Retreating to the garden after a long hard day can be a great way to relax and unwind. Whether you live in a huge country house with beautiful vast green grounds or you’re a city dweller with a roof terrace overlooking an urbanised landscape, garden lighting can massively improve your time spent outdoors.
Many of us already have some sort of garden lighting implemented outside. Maybe it’s a security light which switches on when the sensor is triggered or perhaps it’s an attractive bollard or spike light leading the way up the garden path. The practicality and safety attached to the odd garden light is obvious, yet there are so many other textures and arrangements covered in garden lighting that can help to improve the way in which your garden feels, breathes and illuminates at night time!
Garden Lighting Tips – Number 1)
Nearly every garden has some sort of domineering feature. It could be a tree, a bed of plants, some trellis, ornaments or a water fountain, whatever if it is, whenever you are out in the garden you cant help but stare. So why not further enhance your feature by including some lighting to accompany its structure.
Water has always been a great communicator with light, so expanding the presence of your water feature by using various lighting systems is easily achievable. However if you aren’t luckily enough to be graced with the expenditure or space to install a water feature then some architectural plants or trees can add to the drama of your garden.
Trees and plants are conductive to lighting, multi-stem shapes allow the light to filter through the canopy to create extra volume and depth. Lit trees can transform the atmosphere of any garden succumbed to the twilight hours or dead of night.
Moonlighting from above the tree, up lighting the trunk or lighting the canopy from various directions can boost the height, spread and appeal of the tree. You can turn your tree or architectural plants from a natural focal point in the day time into a glistening stand out feature at night.
Garden Lighting Tips – Number 2)
Manipulating The Atmosphere
If you ask any professional garden landscaper or interior designer about lighting techniques they always seem to mention the importance of layers. Assembling carefully thought out and well positioned lighting has a huge influence on the feel and atmosphere of an area. The contrast between dark and light objects defines the atmosphere in most landscapes; so in a small and personal space such as a garden this reflective feeling is nothing but amplified.
We have a great amount of control over the appearance of our garden. This is particularly the case at night time, as unattractive or unused areas can remain unseen whereas nicer areas can be highlighted using lights. Planning what lighting to use and where it should sit can cleverly deter or attract people from or to a region.
For instance the ground may have an interesting texture, like some stunning patio slates or well pruned grass, well to entice people to look at this section some low level cross lighting can draw attention below eye level. Trees and other features which stand higher up can also be pointed out, in turn the atmosphere will become low-key.
On the other hand lighting systems such as down lights can make the whole occasion appear formal and strict. Considering the light beams angle and the journey it takes as it travels through the darkness, as well as the strength of its bulb, can all make a combining factor to the atmosphere of your garden.
Garden Lighting Tips – Number 3)
Sometimes more is less. By hiding your lights behind or inside your features, walls or cavities, you can muster mystery and intrigue without even seeing the fitting. The illusion of light is a powerful thing. And the way in which lights are becoming smaller and smaller, it gives great scope to discretely place your lights without the fitting being visible.
Cavities, voids, holes and other nooks and crannies can be made into the perfect home for garden lights that don’t need to be seen. The landscape is your playground so why not use it to your advantage.
The concealment of lights can also be helped by the colour of the actual light fitting. By avoiding silver or metallic finishes you can hibernate your lights into the surrounding area without them sticking out like a sore thumb. Camouflaged earthier tones such as brown, black and bronze will help you to merge the lights into the back drop without intrusion.
Garden LED strip lights can act as an extremely nifty solution for lighting up hard to access areas. Concealing LED strip lights such as tapes or tubes into a wall or inside of a flower bed can light up the location without necessarily ever being seen.
Garden Lighting Tips – Number 4)
Silhouettes & Direction
Sometimes if you position your lighting in such a way you can actually influence other objects, details and feelings inside the garden. If you have a blank canvas to work with such as a plain white wall, and in front of this wall is a tree, a bush or an ornament, then you can position a light in front of this feature to help to create a knock on effect against the wall – ie a silhouette.
Purposely developing silhouettes and shadows in the garden to provide extra depth, character and scenery can formulate a bigger picture or story within the garden.
Direction of lighting is not only important to distribute an even spread of light or help to highlight a specific area but it can also set the foundations for an experience or a journey throughout the garden. For those who want to create an advanced experience you can set up your light fittings as either check points to stop and marvel at areas or combine them all, to interact with each other and force a fluid journey.
Garden Lighting Tips – Number 5)
Control & Maintenance
Homeowners no longer have to commit to the same coloured light. They no longer have to get up to turn the lights on or off. Lighting technology is ever advancing, and nowadays you can alter the mood by dimming lights from the comfort of your garden chair.
Devices are now available that enables the user to dim the lights or change the colours they emit (RGB) via a remote control. This added convenience can go a long way to effortlessly changing the mood and appearance of a garden.
Garden lighting is perhaps the easiest lighting genre to maintain. Once your garden lights are set up and you’re happy with their location, it will literally only take a bit of common sense to help them prevail. One of the most common issues connected with garden lighting is accidentally cutting through wires with gardening tools.
You’ll need to think carefully about where the wires will run before implementing your garden lights, and once you’ve decided, you’ll have to bear this location in mind when it comes to garden activities such as lawn mowing or cutting. The reflector, lens or flange of a garden light will also thank you for the occasional wipe down. Giving these parts a clean will ensure that the light is being dispersed as bright and as vivid as it was when it was first installed.
If you are thinking about contributing to the ambience and atmosphere of your garden by using lights, then we hope you can find guidance from these five points above.
Links that may help you decide on your lighting: