Smart Gardens #2: Let There Be Light

Philipp Schuster
27th August 2013 in Know How

Whether the garden is an outside retreat for you or more of a play area for your kids – a horticultural masterpiece or just a massive expanse of grass – you’re going to need to light it. It doesn’t matter how much time and effort you put into your garden, if you don’t light it well it’ll be a dark and dingy affair by night. Lighting’s not just about illuminating a space, though. It can be another great way to stamp some individuality on your living space and really go that extra mile.

I’ve ‘scene’ the light!

Lighting scenes work just as well in the garden as they do inside an automated home. Of course, you can have as many or as few as you want set up, doing whatever you want to suit your needs. But here are some quick ideas on the kinds of lighting scenes you could configure outside:

  • BBQ: The barbecue area is perfectly lit, the rest of the garden dimly lit with some illumination around the pool or pond to stop people from accidentally walking into it!

  • Nightswimming: Bright LED light strips lead to the nicely-lit pool in a refreshing blue.

  • Look to the stars: The patio and pathway lighting is off, the rest of the lighting is only subtly lit in white light. The loungers are out, the wine’s uncorked – time for a little stargazing!

  • Holiday: You can use your lights as a ‘presence simulator’. Set the Miniserver to give the impression that you’re at home by replicating your usual activity. Would-be intruders are none the wiser!

A few more smart garden lighting ideas …

Light at the touch of a button

So you’ve done the hard work. The lights are in place and you have configured your scenes, but how to control them?  Traditionally with a a switch? Or maybe with the press of a button on your smart phone? One tap for the first scene, two the second (etc.) and hold down for off. You can do whatever you like! Really! Here just a few extra options that don’t even involve a button…

Insta-light!

You can set things up so that once you open the back door, some or all of your external lights turn on to brighten up your terrace, decking or patio (in the evenings, of course). When the door’s closed again and there’s been no movement outside for 10 minutes, the Miniserver turns them off.

Auto-adjusting!

There’s no need to manually adjust the brightness of your outside lighting with the Miniserver in control. Instead you can let Loxone monitor outside lighting levels and let it adjust the level of your lights accordingly.

Feeling blue? Tickled pink? Or green with envy?

With coloured LED strips you can make your outdoor area light up in whatever colour you like. Use the LED colour wheel to light to your mood!

Holidaying?

Motion sensors can help put of dodgy types intent on getting into your garden/home. But it needn’t just stop at a light coming on to scare them. Hook up the sprinkler system, a speaker (complete with menacing message!). And in the background have the Caller Service alert you or a nominated person. Of course you can also use presence simulation make those unwanted visitors think twice before they even get as far as setting foot in your garden.

Fancy a little DIY?

You don’t need to be an interior designer (or should that be external designer?!) to acheive a great look with outside lighting. Lighting up your flower pots or the roof line of your garden shed with LED strips is actually very easy and allows you to bring a unique touch to your garden! Ready to go? Check out our DIY garden lighting tutorial.

But as with all of our blogs like this, that’s not it. There are endless amounts of things you can do with automated outside lighting. If you’ve got any other cool ideas, why not let us know in the comments section below…?