There is a bewildering display of outdoor lighting options. Some are functional and practical, others providing a stylish backdrop. Getting the mix right is no longer a nightmare. Just read on…
Can you have too much lighting?
Possibly but start with the backlighting, add spotlight for focal points and add lighting that also introduces a practical element and you have the perfect lighting mix.
Lighting = security and functional
For too long, outdoor lighting was seen as only being useful if it was a deterrent for those who intended on looting your garden shed or garage.
The result? Garden security lights that flick on when they detect movement and/or heat. Blinding would-be burglars into submission, they are still useful and practical, especially if you want to be able to see your way to the front door without tripping over garden hazards.
Use them on a timer or opt for a less-glaring alternative in the shape of a solar-powered unit.
Low budget = Fairy lights
We defy you to find anything more magical than the gentle twinkling of fairy lights. Not just for Christmas, a string or net of fairy lights make a pretty addition to any garden.
The net variety can be artistically thrown over your hedging or even used to give the garden fence a little bit of extra swagger in the winter months.
Better still, they don’t need connecting to the mains;
- Standalone, solar panel fairy lights are ideal for most gardens – just make sure the solar panel gets plenty of daylight and your lights will perform night after night.
- Outdoor use fairy lights – there are fairy lights that come with a plug and transformer that are sealed and safe for use outdoors (always check the manufacturer instructions). Unless you have a timer, you’ll have to remember to switch them off.
Moderate budget = LED garden lighting
Whilst LED lighting is relatively affordable, depending on the what you opt for, you will need an electrician to make sure that any outdoor garden lighting is safely connected to indoor terminals.
However, once done, the range of LED garden lighting options are almost limitless. Super-efficient, these magic little bulbs don’t give off heat so they can literally be installed anywhere. Just make sure you opt for the LED lighting that can be used outdoors.
- Strings – there are two types of LED string suitable for outdoors. The string on bulbs encased in clear rubber tubing and the flat string type, perfect for using under the eaves of garden sheds and the like.
- Fairy lights – LED fairy lights are long-lasting and robust, perfect for highlighting key features. Add them to under pergolas and garden umbrellas to enjoy their soft glow.
- Spotlights – to highlight key features of the garden, LED spotlights are Use against the pond and waterfall, for example, and enjoy the light dancing on the water.
- Backdrop lighting – it is lighting that brings ambience to a space and it is certainly no different in the garden. Use LED lighting (strings work great for this) hiding in the back of a flower border and let it gently light the backdrop.
Candle holders, fire pits and bowls
There is another means of adding light to your garden, perfect for when you have guests and are entertaining. But, all those naked flames present a fire hazard so keeps your eyes peeled and be prepared to take action.
That said, who can deny the romance of a flickering flame? Your guests enjoy the view from your garden wooden benches will certainly love the extra touches;
- Candle holders – storm glasses housing large pillar candles are fantastic as garden table centrepieces as well as for highlighting the edges of garden paths too.
- Fire bowls – great for giving off a little heat, fire bowls are ideal on garden tables, including garden coffee tables for adding a flicker of romance. Most models use tinned fuel that is clean when burning.
- Fire pits – gather round the modern version of the campfire. Safer because the wood or charcoal is enclosed. You can either buy a fire pit or dig your own, making it the focal point of either your lawn or patio. Throws off some serious heat but great for casting a golden glow at your next garden party