Lighting the garden and drive?

27 Jan 2008
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Llanfair Caereinion, Nr Welshpool
United Kingdom
Aim is to see enough to get from car to house safely, the house on moving in had 4 outside lights, all PIR controlled, the two on top drive used bulbs, one already a CFL, the other one I replaced with an LED bulb, at the rear two quartz halogen tubes, and the PIR was far too narrow a beam, and would turn off before I had reached the door.

The quartz halogen needed removing due to repairs to the flat roof, and have been dangling on their cables for ages, at long last roof repair and new hand rails put up, so now I can fix the lighting.

My thoughts were to mount lamps on the railings, likely would need some mods, so could fit down square section, but I was sure I could do something.

So today wife arrived home with 5 lanterns, three wall mounted, two floor mounted, of them one was on a pole. 4 use bulbs, and one has the light built in, it was that one I fitted first, and it lit up the door and steps to top drive well, far better than the existing lamps, no PIR, using a smart socket adaptor for that one.

Then moved to bottom drive, and removed the old quartz lamps, and made the cables safe in an adaptable box, then light stopped play, so I powered up one light with plug and socket, and tried it in different positions to work out where best to mount.

However rather disappointed, the light was far less than I really required, all around 12 watt, and intend using smart bulbs so I can turn on before leaving the car, but compared with the one fitted at top of house, the light output is rather disappointing.

This 1673734990222.png was the idea, Railings Small.jpg looking up at the area I wanted to light, today I realised the single lamp was not going to be good enough, I am going to need a few lamps, but the output seems well down on the one fitted at front of house, so considering tin foil inside the lamps to reflect the light down. Or spray with silver paint.

I think the problem/cure is, the integral lamp the LED's are in the lid at the top facing down, through a frosted diffuser but the ones with bulbs, the base is at the bottom, and so it shines up not down, and the inside is not shiny in any way, and it is clear glass.

The silver paper above bulb is easy enough, but if I frost glass (put in the bead blaster) there is no going back. So not sure about frosting the glass, it seems the lamps are designed for tungsten bulbs, which do shine down, ideal would be to mount bulb with base at top of the lamp, but that's not really an option, so open to ideas.

Did not want PIR's as we do get wild life, and don't want to scare it off. And I see no point in assisting anyone who wants to break in, so was going to fit smart bulbs so I can turn on from the car when required. The two old lamps with PIR's switch on all the time, only needs a tree to wave in the wind, or the cat to walk past, and when they switch off while walking to house it is dangerous, not street lights at back of house.

So open for ideas.
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The frosting- have you got a theatre anywhere near you? Or a decent size school with a drama department and a performance space? You need to blag some Rosco 114 or 119 or 132 (varying depths of frostiness).
After that, buy a couple of decent head torches and use them for wandering about the garden at night and getting to & from the car :)
I would think putting the glass in the bead blaster where I volunteer would defuse the light, could even mask so nice picture on the glass, but not sure if it will help or hinder.

At least top drive sorted, can now walk to bin without tripping on the steps, but looking at what can be done to direct the light down with fittings at back of house.

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