Garden lighting is an intricate and delicate aspect of your premise decor. It is not exactly an illumination plan. Here, a natural balance is ideally maintained where darkness in its mystic envelope is pampered enough to add a layered look in the landscape. There is of course no specific formula for arranging the best lighting in your garden. Although it is a year around arrangement for lighting, in summertime, the beauty can be cherished at its best. In the summer, when the evenings seem to be a little more pleasant than the daytime stuffy indoors, spending time in your garden as dusk wanes can be an enticing prospect. A garden should be ideally as inviting at night as it seems to be during the daytime. During night the crafty light arrangement in the garden adds a special charm. In a working week, often the only time we spend at home is during evening, and so it only makes sense to give some thought to how your garden looks in the dark as well as when there is light.
You must remember that gardens are starting to become more and more functional spaces that have multiple uses and add to the living experience of people. If you have a beautiful and well decorated garden with water features, sculptures, walkways, and dining terraces, you have to consider each and every element with a lot of care and give them their own lighting treatment to create a setting that is truly memorable.
You should also remember that a little light goes a long way when it is dark. Use light very selectively and understand that darkness also has a strong effect – to hide any areas that are not as attractive as you would like them to be. Decide on the areas you want to focus on, what the garden’s main features are, and then use the lighting for these areas to create a particular focus.
Various Types of Garden Lighting Available in Market
There are various ways of adding garden lighting, which requires the use of a full range of lighting methods. It includes down lighting, uplighting, wall washing, spotlighting, step and vista lighting, and so on.
Down Lighting Arrangements in Garden
It is lighting in downward direction from a structure to provide a pool of lighting on a surface below.
Uplighting Arrangements in Garden
It is lighting from below that produces an effect like washing, accent lighting & grazing. It is used where particular emphasis on a feature is to be given.
Wall Washing Effect in Garden
It is an effect that provides even coverage of light on a wall to define a space.
Spotlighting Effect in Garden
It is an effect where the fixture is placed at some distance from the subject to be lit.
Step and Vista Lighting
Here each tread receives direct lighting. Fixtures fixed in the risers of the steps will be directly in the line of vision.
Ways to Add Lighting in Your Garden
Here some ideas are suggested that you can use to light your garden:
01. Moonlighting Effect for Garden
Placing a spotlight in a tree to produce dappled pools of light can be a very nice way to light a path or a terrace. But, keep it in mind that you should only have the light pointing in the downward direction. You should not try to light across a distance. If you do, then what you intended to be a subtle lighting effect will turn into what feels like a security light. As mentioned by Anu Alreja (Published in Lighting in Landscape) “Moon lighting is a technique down from low power lights fixed in a tree to shadow the lower branches and foliage to the ground below. This provides a wonderful subtle dappled lighting effect over a tree seat. It is a very creative way of merging the lawn into the lighting scene.”
02. Less is More
LED light fittings are extremely efficient in terms of beauty, utility, and of courseenergy efficiency. So, you can most definitely go smaller than you may plan for.
The LED light fittings usually need drivers, so you should spare some thought to where you can hide the waterproof boxes and locate them when you need to. You may not have an outside room or shed where you can hide these driver boxes, so you might consider hiding them behind hedges or in bushes.
03. Matching Colours
Make sure that the colour temperature of all the sources of your LED lighting match naturally. Warm white has different meanings for different manufacturers, so you should check the numbers with its effect. For example, while LEDs with 2800k warmth may be suitable for the inside of your home, a few degrees cooler like 3000k, in the garden would bring a crisper effect and also highlight the colourof your garden foliage.
04. Hidden Cables
Lighting means cables are in use and cables mostly look unsightly in an otherwise lovely and natural setting. They can totally ruin the effect you are trying to achieve if they stick out like a sore thumb. One good idea is to encase the electrical cables inside tubing that is mesh-reinforced. It will protect the cables from accidental damage when digging or from any garden pests, or even your pet dog cannot play with them.
05. Sealed Connections
You must ensure that your electrician puts proper seals on all the electrical connections in the garden so that they become fully waterproof and weatherproof. Moisture can be tricky and can sneakily travel up cables, and you could be heartbroken if you found that you have spent your hard-earned money on high quality external light fitting but moisture got in because of poorly made connections.
