I have always been a sucker for anything that lights up, but the garden has always been my favourite room in the house. So when I saw that you can buy breathing light garden kits online, it blew my mind. I decided to try and make one myself as they are fairly easy to do with some basic DIY skills.
What are breathing lights?
Breathing lights are some of the most popular types of RGB lights available. They’re also known as “fairy lights” or “disco balls.”
Breathing lights have been around for a long time, but did you know that they can be made at home? You’ll need to buy some LEDs, wire and a battery if you want to make your own breathing light garden, but it’s worth it! Breathing lights look great when they’re in motion (hence why they’re called breathing) and are often used in gardens because they help add ambiance when people walk through them at night.
- LED rope light
- Acrylic tube
- Power cable
- Screws (1 inch)
- Drill and screwdriver, pliers, tape
Step 1: Preparation
Before you begin, make sure that you have all the necessary tools and materials on hand. This will save you a lot of time and trouble down the road.
- Buy your garden lights. You can find them online or at most hardware stores. For this project, we used LED string lights because they require less wiring than other types of LED light bulbs or strings.
- Make sure your space is large enough for working with electronics and/or gardening equipment (i.e., ample room for plants, soil, watering cans). It also helps if it’s out of direct sunlight: sunlight could damage the solar panel’s ability to charge during daylight hours—and even if it doesn’t happen right away, over time those cells will degrade in UV exposure!
Step 2: Attach the LED rope light
- Secure the LED rope light to the acrylic tube using cable ties.
- Make sure that you do not make these too tight, or the LED rope light will be stressed and may break. Also, if you make them too loose then the LED rope light may fall off when you hang it up in your garden.
Step 3: Cut the acrylic tube to length.
Now that you have the acrylic tube, it’s time to cut it to length. This is an important step because if you cut the acrylic too short, your light will be dimmer than desired. If you cut the acrylic too long, it will stick out from the wall and look bad.
To determine the correct length for your garden, measure from the surface of your garden up against a wall or other flat surface (see pictures). The tube does not have to be flush with this surface—it can hang over slightly if necessary (this also makes installing it easier). Next, measure out how long your lights need to be in order for them to reach all areas of interest within your garden. Finally, make sure that there is enough room at both ends of each string so that they don’t touch anything while they’re lit up! Your power supply will also need some breathing room as well!
Step 4: Secure the LED rope light inside the acrylic tube.
Now that you have all of the pieces, it’s time to secure them in place. To do this, take your hot glue gun and attach the LED rope light around the inside of your acrylic tube. Be sure not to let any hot glue drip onto the actual LEDs!
If you find that there are some gaps between your acrylic tube and lights, don’t worry! You can fill these in with extra hot glue to ensure a nice seal.
Step 5: Connect power cable.
- Connect the power cable to your LED rope light
- Connect the power cable to mains power supply
- Connect the power cable to the battery pack using a 3-way connector (you can buy this at any hardware store)
- Connect your solar panel in parallel with your battery pack
Step 6: Place inside Garden and Enjoy.
Step 6: Place inside Garden and Enjoy.
Once you have built your breathing light garden, it’s time to place it in the garden. The lights should be placed where there is a lot of space, so that they can move around freely. As long as they are not near any trees or bushes, they will do their job and create some beautiful effects in your garden.
Breathing Lights are a simple, cheap but effective way of adding a wow factor to your garden.
Breathing lights are a simple, cheap but effective way of adding a wow factor to your garden. The idea is to create a sort of light show where the lights make patterns in the dark. You can do this by making some basic movements with the lights and then setting them up so they repeat at regular intervals.
The key thing here is that you don’t need expensive equipment or lots of space either – it’s just a case of buying some rope lights and then taking over an evening or two (or more) with them!
So there you have it, our top tips for making your own breathing lights. We hope this blog has inspired you to make your own and we’d love to see the results!