02 January 2011
garden: New String Lights
Lighting is a critical part of the livable, or lived-in, garden. The garden, for me, is all about extra rooms, and they just happen to be rooms outside where we share space with the worms, bugs and other critters.
Here at the Grackle, we've tried to create room-like spaces throughout the garden that we can enjoy at all times of the day and night.
An important component of enjoying the livable garden at night is having light. Not spotlights that glare when they detect motion, nor glamor lights that spotlight trees, but lights that create ambiance. There are so many good ways to create that ambiance, even candles or a fire pit will do the trick.
Our solution for ambient lighting has always been to hang string lights. You know, Christmas lights. And it's worked beautifully. We don't yet have any large trees with sprawling branches from which I can hang other types of lights. Nor do we yet have arbors or pergolas. Even further, we don't have a back porch light at all! Ah, the joys of a house from the 1940s.
The string lights we have been using are from Target, and they've served us well aside from one problem: the fuse in the first plug always blows out because we have too many of the strands strung together. All together, they pull too much electricity from the outlet and thus blow the fuse and that melts the plug. That's scary and dangerous, actually.
I had been talking to my engineering-inclined brother about this issue, and he obviously had his Christmas gift ears pricked. I relayed to him that I've never been able to find the nice, commercial-grade lights that I see in restaurants about town.
oogalights.com. And they are fabulous.
Just installed them today, with a minimal amount of blood and cussing. The light they give off is warm, yet substantial, and I love that I can see the glowing filaments within the clear bulbs. Super nice.
Whoo hoo! I'm ready for the next warm winter eve!