06. Proper Drainage
Proper drainage is not only good for your plants, but if you have placed anything on the ground, like recessed lighting, you should make sure that there is enough drainage to prevent water from building up.
07. Contrast is Good
If you have some steps in your garden, you may have plan to create lighting for them. In that case, consider illuminating every other step. The contrast it will create, will still allow you to see each and every step, but the effect will be much more subtle.
You can use the effect of contrast in the garden where you have placed some other elements. Like wooden chairs look good in the background of green tree and contrast lighting.
08. Adding Layering Illumination Works Fine for the Garden
Layering lighting is also called as the accent lighting in a garden. This is an elusive lighting plan, which is somewhat brighter in the effect but blurred in its look. Its purpose is to pull focus to a specific object in the landscape. This could be a flower bed, garden sculpture, decorative fountain, specimen bonsai, or maybe some special yard art. When you will be using layering outdoor lighting, it is vital to use surrounding semi-bright and dim-light combo to attract the eyes toward the object or area being emphasized. It will be not only good looking but at the same time, the effect will be of an abstract splendor.
09. Check for Innovative But Safe Fittings
Garden lighting is attractive, but you have to make it safe too. You should use only good quality electrical fittings in your garden to arrange safe lighting. Go for the weatherproof accessories. If you have water features in your garden, always use waterproof and weatherproof electrical fittings here.
Hire an experienced electrician. You must keep-up regular maintenance for all the electrical fitting used in the garden because they are stay open to the weather. Always maintain the rules of layering cables on the ground.
10. Consider Solar Powered Lighting in Your Garden
Solar lights are energy-efficient, and these are easy to install. These lights are climate-friendly and utilize lower voltage. No harmful gases are found emitted from the solar panel, which not only creates a green effect around, it is healthy for your plants too.
Top Tips for Garden Lighting
After the great ideas for lighting your garden at night, here are some key tips that can make all the difference to the way your garden looks:
- Leave plenty of spare slack on the leads for spike spotlights. Then it becomes possible to move them around, and you may highlight different spots in your garden at different times.
- Select a single type of light-maybe a cool white or a warmer white to have a unified scheme.
- Spend some money on quality, weatherproof and waterproof fittings. You should not buy cheap ones and suffer later.
- Buy lights from the reputed brands. Check the warranty protection. With warranty, you will get some support from the manufacturer if the purchased items do not work the way they should.
- Always hire a professional electrician to install the lights to have them done the right way and safely.
Do it Yourself Lighting Installation
The suggestions shared here are the tips; however, hiring a professional electrician for installing lights is one them. But what if you are confident that you can do it yourself? You can do without an electrician if you have basic DIY skills. Then you can connect the lights where you want to place them and just remember to bury all the wires and the cables safely under the ground in water proof casing. If you have the confidence, then go ahead and give it a shot by:
01. Remove the electrical kit from the box.
02. Attach the control box to the wall with the provided fixings.
03. Connect any of your garden lighting as simply as you wire a plug.
04. Plug the unit into a power socket.
05. Use the key fob to control the lights.
Final Thought for Providing Best Lighting for Your Garden
A well-lit garden that has the right lighting and is yet subtle, will create a special space where you can spend quality time with yourself or with your friends and family, as well as can relax staying in touch with nature inside your own house in your ME time. If your garden is big enough, you can even host parties or get-togethers there and enjoy the lighting effects with your pals. Light up your garden and have a wonderful time ahead!
I hope the article was informative, giving ideas on the best lighting for the garden. Besides lighting for garden, we have provided various articles regarding types of lighting and lamps for interiors as well. Have a look at it below:
Indrani Ghosh – In the fourth decade of my life, I decided that I needed something more. I needed to tell everyone my story, but in a way that people would read it. So I have become a part-time writer. My main profession is that of a technical writer and I have been part of the IT industry for 19 years now. I have worked for companies like TCS and Ericsson and clients like Johnson & Johnson, Citi Cards, T-Mobile, Visa, and many more. I love my job and have a great passion for life. My husband is my best friend and he is as passionate about life as I am, though in subtly different ways. I am a loyal friend, a skilled professional, a loving wife and hopefully, soon a published author! I am Easily Reachable on – Facebook, LinkedIn.