If you’re frugal with electricity costs in your home – then splashing out with outdoor garden lighting may not be your cup ot tea (herbal or otherwise).
I arrived home yesterday afternoon to a barrage of hardware and gardening catalogues (is that spring I smell in the air?). One such propaganda of discontent pamphlet had a whole section on garden lighting from the inexpensive (I’ll mention this later) to the very expensive which would need to be installed by a qualified electrician.
In the ‘good old days’ the only lighting you would find outdoors was the coloured bulb strip that would circle the patio (or Hills hoist – if you wanted to be fancy) and a couple of spotlights which illuminated the whole garden. Today, it’s a far more sophisticated world and in the words of Homesite “The days are gone when you have a floodlight on the four corners of a house to light the yard as brightly as possible.”
Before I move on to give some tips and ideas for how you could add some outdoor lighting to your garden, let me just make one statement. I hate (is that too strong) those tacky solar lights that everyone seems to be sticking in their garden. They’re the lucky bamboo’s of the lighting world. My humble apologies to those who have these but I just ask WHY??? Yuk!! They don’t look good people!
Ok. Enough of my rant let’s look at some possible ideas for our gardens…
Before you start you may need to ask yourself “What are my gardening needs and what am I trying to achieve with bringing lighting into my garden?”
As most decent garden lighting requires some sort of electrical cabling it would be wise to keep these away from areas that you will be digging a lot. For example, areas where you are likely to maintain annuals or bulbs etc.
When it comes to choosing the lighting that you want in your garden, think about what you are trying to achieve. Do you want the tree in the middle to stand out? Do you want some spindly plant silhouetted in the background? Do you want it lit from above, below, behind or in front?
- Lighting for Water Features – there are so many options to have lighting in your ponds, waterfeatures, waterfalls etc and many are easy to install and only run on 12 volts.
- Uplighting – this is achieved by placing lighting at the base of a plant, tree or architectural feature and can be very artistic.
- Shadow Lighting placing lights at angles in front of a feature or plant to allow a shadow to be cast upon a wall can be very dramatic.
- Silhouetted Lighting – this is the opposite of shadow lighting which is achieved from behind a plant or landscape feature to silhouette the item as you look toward it.
- Illuminated Lighting – there is still a need for illumination in the garden so that people can find paths, navigate steps and stairs and also walk freely without falling victim to a hazardous toy left by your 3 year old.
There are as many options as there are ideas. Why not turn your garden into something you don’t have to enjoy only in the daylight?
This article has been republished from my previous blog.