Ideas for garden lighting
Summer is almost here, and we offer some tips on lighting up the garden for security, safety and entertainment.
When the weather starts to warm up we all look forward to spending more time outdoors, and outdoor lighting means your outdoor space is set for evening entertainment. Just like indoor spaces, the basic principles of lighting – ambient, task and accent lighting – apply outdoors as well. Try some of these ideas to make your garden light up after dark:
Patio and Deck
Outdoor entertainment areas love ambient light and you're going to need lights to brighten not only the patio, but also around the pool and any paths or walkways. Guests need to be able to move around safely, but there’s no need to bombard the garden with bright lights - spotlights should be mounted high and positioned carefully to avoid unpleasant glare.
Lanterns around the patio or deck and pool area will bring up the ambient light and then you can use spotlights as task lighting. From a safety point, it’s essential to light the pool area - or a water feature - so that guests can see where it is. A submersible light does the job and is very pretty, and you can choose from different colours to add mood.
Lighting the garden
In most cases you will only light those areas you use at night, such as driveways, paths and walkways, but you can use ambient lighting, such as lanterns on posts or attached to the sides of walls, to softly bathe these areas with light.
Low-level spike lights or wall-mounted bulkheads are excellent for illuminating the edges of pathways or along driveways where the light is usually very low. These lights not only make the areas safe at night, but also add ambience. Another great idea is to run strip lighting under railings or along steps.
Outdoor security lightings lets you look out the window and, at a glance, see if anyone is moving around. Mostly this is ambient lighting that bathes the areas in light, but do use medium intensity lights to ensure the areas are bright enough but not glaring.
Outdoor security lights need to be positioned high enough so an intruder can’t tamper with them.
While movement sensor spotlights are practical for lighting specific areas, bear in mind that their task is to light up the area sufficiently for you - or security guards - to see if there’s something amiss. Too bright or incorrectly mounted and you – or the guards – could be blinded by the glare. Additionally, if you have pets, set the lights so lights aren't easily triggered.
Perimeter lights will expose anyone trying to get over your wall. They also need to be out of reach or covered by a grille so they’re tamper-proof.