Garden Lighting: Illuminating External Landscapes and Delineating Exterior Spaces
-March 3, 2017
Effective garden lighting creates the ideal backdrop for year-round outdoor living and entertaining. With most contemporary homes now including sophisticated outdoor living and dining rooms, often including a full outdoor kitchen, plus a swimming pool, garden lighting is key to creating an after-dark ambience for enjoyment of these spaces at night.
To create the right effect, outdoor lighting needs to be carefully planned to achieve the right balance. Too much light and the dramatic effects are lost, too little and it will not serve any functional purpose.
Lighting manufacturers now produce an array of outdoor lighting designs to create effects from twinkling starlike sparkles to glowing washes of light. Whatever effect you are seeking, there will be a product to create it.
Make any garden come to life at night with these outdoor lighting effects:
Uplight a major feature
Uplighting a central feature such as a shapely mature tree creates a focal point for the lighting design. Rows of uplights are also effective when used to highlight a feature wall or decorative metal screen, they create perspective and allow safe passage along pathways.
Lighting a cluster of trees or bushes using spike lights can create a soft, but practical, ambient light for decks, patios or poolside dining areas.
LED rope lighting
LED rope lights can be used very effectively to delineate garden edges, pathways and edges of decks and are especially effective in contemporary courtyards or to highlight the entrance to a modern house with a crisp, angular façade.
Stairway lighting has an important safety purpose but can also be used to great effect as part of an overall garden lighting scheme. There are many choices in stair lights to create different effects, from recessed slot lighting to small hooded lights.
Using coloured lighting to turn a tree hot pink, or a water feature aquamarine at night is a current outdoor lighting trend that can be used (sparingly) to create a fantastical atmosphere.
Like stair lighting, pool lighting needs to focus on safety issues as well as pure aesthetics. The edges of the pool need to be clearly visible while the play of light on water creates a relaxing ambience. Ideally in-pool lighting will be installed at the time the pool is constructed. For added ambience, additional floating LED lights may deliver more mystique.
Backlighting can be used as a visual tool in the garden to create shadow effects and highlight features such as a row of tall ceramic pots planted with sculptural succulents.
A stand-alone feature light, such as a glowing LED globe, add visual interest and act as sculptures after dark, as well as providing illumination.
Whatever the effect you are seeking in an outdoor lighting scheme, garden lighting can transform a dark and invisible night time garden into a sparkling backdrop for outdoor living.