Why limit your enjoyment of the garden to the daylight hours only? Well designed lighting can bring the garden life at might, with added drama and glamour to a garden. Of course, appropriate outdoor lighting can have safety and security benefits, too.
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Includes general garden illumination, pool lighting, patio lighting, spotlights, low voltage lights, solar powered lights, fairy lights, outdoor coloured bulbs, shed lights etc. Also outdoor home security such as sensor lights and security cameras.
Sleepless in the Suburbs
Landscape lighting can affect the flowering cycle of some plants, but may disrupt the sleep of birds, too. Researchers at La Trobe University and University of Melbourne looked at various aspects of sleep such as duration, fragmentation and REM in two bird species and found exposure to light at intensities comparable to street lighting had negative impacts. In humans, it's been shown that reducing the amount of blue-wavelengths can reduce the effects of electronic screens on sleep. Similarly, it was found that magpies did suffer more with blue-rich white light than with amber light. However, white and amber light were equally bad for the domestic pigeons tested, showing that species vary in their reaction and simply changing the light colour is probably not a general solution. Although wild birds can potentially avoid brightly-lit areas, the researchers suggest you only use outdoor lighting when and where it's really needed, eliminating purely decorative lighting and using sensor lighting for safety and security. They also recommend street and park lights be directed downwards and shielded as much as possible. Source: Artificial light keeps birds up at night (July 2020).
Pollinators deterred by street lights
There has been a lot of concern about the decline of bees worldwide, but many pollinating insects operate at night. Experiments in a Swiss meadows showed that illumination simulating street lighting reduced pollination visits by 62%. One of the plant species (Cirsium oleraceum), which is visited by insects both day and night, exhibited 13% lower fruit set. this shows that showing that daytime pollination can't compensate even if the species is capable. These findings could have environmental and agricultural implications as residential areas expand worldwide. Source: Light pollution as a new threat to pollination (August, 2017)
New park eco-friendly in more ways than one
Besides more than two thousand trees and shrubs to attractive natives birds, Laurence Park, Townsville, features solar lights, power-saving barbeques and park furniture made from recycled plastic. Find out more from Townsville City Council: New community park first of its type for Upper Ross (July 2008)
Security with Solar
Beaudesert Shire Council has improved security at Jubilee Park with two solar lights. The setup includes a special type of fluorescent lamp, which should last four times longer than conventional ones. More about this at the council's website here: Solar lights installed at Jubilee Park (PDF) (October 2007)
Other Information Online
Note that some information in international links may not be appropriate in Queensland (e.g. regarding electrical supply and associated regulations)
Online article about designing with landscape lighting at the website of US publication Landscape Management
Reproduction of a 1987 article, Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society (PDF)