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Monthly Archives: April 2017

Solar Lights For home Yard

Solar lights take their power from the sun, store it in internal batteries and then shine brightly throughout the dark night. With so many options, you can have solar lights for safety and to beautify your home, all at the same time and all with lower electricity costs while being environmentally friendly. It’s a win win.

If you have steps in the yard you may want to use lights that will illuminate those steps when its dark. This will eliminate feeling around for the steps and reduce accidents. They are pretty accents to your steps too and of course come in a variety of shapes and colours.

Likewise for a pathway. Illuminating it at night takes the guess work out of the equation and allows for a pretty glow besides. Path lights can be low to the ground or can be on sticks to make a pretty accent to the sides of the path itself. They too come in a variety of shapes and colours to be the perfect addition to your landscaping.

Did you know that the flag code suggests that you light your flag at night? Never fear, there is a solar light just for that purpose and now the flag will never look better against the dark sky.

You spend a lot of time and money on your landscaping so why not show it off at night as well? There are many different solar spotlights on the market that will automatically shine on your perfect landscaping or beautiful tree at night. You can also implement landscaping lights into the landscaping itself for accents throughout the year, day or night.

Decks look so festive and summery when they have lights on them. Now you can get solar string lights to give your deck that great light and cozy feel, and they also come in all the popular shapes and colours.

Economical Pond Pump

Does that mean that over time the 550 watt pump will save money? Not necessarily. Pumps are only warrented for one or two or three years, generally. If you live in an area where electricity is cheap and the pumps you are considering are warranted for a year or two, then the added cost of the energy efficient pump, and its replacement, may be greater than the energy costs it will save over the same time period.

If, on the other hand, you live where the cost of electricity is high and you are looking at a pump with a three year warrenty that uses significantly less electricity than the other, then the energy efficient pump may more than pay for its extra up-front cost over the long term.

How to know? A Life Cycle Cost Analysis. Find the cost of electricity in your area, figure how long the pump should last, (generally at least two times the warranty), the number of watts it runs on and do the math. Here’s an example.

Say your pump uses 550 watts/hour and you plan to have it running continuously. It has a warranty of two years, so figure it will last four. 550 watts per hour in one day amounts to 13,200 watts. Divide that by a thousand to get kilowatts; 13.2. Multiply that by 365 days in a year = 4,818. Multiply that by 4 years = 19,272 kilowatts over its lifetime. Multiply that by the cost of electricity in your area, say $.20 = $3,854.

Do the same for the 850 watts/hour pump and the result is $5,957. There is a difference in energy costs of usage over their lifetime between the two pumps of $2,102. The difference in purchase price of the pumps will be in the vicinity of $200.00.

Does this mean the energy efficient pump is the most economical over time? In this scenerio it does, which assumed a twenty cent energy cost, a lifetime of four years and continuous running for all of that four years, yes. If the pump is run half that time, say 12 hours a day or six months of the year the energy differential would drop to $2,901, still a considerable savings. Reduce the life time to two years or run the pump for less often and the difference will be still less. In some areas the cost of electricity is much less so the cost of running the pump will be much less.

Let’s look at the same scenerio as the first example above, but instead of an energy cost of twenty cents per kilowatt, we’ll assume eight cents per kilowatt. We’re looking at a pump that uses 550 watts/hour, running continuously. It has a warranty of two years, so figure it will last four. 550 watts per hour in one day amounts to 13,200 watts. Divided by a thousand to get kilowatts gives us 13.2 per day. We multiply that by 365 days in a year = 4,818, and that by 4 years = 19,272 kilowatts over its lifetime. Now we multiply that by $.08 (eight cents) per kilowatt and we have a total cost over four years of $1,541.76 for the 550 watt pump and plugging in the 850 watt number in place of the 550 we get $2382.00 over four years. A difference of about $840.00. Reduce the life of the pump to two years and you have a difference in running costs over that two years of $427.00.

Info of Landscaping Lighting Techniques

There are many lighting styles available to suit your aesthetic tastes and landscape setting. In downlighting, lighting units are installed on a high position such as a tree or roof to provide illumination over a broad area. If you want to highlight flowers, pathway or steps the lights are positioned close to the ground.

In uplighting, we focus lights upwards creating a theatrical setting. These lights are kept low to the ground or sometimes underground and can be used to light trees, plants, statues or textured wall surfaces.

Moonlighting is similar to downlighting except that the lights used are dim. This simulates the lovely effect of moonlight and if certain objects are in its path cast attractive shadow patterns.

In Grazing, known as side lights, these lights are positioned very close to an interesting surface which has a unique texture. It wonderfully brings out the texture in case of a tree bark, a masonry wall, wood shingles or an attractive door.

In spot lighting, an intense light beam is focused on a small area such as flowers, shrubs or statues. It immediately snatches the focal attention of an observer and creates islands of interest in your landscape.

In silhouetting, lights are concealed behind a tree or a bush and it produces the same wondrous effect as seeing a tree on a ridge silhouetted against the sky at dusk.

In crosslighting two or three lights from different direction are focused on a tree or a statue to reveal a striking three dimensional form.

Common Landscape Design

English cottage gardens are known for their lack of formality. There is no rigidity in their designs, and because they are more or less allowed to “just grow” require less maintenance than some other types of gardens. These are common gardens because they evoke a sense of charm.

They are most common in backyard landscaping, for those who want to enjoy the garden and show an informal sense of elegance while entertaining. In the United States, of course, the lawn remains the most dominant landscape feature, especially in the front.

But an English cottage garden can be very fine due its riot of flowering plants. Most landscape features of this sort include rose bushes, perennials and vines. Sometimes they are even allowed to go across pathways. Because perennials are so used, they grow back every year, without much effort.

Rock gardens are features that are rising in popularity as well. These landscape features can provide a great deal of attractiveness, but make use of fewer plants. Landscapes that include rock gardens need less water and less attention. Additionally, the plants that often go with rock gardens are usually hardier and need a little less care. These are easy to care for, and can save money. Additionally, it is possible to build your own rock garden in the landscape, saving you even more money.

An increasing trend in landscape design is incorporating elements of the Japanese garden. Of course, in Western circles, many of the times this is interpreted to mean showy flowers. These showy flowers grab attention, and many times landscapes will center around these plants.

They can be difficult to take care of, as they are often non-native. They can also be expensive. However, some people are turning their backyard landscapes into gardens that are more in keeping with traditional Japanese garden principles of simplicity including more foliage and design structures. These types of gardens are less expensive and can be equally attractive.

And, of course, the most common landscape feature is the lawn. This is because the lawn allows a platform for family activities. Additionally, overall, it is also fairly easy to care for. It need only be mowed by machines that are relatively easy use, and it can be fertilized and watered fairly inexpensively, if one does so properly and with common sense.