Garden design lighting is often used to enhance the visual appeal of gardens, and can be improved further using LoraWAN.
LoraWAN is a wireless communications technology, used to send data between devices.
Advantages of LoraWAN for garden design is its long range, and low power consumption.
The advantages of LoraWAN long range are pretty obvious, and allow lighting control over large areas. This is a positive advantage for large garden areas, such as stately homes and parks.
One issue with loraWAN, is that it is not designed to use optional ‘repeaters’.
Repeaters are devices in wireless radio communications, which receive a weak radio signal, and re-transmit it, at a stronger signal level.
Repeaters solve the problem that occurs with radio signals, at frequencies above 30 MegaHertz (MHz), at which radio signals are ‘line of sight’.
Line of sight means that physical features, such as hills, and buildings made of certain construction materials, will block radio signals.
Therefore physical obstacles ‘could’ block or reduce (attenuate) the LoraWAN radio signal.
Fortunately by careful positioning of LoraWAN devices can be an effective workaround.
So hopefully now you understand that LoraWAN is a wireless technology, used to send data, over wide physical areas, and at low power consumption.
You may however be wondering how it can be used in garden design lighting.
Firstly lets consider how we power lighting in the garden.
There are two methods available, solar and fixed Steel Wire Armoured (SWA) cabling, buried in the ground.
Solar has become a popular option in recent years, due to its ease of installation.
Most solar lights, have a small solar panel incorporated into the light design.
Therefore installation costs are very low (or free), as they just need putting where you want them located.
The disadvantage of solar lighting, can be light output levels.
This is because of the fact that the more light you want, the more power is consumed.
Therefore if you have bright lighting, it will have higher power consumption requirements.
Solar systems have small batteries incorporated, which store the electricity generated on sunny days, by the solar panels.
A bright light that has higher power requirements, will drain a small battery quicker, than a light with lower power requirements.
You might decide to have a larger storage battery, to supply the brighter light.
Unfortunately you would also need a larger solar panel, to charge it.
Hopefully you now understand, that having a decent level of light output from a solar based system, can be an issue.
Of course a system could be designed, using a large separate solar panel, and storage batteries. Such a system would then supply the lights, via cabling.
Such as system may work sufficiently well, in countries with high levels of all year sunshine, but not in many countries.
For most situations where high output garden lighting is required, a wired system is needed.
In its simplest form, a garden lighting system, could consist of a single cable, supplying all the lights.
Traditionally this would mean that all the lights would either be on, or off at the same time.
That’s ok, if you want to be boring, but what if you want to individually control the garden lights separately.
The ‘old fashioned’ method would be to have separate cabling from each light, to a control box.
The disadvantage of this method, is the high cost of installing individual cables.
It is also inflexible, as it is inconvenient and expensive, to alter the lighting at a later date.
A better way is to run a single cable, but control each lighting fixture, using wireless radio signals.
A number of technologies will achieve this, but LoraWAN is ideal, due to its long range.