A Few Garden Lighting Tips

By: Robert Thomson

When it comes to garden lighting - less is more. Dont look to over lighting your garden and replicating the same look it has during the day. The idea should be to create a different look and to make use of the shadows to your advantage. Thats the hot tip when it comes to garden lighting, with drama being as important as the primary consideration of security.

The ideal garden lighting solution will provide you with a combination of both, the bottom line being to show off your garden to its fullest advantage. Lets look now at the different ways you could use garden lighting:

Show me the way!
Garden lighting used to light up a path way and show the drive way are generally lights that cover a wide area.

Spot the show off!
Lighting used to highlight or show off a particular feature of your garden such as a fountain or pretty trees. This is usually a spot light used from the ground to project upwards and hence the name uplight.

Down Boy!
Lighting set up at a height, mostly for security reasons, but if used cleverly could be used to mimic moonlight too. This is also referred to as down light.

The Show is Back!
Back lighting if used effectively could add a lot of drama to your garden and indeed provide a different show from daytime to enjoy your garden at night! Back lights could show off interesting shapes and create strange silhouettes.

Party On!
This lighting for that special occasion or party that include those fairy lights, post lights and patio torches that add to the celebrations.

However, before you leap into your garden, here are a few lighting tips that will make your way around the subject of garden lighting hopefully that much smoother:

- Make a plan-not just a lighting plan but a landscape plan. Use a professional landscape artist if you can afford one, but at any cost make that plan. It could be a simple diagram but it will prove cheaper in the long run
- Try and provide for a transformer. This way you will have a dedicated power source for your garden lighting, even if your requirements were to change and grow
- Use soft lights
- Taking into account where people will be seated when planning your garden lighting, make sure they dont get caught in the glare of it!
- If you can only afford to do part of your garden lighting plans currently at least provide for the wiring now
- Hide your light source. It should be only the illumination that is seen
- Play with the shadows
- Dont light up every surface. When lighting your garden pick out only what you want highlighted
- Place those lights sparingly and smartly. There is no point placing exterior lighting under a bush
- White lights are what is traditionally used in a garden, but dont let that stop you from exploring other colors such as blue and amber
- Make sure you use water resistant fixtures

A final tip when picking garden lighting: Look to see how energy efficient and economical your light source is. Fluorescent lights obviously have the edge over others when you consider costs, but the really energy smart option is LED or solar - the latter doesnt come with a monthly light bill either!

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