Friday 24 December 2021

Five tips for choosing outdoor lighting that looks 'just right' for your garden

This is a collaborative post

With British weather what it is, we all want to make the most of our gardens whenever we can. Adding a range of lighting to your outdoor area increases its functionality and will keep the party going into the night. Follow these steps to guarantee your garden is shown in its best light, even once the sun goes down. 

Set your goals

Deciding what you want to achieve from your lighting will affect the design choices you make. While all types of outdoor lights will help illuminate your outdoor space, there are three basic tasks lighting can carry out in your garden: creating an ambience, performing a function (e.g. security) and acting as a design feature. Planning what you want your lights to do will inform your purchases and solidify your design ideas. Don’t worry about sticking to one function, you can freely incorporate all three without muddying your aesthetic if planned properly. 

Measure, measure, measure

Ensure you have the correct number of lights for your space by measuring your garden accurately. Don’t be tripped up by choosing a statement light piece that overwhelms your garden by being too large. Check wattage and follow the general guide of 1.5 watts per square foot of space. If your garden measures 200 feet square, go for 300 watts of light. This way you have a good rule of thumb as to the brightness and you’ll not end up accidentally floodlighting your space. 

Outdoor lights in the garden
Photo credit Philip Moore via Unsplash

Mix it up

Hang lights at a variety of heights to add depth and create interest in your garden. Use groups of pendant lighting if you have any overhead hanging space, put your proudest foliage features in the spotlight and go to ground by picking out pathways and seating areas. Combining a range of functional and flattering light fixtures will give your garden the sophisticated edge for Instagram-worthy evening entertainment. 

Consider the source

Consider what power sources you have available before purchasing your lights. Do you have electrical outlets that your lights will reach? Don’t let lack of plug sockets leave you in the dark. Pick solar lighting for summer entertaining or battery-operated lights if your garden is in a shadier spot. Remember that solar lighting won’t be as effective in the darker months so refer to your original design goals when deciding how to power your space if lighting in the winter months is key to your theme.  

Tie in to your home

Remember your garden is an extension of your home and not a separate entity in itself. Create flow as you move from indoors to outdoors with a nod to your home’s d├ęcor for a chic and cohesive design straight out of a magazine. Choose lighting that compliments your home’s outer aesthetic and consider using indoor/outdoor lighting that can feature wherever the party is taking place. 

When choosing lighting for your garden, it’s important to make choices that are informed by the space you have, the power sources available and your home’s overall design. Taking these factors into account will guarantee a garden that shines even on the darkest of nights. 

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