When you plan your exterior lighting, have in mind that our eyes need less light outdoors than they do indoors to see the patterns and shadows. Start planning your perfect outdoor lighting by taking a walk around your garden at night. Visualize how and when you want to use outdoor spaces and plan landscape lighting to suit those needs. In this article, you can find some things to consider in order to have a well-lit outdoor space, which you’ll enjoy long after dark with your family.
Choose your landscape lighting wisely
The first thing you need to consider before purchasing any lights is the environment at your disposal. For example, if you live in a coastal, humid area, corrosion must be something to pay extra attention to. Choose lights that have been powder coated with a protective layer that makes them resistant to corrosion and exposure to the elements. In areas that are constantly in the shade, you can’t use solar-powered outdoor lamps. Many of these seem very obvious when you think about it but are easy to overlook when browsing and deciding on the lights. Choosing the right lights for your outdoor decor can help you feel comfortable in your new home in no time and settle in much quicker.
Durability over everything else
It may seem very appealing to buy a whole bunch of cheap, “cool looking” lights, but in reality, these lights rarely look the way they do on the ad, and even those that do tend to malfunction after a few months. Landscape lighting for your garden needs to be able to withstand the weather conditions 24/7, regardless of the climate. The highest quality items are coated in special protective layers, making them waterproof and durable. Bear all this in mind, in addition to following the current lighting trends of 2020.
Pick a style
One of the first things to decide is what kind of effect you’re looking to achieve in your garden. Will it be a modern, minimalist look? A retro, warm, “fairytale garden”? Or something else entirely? Based on this, you can plan out the position and type of lights you’ll be using. Allow the surroundings to work in your favor – if you have trees, bushes, flowers, and trails, then lantern-style lights, dim bulbs, and tree-mounted lighting would look great. If your house is modern-looking, with neatly trimmed grass and concrete trails at straight angles, then some spotlights, wall sconces, and LEDs would fit right in.
Once you’ve chosen your style, consider the type of light you want to use.
The future is exciting
For quite some time now, LED has been replacing other types of lighting, so it’s safe to say that it’s the future of lighting and is here to stay. The benefits are numerous – it can shine brighter, last longer, take up less space, uses less energy, emit less heat, it’s easy to produce and add to any type of item, and they are available in different colors. You can combine all of this with other technologies like:
- Motion sensors
- Remote control
- Dusk-to-dawn switches (light sensors)
- Smart control (Alexa, Siri, Google, etc.)
- RGB color changing (switching to any color)
If you do, you get a very versatile lighting technology that can suit any need. Keep in mind that many LED fixtures do not use bulbs at all – instead, the LED panel is integrated. Such fixtures often come with extended warranties, meaning you don’t have to worry about replacing anything for years to come.
The past can be just as cool
Remarkable properties of LED aside, there’s also no denying that some “old-school” incandescent bulbs have a unique charm and appeal that is hard to match.
When you want to achieve that warm, retro look, Edison bulbs can be a great choice. Keep in mind that these “artistic” bulbs are not intended to be too bright, so it’s wise to have a secondary light source available as well when you need to brighten up the garden.
Everybody loves to have guests welcomed in their beautiful garden on summer nights. Traditional table lamps or stone table lamps are all you need in addition to some snacks and cocktails, served to create an amazing atmosphere.
Blend in the form and the function
The landscape lighting in your garden should complement what’s already there, not stick out and outshine (pun intended) everything else. There are ways in which you can achieve this – we’ll give you a few examples of great lighting for your outdoor space:
- Rock-shaped path lights – they blend in with the surroundings perfectly and are practically unnoticeable when turned off.
- Inground lights – they will remain hidden in the ground until turned on, perfect for walkways in your garden.
- Hardscape Lights – these are small enough to be installed into any structure such as walls or decks, providing very sophisticated accentuating light when needed.
- Pond lights – if you have a pond, this is the best way to make it, well, shine.
- Tree-mounted lights – you would, of course, want to use small, LED lights that are battery-powered or solar-powered, and mount them on some tree branches.
Don’t overdo it
With so many exciting and fascinating landscape lighting options for your garden, it’s easy to get carried away. However, remember the effect you’re trying to achieve – I’m guessing it’s not the “Las Vegas Strip” look blasting out of your garden each night. Sure, the mosquitoes would love you for it, but I assume that’s not your goal. So, be rational when deciding on the amount of light you want. If you’re unsure, you can always consult a lighting company, exterior designers, or other professionals with experience in outdoor space lighting. Have fun and enjoy your little garden of Eden.
Brad Jefferson is a freelance blogger, currently working as a consultant at mod-movers.com. Lighting and gardening are both his passions so he decided to share some of his knowledge by writing this article. He strongly believes that lighting affects our mood, productivity, and overall well-being. In his spare time, Brad likes hiking in nature, taking photographs, and writing blogs.