How to Light Your Garden

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

When lighting your exterior try and think logically and start at the entrance. Do you need to indicate to drivers where the entrance is? It can be quite difficult at night time to locate the drive way. You could have two bollards either side or lights on top of a pillar. If you have nice stone pillars, which you would like to high light, you could have lights shining onto the stone. Always be careful not to use any outside lighting that will interfere with road users as this can be dangerous.

Continue then into the garden. Is there an impressive tree you would like to light up? Maybe you have a drive way of yew trees; it is a nice idea to light each one individually. Think of the shape and size of the tree when positioning your light and experiment with different positions before fixing your light permanently. Also consider the type of tree you are lighting when determining the colour of your lamp, a cool colour works best with pine and cedar to show off the natural silver in the wood and leaves.

A warmer colour works better with oak and beech. Most of the lighting in your garden should be near the house to help create outside living areas with maybe one or two other points of focus in the distance. Do you have a water fountain or pond? If you do you can have a light shining onto your feature or from within the water itself. This would be a feature worth lighting and be able to look upon from within the house itself or from an outside seating area. It is a good idea if you have a large garden to be able to operate the lights separately so that you do not have to have them all on at once.

If you have a small garden it is a good idea to be able to move your lights with the changing seasons this is achievable with certain types of outdoor lighting, it is possible to consult a lighting designer who can advise you on this (not all exterior lighting has to be wired by an electrician there are other options giving you more flexibility). Be sure not to direct your lights straight up into the sky as this is a pointless exercise as all you are doing is lighting the skyline. Light needs something to reflect off to be effective.

When lighting your outside seating areas be conscious of not positioning lights so that they cause a glare. Subtle lighting is all that is really needed. You do of course need to light steps, if you have any, which can be difficult. One solution is to set small low glare LED's, into the side wall, if there is one. If this is not possible small exterior spotlights positioned so that the light skims across the top of the step are a good option making sure you use glare guards on each fitting.

Exterior lighting is often over looked but is an essential part of the overall scheme of your house. The amount of value that a well lit garden can add to your home is often immeasurable and not just in monetary terms. You can add so much space to your home with a well thought out and well lit exterior.


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