://www.lightingforgardens.com/uplighting/12v-spike-spotlights
Slightly larger trees (3 -5 metres) need more light than you can get from a single spike spot. You could consider the Titan 10 watt LED 240v spike spot.
Trees up to about 8 metres can be lit effectively using 35 watt metal halide lamps in spike mount or recessed fittings or some of the larger LED lights like the Titan 26 or the Athena recessed LED uplight.
For larger trees we recommend 70w and 150w metal halide Apollo fittings.
Author: Philip Milner Technical Director @ lightingforgardens.com
Our energy efficient LED lights are not just pretty to look at. Elipta Compact wall spots already help to illuminate and accentuate many fine gardens and outdoor living spaces. Their beautifully crafted bodies made from solid brass, natural copper and 316 stainless steel now carry 5 years warranty from date of invoice. Certain exclusions apply such as the solid copper and brass taking on a rich patina over time, but the bodies are warrantied to be free from defects in material for a period of 60 months. Click on the link to see our adjustable spotlight range; http://www.lightingforgardens.com/outdoor-wall-lights