Archive for the ‘Lighting / Indoor & Outdoor / Fixtures & Fittings’ Category

One of the best ways to make your garden more attractive is to add garden lighting to it. The lights can add a warm glow, make your house more attractive and also provide more light which can deter night break ins.  Of course there are a number of different types of lights, and what you eventually choose will depend largely on your needs and the amount of light that your garden gets.

Solar Garden Lighting

Solar Powered Light by Solergy Australia

If you do have a lot of natural light during the day you may want to consider going solar.  Solar powered lights will produce a warm yellow light, and are perfect to place anywhere, even remote locations because they do not require any wiring.  They are also very cost effective, because they do not require electrical power, and you do not need to remember to turn them on or off.

There are however some disadvantages with solar, these are that if you do not get a good quality lamp the light they produce may only last an hour or two.  In addition you have to factor in dull or cloudy days which could prevent your light from literally seeing the light of day.

Finally, a solar light will be less likely to produce as bright a light as electrical lights and are easier to steal, given they can just be pulled up out of the ground.

Low Voltage Lighting

Duncan 4 lantern Kit

Another option is to go for low voltage lighting, which will light up your garden all night without draining your electricity bill. Low voltage lights use only about 10 percent of the electricity usage of a normal lighting system.

They are also very safe as they will not short circuit in the way other lights could and are designed to operate in wet or moist areas.

The only disadvantage to low voltage lighting is that you may struggle to get it bright enough.  Look around at the different ones available and how much light they emit. They are perfect to create mood lighting, but may not be bright enough.

Standard voltage lighting

The final option is normal lights, which will give the brightest light out of all three, plus it is not open to the elements like solar, so you will get reliably bright light all the time.

The disadvantages are that it is more costly to run and you need to seriously consider safety as you are installing them.  Having your wires protected is essential, especially if you are going to bury them.

For all your outdoor lighting requirements, whether solar, low voltage or standard voltage, be sure to check out the DIY Bargain Bin Lighting / Indoor and Outdoor section first.

Statistics are informative, and point to some interesting habits kept by us as home owners and by those who break and enter.  One is that in a lot of cases there is no ‘breaking’ as such. The NRMA say that 35% of us will still go out leaving some windows and doors unlocked, and it is no suprise that Timpson Locksmiths in the UK say that 20% of burglaries are through an open window or door!

The NRMA also go on to say that one in four homes have been burgled, and in the city that increases to one in three.  They also warn that just because you have been burgled before, that you cannot expect not to be so again, stating that burglars are likely to return to the scene of their crime within three months, but despite this, only 5% of burglars will be caught.

Sounds pretty scary, right?  But the truth of the matter is that break and enters on a whole has decreased, and there is about 1% chance of you getting burgled.  But to reduce that even further, there are some simple steps you can take, the following are taken from the Australian Institute of Criminology – Trends & Issues Paper on Burglary Prevention from 1995, however they still remain true today.

  1. Make it visible – Most burglaries occur during daylight hours, so make sure neighbours can view the front of your house.
  2. Appearance of occupancy – Make it seem like someone is at home, a big giveaway is mail spewing forth from your mailbox while you are on holidays.  Pay the kid next door to collect it and put your bins out.  A light on a timer in a front room can also be a good idea.
  3. Restrict access – The first rule the AIS says is ‘simply to lock one’s doors’.  Locks and security systems are available in the DIY Bargain Bin Doors / Door Hardware / Locks / Door Chimes / Intercom section. Then make sure you lock it!  Do not leave your keys outside, instead give a key to a trusted friend or relative.
  4. Supplementary measures – Add an alarm or if in a dark street, why not add an outside movement detector lamp.  Check out the DIY Bargain Bin Lighting / Indoor & Outdoor section to see our range.
  5. Get to know your neighbours – We may live in a society where the majority of our communication is through email, internet and phone, but do not underestimate the power of the friendly neighbour when it comes to home security.