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tips-for-lighting-a-garden

Here are some quick lighting tips for lighting a garden.

Light for inside as well as outside. Most of the time (in the UK) you will be seeing the garden at night from the house, so use this to your advantage. By lighting a couple of feature plants, for example, close to your living area you’ll minimise the mirror-like blackness of large glass windows, as well as creating a stylish feature.

Create zones that can be controlled separately for different functions and times of the year. Subtle lighting in the winter can pick out interesting features and make the garden seem less bleak at night but you’ll want more lighting for entertaining in the summer when everything is in bloom.

Path and Step Lighting is crucial but doesn’t need to be merely functional. It can be attractive as well. Avoid glare with hooded steplights or LEDs set into the stringers. Path lights set in the ground can wash light over the route without any dazzle.

Check my core selection of outdoor step lights here

Don’t Overlight the garden for several reasons. Too much light will make it feel flat and cold. You’ll also annoy the neighbours as well as frightening the wildlife away.

You need less light than you think. When you look at the wattage of a bulb or LED output, don’t compare it to lights you choose for the interior. Light is greatly accentuated against the inky darkness. You’ll need less than you think.

Use light to ‘paint’ your garden. Uplighting trees and plants, grazing light up walls and focusing pools of light on interesting features will create magical effects and, when carefully planned, can double-up as functional lighting.

Factor in easy controls for lighting a barbeque and outdoor kitchen. This is functional lighting that needs to be turned off, or at least dimmed, once the cooking has finished otherwise it will affect the atmosphere. Much easier if controlled close to hand.

Security lighting should be on a separate circuit. This can double up as functional lighting for when you’re unloading the car in the dark, but you don’t want it glaring away when you’re enjoying a tranquil evening in the garden.

Don’t skimp on quality. Although it’s tempting to ‘economise’ on exterior lighting you’ll regret not buying products that are up to the job. Go for good IP ratings and make sure that the finish will withstand the elements, especially if you’re near the coast.

Consider Rechargeable Lamps for entertaining. There’s a fabulous array of outdoor lamps that you can charge up ready for when you’re entertaining. This makes planning your garden lighting so much easier and more flexible,

Lighting the house façade and front garden can make a big impact. This is very much part of the garden and dramatic effects can be created by up-down lights flanking the entrance, wall lanterns, or uplights washing up the building.

Check out my core selection of exterior up-down lights here

Build in a bit of magic. There was a time when fairy lights were saved for Christmas but nowadays we can enjoy the magic of twinkly lights throughout the year. There’s a great selection of solar powered fairy lights on the market which makes it very easy to add ambience to your garden without the need for an electrician.