In winter, gardens can look very bare and drab during the day but can be enlivened with some colour lighting after dark. Martin Bennett reports 
The ever popular Spike lights can easily be converted to give some dramatic colour effects simply by clipping a coloured dichroic filter between the bulb and the glass lens in the end cap. A variety of colours are available from a dramatic red to a subtle moonlight blue.
A dichroic filter, is a very accurate colour filter used to selectively pass light of a small range of colours while reflecting other colours . Dichroic lenses are not expensive and can be bought on line for less than £6.00 each. To maximise the colour effect the use of a 6500k daylight white LED bulb is recommended.
Traditional style floodlights are also available with dichroic colour lenses. Also not expensive at around £30. To convert from wall mounted to ground location simple screw the mounting bracket to a piece of decking and place anywhere on the ground and project the light to a wall or tree to give a dramatic effect.
Another option is to use a PAR38 floodlight with a colour LED bulb. A range of colour PAR38 bulbs are made by Bell lighting.
To add a touch of magic use a floodlight to backlight a feature and a spotlight in front with contrasting colours.

1/. Built in LED lighting fixtures usually quote a life of 30,000 hours or more which is equivalent to around 10 years life at normal usage. However many warrantees are only for 2 years Look for warrantees of 5 years or more where the makers have confidence in their products.
2/. LED’s themselves rarely fail but the “drivers” that power them often do. Some LED lights have accessible replaceable drivers; try and buy these for peace of mind. remember warrantee will not pay for the electrician’s cost of replacing the faulty light.
Martin Bennett is the founder of Lumena Lights  
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