Understanding How to Add Lighting to Your Landscaping

  • By Stephen Taylor
  • 11 Jan, 2018
Garden Lighting

Often we have wonderful garden areas that are finished to a high standard, but we don’t make full use of them when it gets dark. The gardens look great and are comfortable to spend time in during the day, but there is not adequate lighting to be able to enjoy them properly at night.

It is easy enough to incorporate lighting effects to your garden through landscape and garden design to understand the best way to illuminate the area. If your garden has correct light design, it can be enjoyed completely throughout the day and into the evening.

A Little Goes a Long Way

Not many people realise that it doesn’t take much to light up your garden. That’s because when it is dark outside, softer tones are better. Our eyes are adjusted to the darkness outside and need less brightness to see light, shadow and pattern than they would indoors. So the first step to lighting up your garden is to first envisage how you’d like to use your outdoor space and then start of minimally with lighting.

Light is seen differently at night compared to how it is received by our eyes during the day. This important factor needs to be taken into account when lighting pathways or other focal areas in outdoor spaces at night. There are some facts about lighting that we need to know.

Understanding Lighting Effects

To begin with, light has an intensity that is emitted, and also colour. The colour of a particular light bulb will be listed on the box it comes in, and can range from a very red tone (1800 kelvins) to a very bright, bluish white (7500 kelvins). So the first step is distinguishing what kind of light you want to shine on certain areas at night.

The next thing landscape gardeners need to consider is functionality. For this, there are three main types of lighting to consider.

·        The first is known as ‘overall’ lighting, which provides illumination for an entire area.

·        The second function is known as ‘task’ lighting, whereby the illumination has a specific purpose, such as brightening up a dark path, so that you can see where you are going when walking at night by lighting up the garden paving .

·        The third function is ‘accent’ lighting, which is used to draw attention to specific areas or objects. Often this kind of lighting is achieved through spotlights or floodlights in outdoor spaces.

If you want to find out more about landscape lighting, please contact us today on 01255 831 183, and we’d be glad to advise you and give a free estimate. Alpine are based at The Paddock, Gutteridge Hall Lane, Weeley, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, CO16 9DL, and if you’re travelling north from Clacton, it’s best to come up the B1441 and then take a left. By train, Weeley station is 25 minutes from Clacton, and then we’re a ten-minute walk from there. Alternatively, you can fill out our enquiry form on the contact page of our website, and we’ll get back to you.

By Stephen Taylor 11 Jan, 2018

Often we have wonderful garden areas that are finished to a high standard, but we don’t make full use of them when it gets dark. The gardens look great and are comfortable to spend time in during the day, but there is not adequate lighting to be able to enjoy them properly at night.

It is easy enough to incorporate lighting effects to your garden through landscape and garden design to understand the best way to illuminate the area. If your garden has correct light design, it can be enjoyed completely throughout the day and into the evening.

A Little Goes a Long Way

Not many people realise that it doesn’t take much to light up your garden. That’s because when it is dark outside, softer tones are better. Our eyes are adjusted to the darkness outside and need less brightness to see light, shadow and pattern than they would indoors. So the first step to lighting up your garden is to first envisage how you’d like to use your outdoor space and then start of minimally with lighting.

Light is seen differently at night compared to how it is received by our eyes during the day. This important factor needs to be taken into account when lighting pathways or other focal areas in outdoor spaces at night. There are some facts about lighting that we need to know.

Understanding Lighting Effects

To begin with, light has an intensity that is emitted, and also colour. The colour of a particular light bulb will be listed on the box it comes in, and can range from a very red tone (1800 kelvins) to a very bright, bluish white (7500 kelvins). So the first step is distinguishing what kind of light you want to shine on certain areas at night.

The next thing landscape gardeners need to consider is functionality. For this, there are three main types of lighting to consider.

·        The first is known as ‘overall’ lighting, which provides illumination for an entire area.

·        The second function is known as ‘task’ lighting, whereby the illumination has a specific purpose, such as brightening up a dark path, so that you can see where you are going when walking at night by lighting up the garden paving .

·        The third function is ‘accent’ lighting, which is used to draw attention to specific areas or objects. Often this kind of lighting is achieved through spotlights or floodlights in outdoor spaces.

If you want to find out more about landscape lighting, please contact us today on 01255 831 183, and we’d be glad to advise you and give a free estimate. Alpine are based at The Paddock, Gutteridge Hall Lane, Weeley, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, CO16 9DL, and if you’re travelling north from Clacton, it’s best to come up the B1441 and then take a left. By train, Weeley station is 25 minutes from Clacton, and then we’re a ten-minute walk from there. Alternatively, you can fill out our enquiry form on the contact page of our website, and we’ll get back to you.

By Stephen Taylor 30 Nov, 2017

Just because the summer is about to give way to the autumn doesn't mean you should neglect your garden. Now is your chance to prime your garden for when the warmer days return, and you might find fantastic discounts on patio paving as suppliers prepare for a slower season of sales.

