Garden Lighting Inspiration

A little lighting goes a long way outdoors in the dark. Outdoor lighting can completely transform your garden, making it into that ‘extra room’ – a space for dinner, drinks, and partying. Even if your plans don’t involve going outside, and you simply want to use illumination to highlight some of your garden’s features or access routes, outdoor lighting is worth getting right.

Light for safety

Landscaping features like steps and paths are wonderful but can make garden access at night a little more hazardous. Downlighting your steps from their treads can create safe access when it’s dark, but also makes a feature out of them, providing a sense of atmosphere. If there isn’t a lip on the tread where a light can be recessed, consider low-level spots recessed right down at step level, which will shine their light horizontally across the step’s surface. This keeps the light low, focussed where you need it, and stops outdoor lighting from interfering with your enjoyment of being outdoors by creating light pollution.

Choose moveable lights

If you’re not constrained by routes through the garden or certain features, but still want to bring light into your outdoor space, a great option is to choose moveable lighting. LED spike lights can be sunk into flower beds or the lawn to create focus areas or routes through. Opt for a spiked floodlight for a dramatic effect when you’re trying to light a bigger area, such as the side of the house or a tall garden wall. The beauty of flexible lighting is that you can move it as your requirements change.

Reflect upon it

Everyone knows that light reflected on water imparts a little bit of magic. If you have a garden water feature, this could be the perfect location for some outdoor lighting. Highlight a stream of water as it falls, backlight a pool of water, or shine a light down onto the water’s surface for some calming and beautiful refracted ripples. 

Create hubs

If you’re planning an outdoor seating area, lighting can be key to making this a central and usable feature. Flush-fitting spots are a great choice to highlight at ground level, but if you’re working with a small area, don’t overcomplicate things. One central lighting feature might be the way forward, to create the desired focus and ambiance.

Bring in the levels

Using lighting at different levels in your garden adds the feeling of space and dimension. Consider lighting at ground level, flower bed level, and higher up, on walls. This tricks the eye into a feeling of more generous, usable proportions. If you’re using mains-connected, low-voltage lighting in your designs, apply them on separate circuits. That way you have even more control of the final look of your lighting display, adding or taking away elements as you see fit.

Don’t forget the front garden

Most homeowners’ focus goes ‘out back’ when considering outdoor lighting. But don’t neglect the front, too! This is often the route people take to your door, and is their first welcome to your property – so don’t overlook some lighting here. For example, opt for some low-level path lighting features to lead guests through to your front door.

Consider going green

Lighting green features in your garden, such as structural beds or trees, can be a brilliant way to maintain an organic feel with your lighting scheme. The light will capture the movement of these features in the breeze, and maintain interest as they change seasonally. Just ensure that your lighting approach does work year-round, remembering that any deciduous trees and most flowering plants will drop their leaves come winter time.

Bring the indoors out

One quirky trend we’ve seen a lot of lately is making your outside space feel more like an interior. This is often achieved through choosing upholstered seating, rugs and soft furnishings, in a defined, sectioned-off area. Another way of achieving this look, though,  is to opt for a light fitting you might more usually associate with an indoors look – for example, a statement pendant light over an outdoor dining space, or by using an outdoor-appropriate floor lamp.

Create a canopy

Hanging a string of festoon lights, with traditional bulbs, can really create  a focal space. Above an outdoor dining or seating area, for example, this technique adds a real intimacy to a space, as the strung lights overhead almost mimic a ceiling. This additional feeling of constraint can make wide open spaces feel more welcoming, and also creates that ‘room’ feeling, tapping into the trend mentioned above, of letting the inside out.

Connect zones with strings of lights

Using either fairy lights, string lights or even spots set at ground level, you can connect two otherwise separate entities in your garden with ease. If a dark path joins two larger seating areas, for example, investing in a way to light the route makes these spaces usable when the night draws in, and identifies the path between, so guests will easily connect the two and comfortably use both spaces.

Be eco-conscious

Using lights outside for purely aesthetic reasons can feel lavish, and even wasteful, in a time when we’re all trying to improve on our carbon footprint. Remove any feelings of guilt from your design process by opting for solar chargeable lighting. These options charge up all day and light up all night, so you don’t have to stress about remembering to turn them on and off, either.

We hope our top outdoor lighting tips have given you a little garden lighting inspiration! If you’re looking for a range of lighting options, check out our outdoor lighting range today.