Solar garden lights – ideal for entertaining

Low-priced, easy to install and free to run, solar garden lights are increasing in popularity. Most of them use LED technology, mainly because it needs very little energy. For homes and hospitality settings, creating an attractive night-time garden has never been more affordable or eco-friendly.

Making the most of summertime

Sunny days in Britain are never assured, so when they occur we all seize the opportunity to relax. Maybe we’ll have friends round and enjoy a little something to eat and drink outside. These are moments to savour. As day drifts into night, solar lights keep the social mood going without extra expense. With no mains leads to consider, they can be positioned almost anywhere.

For hoteliers or pub owners, good outdoor lighting is often vital; it provides extra income potential. Extending the summertime mood into evening is easy with the right choice of lighting, and what better choice than one that captures the sun’s energy?

Free Lighting All Year Round

Contrary to common belief, solar panels don’t need direct sunlight in order to work. While it’s true that sunshine makes recharging quicker, solar lights still function in cloudy weather. Many have a manual override switch, which lets you turn lights off when not needed and preserve the battery charge. This also preserves the lifespan of the LEDs or other light source.

Solar Garden Lights – choosing the right products

Garden lighting should suit the style of the property, if a specific style exists. By highlighting features of the garden, you’ll add mood. Lighting darker areas makes a garden more welcoming and creates a greater feeling of space.

A patio or decking area can be bordered by a series of stake lights which can come in kits of 4 and offer great value for money. These are useful for decorative effect or to highlight edges for safety purposes.

A more powerful wall or fence fitting is a good choice for functional outdoor lighting. You might use this to light a table.

For decorating trees, Solar String Lights fit the bill. These sparkling lights create a relaxing mood in any garden. They are also ideal for use around fences, walls, trellises, gazebos and hedges.

LED Outdoors

Aside from being energy efficient and long lasting, LED-based solar lights are resistant to shock and vibration and work flawlessly down to about -20°C. This technology is tougher than rival light forms and perfectly suited to outdoor use.

Why not take a look at our full range of solar lights?
For news, inspiration and advice, please take a look at our Lighting Advice section.

Stargazing Spots Around The World

Many may find it quite surprising that some of the most stunning views on earth are not actually of the earth, but of the starry skies that lie above us.

While most of us live in areas that prevent us from being able to witness these in their full glory, astro-tourism is quickly becoming the latest fad for those wishing to behold something new.

So the Team here at Lyco thought we would explore the world of stargazing and find the best spots for any budding astronomers, whether you are going just to take a quick look or camping out with your telescope there is a place for everyone.

To see the full list of these stunning spots simply click here or on our infographic below.

Stargazing Spots Around The World

Are you looking for more lighting news, inspiration, or information? Check out our Lighting Advice

Image Accreditation:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/timparkinson/179588589
https://pixabay.com/en/owachomo-bridge-natural-night-stars-898376/
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NamibDesert01.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flickr_-_Nicholas_T_-_Sky_Rift.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Taquile_Island.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Canada_Banff_Aurora.jpg
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c7/Winter_at_Bonneville_Salt_Flats.jpg
https://i.vimeocdn.com/video/516591457_1280x720.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Conamara,_Ireland.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:One_Picture,_Many_Stories,_(Atacama_desert,_Chile_sky).jpg
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gogri/7927333264
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mauna_Kea_observatory.jpg
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/jOhEuccUjoY/maxresdefault.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bagan,_Burma.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Boracay_Sunset.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Night_Sky_Stars_Trees_02.jpg

The light bulb phase out schedule

led bulbs

In 2009, the EU began phasing out of inefficient bulbs in favour of energy-efficient alternatives. The incandescent light bulb has existed for 130 years, but a global need to reduce carbon emissions has made it obsolete. Incandescent bulbs are inefficient because they waste most of their energy creating heat.

New bulbs on the block

The natural successors to the incandescent bulb are CFLs and LED bulbs. These use 60-90% less energy than incandescent lighting and offer a much longer lifespan.

EU phase-out timetable

On 18th March 2009, a timetable was created by EU states outlining the gradual withdrawal of incandescent bulbs from production. Most of the phase-out has taken place, but latter stages of the schedule have been reviewed. The current chronology (May 2016) is as follows:

 

1st September 2009 Phase-out of clear 100W and above incandescent bulbs.
Non-clear (frosted/pearl) bulbs require an ‘A’ energy rating (effectively meaning they must be CFL or LED).
1st September 2010 Phase-out of 75W clear incandescent bulbs.
1st September 2011 Phase-out of 60W clear incandescent bulbs.
1st September 2012 Phase-out of all remaining clear incandescent bulbs (i.e. 40W and 25W).
24th February 2016 Phase-out of some bulbs previously defined as special purpose, including incandescent rough service bulbs, high/low temperature bulbs and clear glass decorative filament bulbs (tinted glass models still permitted).
1st September 2016 Phase-out of directional mains-voltage halogen bulbs (i.e. GU10, PAR, R-type).
1st September 2018 Phase-out of non-directional halogen bulbs (i.e. candle, GLS, globe, golf ball).

Special-purpose items such as fridge and oven lamps, halogen capsules and linear R7s bulbs are untouched by these bans, as they cannot be adequately replaced by other technologies.
Low voltage halogen lamps (e.g. MR16) remain available in the EU. Unlike 240V equivalents, these can achieve a ‘B’ energy rating by using an IR coating in their design. This ensures the long-term survival of some 12V halogen products.

About energy ratings…

On the 1st September 2013, EU Regulation 874/2012 came into force. Among other things, this introduced A+ and A++ energy classes to cater for LED improvements and deleted defunct F and G classes. From the 1st March 2014, all light fittings entering the market and sold directly to end-users must be labelled with the energy rating of compatible or supplied bulbs (see this article). Fittings installed with non-replaceable light sources must be identified at the point of sale.

For more lighting news and information, please take a look at our Lighting Advice section.