For garden lights and other outdoor lighting, LEDs really are the obvious choice. They’re available in a range of attractively-designed water-resistant lighting products, and they’re easy to install just about anywhere.
Waterproof LED strip lights for your outdoor projects
If you’re like us, the first thing that comes to mind when you think of LED lighting is probably LED strip lights. (Sometimes called LED tape).
Your garden lights need to be water-resistant, and most off-the-shelf LED tapes are not manufactured to those specs. But InStyle can easily supply you with LED strip lights that are fully protected against moisture.
We do this by adding a clear plastic heatshrink coating to all LED strips that are to be installed outdoors. (Or in interior locations that need water-resistance, like bathrooms and kitchens.) Then we fully enclosing them by glue-sealing the ends. Heatshrink coating provides IP67-rated protection.
Many LED suppliers used a resin coating to waterproof their LED tapes instead of plastic heatshrink. Our experience is that resin compares very poorly to heatshrink, because it tends to flake, crack and discolour over time.
Lighting up your garden with LED strips
Once you have your LED tape (water-resistant of course!), how will you use it to light your garden? Here’s some practical ideas:
- Use IP67-rated LED strips to line and highlight your garden paths. That way, party guests can see where they are walking in the evening.
- You can use LED strip lights to highlight garden features, such as ponds, water features, or rockeries.
- Or how about adding some decking LED lights? Water-resistant LED strip lights look great when used to trim and decorate your decking, and to highlight steps and edges.
- If you do a lot of outdoor entertaining, think about using colour-changing RGB or RGBW LED tape in your garden. With it, you can program your garden / decking LED lights to change colour through the evening. You can even sync colours with the beat of your music, to create a unique party atmosphere.
The possibilities for garden LED strip lights really are almost endless.
Some more outdoor LED lighting possibilities
Waterproof strip lighting may be the first kind of LEDs you think of. But you can choose other options for your garden lights too. Here are some other LED lighting products you can use, on their own or controlled in combination:
LED ground lights – Compact inground LED lights, housed in an IP67-rated anodised aluminium recessed fitting with a stainless steel face. You can connect them in series using standard Cat-5 RJ45 cables. So they’re ideal for decking lights and other exterior locations.
LED step lights – Housed in attractive stainless steel, these LED step lights are available in a water-resistant (IP67) version. Each has three optic lens options that produce a striking effect. Connections can be daisy-chained, using either RJ45 or 2-core cables.
LED modules – These strings of LED modules are enclosed and sealed, providing IP67-rated water resistance. Although they’re primarily designed for signage applications, they can also give your garden borders an ethereal highlight glow
LED neon flex – A new approach to LED lighting, LED neon flex produces a seamless light band with no visible LED dots. Because it’s constructed using sturdy and flexible PVC, it’s IP68-rated. And it can be bent and twisted to create a new world of shapes and lighting effects for your garden.
LED wall washer – Available in half-metre and one-metre versions, this is a slim high-power RGB light baton housed in water-resistant (IP67) aluminium. Combining its red, blue and green LEDs lets you mix fantastic light effects for your garden. Create great backdrops on walls, fences and other surfaces.
How to control your LED garden lights
To manage your garden LED lights, you’ll probably want a remote control unit that can be used while outdoors. Otherwise you’ll have to come back inside to adjust. Radio-frequency remotes have a range of roughly 20 metres, and don’t need to be in line-of-sight with the LED’s receiver.
Maybe you’d like the choice of an indoor wall-mounted controller and remote to manage your garden lights. Then why not consider InStyle’s internally-powered RGB/RGBW wireless remote? At first glance, this looks like a wall-mounted light control. But its switches and battery are housed in a palm-size detachable unit that can be unclipped from the wall. Carry it around, and use it like a remote!
Whatever controller you choose, it will need to be paired with a receiver module. Receivers connect directly to your garden LED lights. They are not water-resistant, so it’s important to install them inside a sealed enclosure with an IP67 rating or above. (You’ll find suitable enclosures at good electrical wholesalers.) Alternatively, receiver modules can be installed indoors, and wired out to your garden LED lights.
If your LED garden lights are white or single-colour, then may not even need a receiver. You choose a mains-dimmable (TRIAC) power supply to drive them instead. See the next section below for more details.
Why not use your phone or tablet to control your LED garden lights?
By simply downloading the LED EasyLighting app, you can control up to 8 LED lighting zones across your house and garden. With the app, you can select colour scrolls, dimming your LEDs and setting colours (on RGB/RGBW lights).
To use the app you’ll need an additional wifi adaptor, that works with the receiver paired with your LEDs. The wifi adaptor connects to your wifi network, so your phone/tablet can control your garden LEDs anywhere in range.
Power supplies for LED garden lights
InStyle have a choice of water-resistant transformers that are ideal for powering garden LED lights. Our range includes a selection of market-leading Mean Well power supplies.
Don’t forget that white or single-colour LED garden lights don’t need a receiver to control them, if you choose to power them with a TRIAC transformer. Our 200W TRIAC-dimmable transformer is fully water-resistant (IP67). We also have a range of smaller TRIAC power supplies that can be installed outdoors as long as they’re fitted in a sealed enclosure. (Enclosures are available from electrical wholesalers.)