Driveway lights add a major degree of quality to a home in one go. If you are drawing up plans for a new house then with a little aforethought, fitting great-looking new streetlights need not represent a huge increase to the budget. Even if your house has already been built, it is still possible to add some driveway lights without breaking the bank – it all depends on how you go about it.
The primary advantages of having driveway lights are as follows:
- Improved security – burglars are less likely to approach a well-lit property
- Better usage of garden – suddenly areas of your garden which were previously unusable become an asset after dusk
- A classy effect which elevates your home above others of a similar design or status
Until recently the idea of disadvantages of resin driveways lights was only something the very well-heeled could entertain. Each column was normally constructed from cast iron which, apart from making it extremely heavy, also meant that it was very expensive. The only alternatives were reinforced concrete which is used for street lighting on Public Highways or plastic. The former, apart from being ugly, also tended to be too high (5 metres or above) when typical domestic streetlights would only be 3 to 4 metres high. Until recently plastic looked exactly like itself but with recent improvements and the incorporation of resins and reinforcing fibres in the plastic, such extrusions are both extremely strong and well-made. As a result, it is perfectly possible to buy Victorian or contemporary driveway lights for a reasonable price.
The first thing to consider when choosing the column is how high you want them to be above ground not forgetting, of course, that if your driveway is in a cutting, the driveway lights are going to sit on top of the bank and can, therefore, be considerably shorter. A typical column height is around or just over 3 metres. If your lights are going to be alongside a footpath then the column height need only be about 2 metres.
The next decision you need to make is how many lights or lanterns per column – you can usually choose from 1, 2, 3, 4 or 6 lanterns per column. Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes good taste but remember that the more lanterns you use, the more electricity you will need to supply them with. The simplest arrangement is to have a double-headed arrangement (ie two lanterns) with one pointing up the drive and one pointing down the drive when erected.
Finally, you need to decide on what type of bulb you are going to use. Before reaching this decision, it might be best to consider how you will be using the lights. If it is just going to be either on an occasional basis or every evening for an hour or two after dusk then normal bulbs are going to be the most cost-effective. If you are planning to leave the streetlights on all night then you should consider purchasing low-energy or energy-efficient bulbs although be aware that these tend to produce a lot less illumination – something which may be critical if your lights are considerably above the level of the drive.
We hope you found the foregoing article about streetlighting helpful and that you will now want to read our guide to installing driveway lights.