However, should you save money by purchasing manufactured stone pavers or splash out on natural stone to inject some originality into your design? Nowadays, decorative stone is almost indistinguishable from the real thing, but many homeowners would argue that the appearance of natural stone can't be beaten.

At Alpine Landscapes and Paving, we know that both natural and manufactured stone have their pros and cons, which we've detailed below to help you decide which is the most suitable option for you. Plus, thanks to our central location in Weeley, East Essex, you can trust our professionals to carry out a high-quality installation quickly in areas stretching from Clacton-on-Sea to Ramsey.

Manufactured Stone vs. Natural Stone

Some people claim that natural stone is a needless waste of cash, but opponents to such an argument say that manufactured stone lacks quality and authenticity. Here's what you need to know about both options to decide which is the best form of patio paving for you.

·         Manufactured Stone

In the not so distant past, manufactured pavers stuck out like a sore thumb and fooled nobody, but modern products look almost identical to real stone. Plus, manufactured paving is often more affordable than the natural alternative because it's lighter and easier to transport, and it's available in a broader range of colours and designs.

However, low-quality manufactured pavers often lack originality, and you might find two sections of your patio that are identical in appearance. That's why  we only use the highest grade products available, ensuring your patio looks unique, beautiful and elegant.

·         Natural Stone

Until recently, natural stone paving was far more expensive than the manufactured alternative because of its weight and difficulty to mine and sculpt, but that's no longer the case thanks to modern transportation methods and cutting techniques. With natural stone, you'll never find a patio that's identical to yours, and if it sustains damage, all that will be revealed is the natural stone underneath the surface.

However, natural stone is less versatile than the manufactured alternative because, regarding design, you're limited to what the Earth has produced. Plus, even though the costs of both natural and manufactured stone have become almost aligned, you can expect to pay a little more for the natural option.

The Verdict

As mentioned above, there is no 'better' choice regarding natural and manufactured patio paving – it all comes to down to personal preference, budget and requirements. However, whichever product you choose, you can count on us to install a patio that will exceed your expectations.

Contact the experts at Alpine Landscapes and Paving today to learn more about our high-quality patio paving products, or if you'd prefer to speak to us in person, visit our warehouse at The Paddock, Gutteridge Hall Lane, Essex, CO16 9DL.

By Stephen Taylor 24 Oct, 2017

There are several surfacing options for your driveway or patio; however, using block paving has advantages over other methods. A hard surface at the front of your home, or in the back garden can add a striking visual appeal, but it’s important that you get the materials, build, and colour right. Through a range of different options, choosing block paving made provide the look and quality you need.

Endurance

One of the most appealing factors about using block paving for your patio or driveway is the long-lasting durability of the material. Most often made from clay or concrete, these blocks are made into a particular shape and then laid into a pattern. Usually, the shape is square or rectangular, but other shapes are available, such as hexagonal or interlocking polygons.

Clay paving blocks are often popular, because they are much the same as regular house bricks, and so will complement your home. However, concrete pavers are the preferred choice in climates where temperatures can dip below zero, because of their endurance to the weather. Concrete blocks used in landscape and garden design can easily be dyed to be shades of ochre, pink, white, or sand so that they blend in with the building.

Strength

The best thing about using block paving over other kinds of surface for your garden paving is that they can be laid out in a pattern. Not only is this visually appealing, but it also ensures that the surface is strong and able to support any weight so that cracks will be prevented.

Popular patterns for block pavers include the herringbone design, where the rectangular bricks are placed into an ‘L’ shaped. This can come in 45o or 90o angle design and is a classic yet appealing look that is very strong because the bricks are interlocking. Several more designs are also available, including the standard stretcher bond , although some of these are less strong, but certainly look good.

Versatility

Once installed, using block paving for your garden patio requires very little upkeep. The colour will remain the same as does not require any additional painting in future years. Using paving blocks in the garden or on the driveway will withstand the British weather, such as regular rain. Keeping the driveway or patio clean is very easy, using a simple soap and water combination brushed over, which will wipe the dirt away and have it looking like new again.

In addition, block paving will not need resealing again or resurfacing in the same way another hard surface might. In a concrete driveway, cracks may begin to appear over the years and this would need to be fixed, but using clay brick, concrete, or stone pavers laid into a pattern will not require this.

Make the Right Choice

If you want a surface material for the front or back of your home that looks great, is versatile and strong, will last a long time and requires little maintenance, then you should opt for block paving. At Alpine, we are experts in paving and landscaping and would be glad to receive your call to discuss your options. We can be contacted on 01255 831 183. Alternatively, our address is The Paddock, Gutteridge Hall Lane, Weeley, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, CO16 9DL; but please do call us first to make an appointment and we’d be happy for you to drop by.

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