A well-lit garden can be magical at nightfall and basically become a second outdoor living space all year around, if designed effectively. To do this, a few hours of thought and research need to be done in order for you to create your glowing landscape. Proper lighting increases security, safety and curb appeal which essentially enhances the market value of your home so what are you waiting for? Follow these 4 steps below to create an enchanted backyard retreat, suitable for any garden party!
One must first consider what they intend to primarily illuminate. What mood do you want to set when looking out your window onto the garden? What elements are intended to be the focal points? How many layers do you want to create and to what depth do you want to delve. Are you intending to gently light the entire area or are you wanting to spotlight certain features. It doesn’t take long to design a rough plan and this will save you plenty of time and money come installation.
What type of lighting?
The three main lighting techniques used when illuminating your landscape include down-lighting, up-lighting and cross-lighting.
Down-lighting is usually placed high up above the eye level to create a gentle glow that mirrors the effect of a full moon, night after night. It is often used for general lighting purposes and necessary if one is wanting to create and ‘outdoor room’ type atmosphere.
Up-lighting or Spotlighting is used for a more specific purpose such as accenting a certain feature, creating drama and bold shadows. These are often used to emphasise tree trunks with interesting shape, texture and canopy and to create a focal point for your garden.
Cross-lighting is used when trying to eliminate the spotlight effect of a feature yet still highlight its importance with a softened glow. Lights are fixed around the object from different angles to produce shadows larger than life.
What areas should I light?
Outdoor garden lighting highlights safety, security and beauty. It is important that you first decide exactly what you want to enhance before you begin installing your lighting fixtures. Pathway lighting is important in order to lead your guests through your garden in a safe and enchanted manner however this needn’t only be done with path lights along the edges. Spotlights from surrounding features and garden beds can provide enough glow, as can cross down-lighting from nearby trees. Water features are both mesmerizing and alluring and the variety of water lighting options is endless. Underwater lights as well as discrete tea-light bulbs can be nestled into pebbles and shrubs creating an ambient glow without the fixtures being seen.
- Do you live in an area where solar powered lighting would work for you? This can save mountains of money in the long run.
- Have you thought about installing motion sensors for both security reasons and the ease of not having to switch lights on and off each night?
- Have you considered the wiring needs for your lighting ambitions and is this going to work with pets in the garden?
- Are you installing lighting fixtures into woodwork of your deck and pathway? If so, it is essential that these are flush to prevent multiple stubbed toes and falls!