Now that winter is approaching its time to think about making your driveway safe and inviting for visitors. By Martin Bennett
A gravel drive is a great deterrent for burglars as they cannot approach quietly, an illuminated drive is even better. The best way to light a driveway is to use illuminated bollards which both mark the edges and light the way. All types of bollards are available ranging from decorative to standard commercial styles.. Avoid the low cost ones as they may corrode, can be are easily damaged and often have poor light output. Prices can vary from £100 for a quality aluminium type to up to £500 or more for a Marine grade 316 stainless steel type. The smaller diameter bollards will normally only accommodate candle size bulbs meaning their light output is restricted. If you install those with built in LED’s make sure they have a long warranty of 5 years or more and remember the warranty will only cover the replacement cost of the Bollard not the electricians cost should a fault develop.
If you want low running costs and no failure worries opt for Bollards that use LED bulbs. Today high output “Corn” bulbs are available with a light output equivalent to 200 watts. They are longer than normal bulbs but will fit the better commercial bollards. Other high output LED candle bulbs are also available for more decorative bollards. The latest LED bulbs are extremely efficient having an equivalent light output of up to 10 times their rated watts.
Using lights lit by LED means that Photocell or PIR controls can be used meaning that the lights are never on in daylight. For many new builds this is a building control requirement. Some Bollard lights have built in PIR or Photocells; alternatively the controls can be mounted remotely.
Remember an illuminated Bollard is not designed to withstand contact with a vehicle, some of the Stainless Steel types using 3mm thick metal will withstand a low speed collision but they are not designed to be a physical barrier. I would recommend that all bollards where possible are in ground (root) mounted. This makes them much stronger and there are no unsightly mounting plates plus in the event of contact they are easier to repair.
Martin Bennett is the founder of Lumena Lights
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