It’s a well known phenomenon that the average British pub-goers will be thinking about sitting outside with a pint (or whatever) from the moment the clocks go forward in the Spring, to when they go backwards again in October.
Those of you with beer gardens, decking areas, yards etc will want to not only advertise to all and sundry that you have an outside area (not least to smokers) but will want to make that area attractive and safe in the dark for your customers and staff.
Outdoor lighting is as diverse as interior lighting and includes up-lighters, down-lights, spotlights, floodlights and underwater lighting. Outdoor lights are built to last, they are constructed from durable materials such as cast and machined aluminium, copper, brass and stainless steel.
Garden lighting will help to enhance and enable your customers to enjoy the natural beauty of your outside areas throughout the year. Lighting effects in your beer garden should be subtle but provide enough light to allow your customers to spend a comfortable amount of time outside during winter months as well as those balmy summer evenings. It shouldn’t, however, impact upon your neighbours “quiet enjoyment” of their respective properties.
Outdoor lighting has come a long way since simple floodlights, it is now available in a range to suit just about every need and to complement the style of your pub and beer garden.
For security and safety reasons, your beer garden should be well lit and the provision of lamp posts, bollard lights and wall lights will ensure your customers are safe when you are open and your outside areas are secure out of hours. You can put in a PIR (movement sensor similar to those used for burglar alarm systems) for maximum security.
Festoon lamps that hang in swags from walls or trees can define the extent of the beer garden and with simplecoloured covers create a great advert for your outdoor area. You can also install LED lighting to illuminate trees and flowers, this type of lighting will also add colour to your pub’s outdoor environment.
There are numerous areas in your beer garden that might be lit for various reasons. Rather than highlighting the whole garden, focus on some parts of it and will create a great atmosphere and interesting shadows.
Dining and drinking areas are worth lighting to enjoy meals and drinks after dark. Ponds, paths and steps need to be well lit not only for aesthetic reasons but also for the sake of safety. By using the right light you will obtain the effect of your pub being more inviting for your customers and less inviting for intruders.
Low voltage outdoor lighting offers you safety as well as ambience and architectural interest; this kind of lighting has many advantages over traditional main lamps. There is no need to disturb the landscape by digging deep to hide the cables and what’s more, they are safe to use around pets and small children (which are often beer garden users). Another advantage is that this type of lighting is more energy efficient and cheaper to run.
For paths, walkways and stairs, tier lights or bollard lights are worth considering as they direct light downward (some tier lights have removable tops to direct light straight up). Spotlights direct light up from the base of trees and provide shadowing effects.
You can also choose decorative lamps such as globe lights, tulip lights, miniature lanterns, copper ivy lights, net lighting, shaped as trees – the choice is huge.
For safety reasons you may wish to install floodlights. To give maximum control and flexibility, place them on a separate circuit. These lamps usually contain a halogen or sodium light source that provides a high level of light and might only be used for “kicking out time” or in the event of an emergency of some kind.
If you have a water feature in your garden, lighting this area can look amazing. If you place the source of light around the edges, it will reflect off the waters surface. Waterproof fittings can be put inside a pond but you need to make sure they are safe to use, especially if you allow children on your premises.
Being in possession of a well lit beer garden, your customers will want to spend the most time possible there. Unfortunately English weather might not be that conducive to staying outside for long, luckily there is a solution – use one (or a few heat lamps) and your customers will enjoy staying in the garden as long as they like.
Path lighting is ideal for lighting flat areas, decks, courtyards and edge lighting paths, patio areas and decks. It has a low profile and directs light horizontally via a stainless steel reflector cone through a frosted glass lens to reduce glare.
Continue reading … page 2