Time flies, and before you know it, spring is already over. As the season changes to summer, everyone will be on the hunt to enjoy the warmth of the sun. But for many, the longer days of summer doesn’t seem to be enough.
When the sun sets, it doesn’t mean that the fun is already over. It could be that you have guests to entertain or you’re just looking to spend some quality time with your family. Your garden area should allow you extend your time outdoors whatever the case is. However, this will not be possible without garden lighting.
Garden lighting considerations
What you need to understand is that simply having something to illuminate your garden is not always enough. More importantly, you need to have the right kind of light whether it’s intended for aesthetics or you need it to perform a specific function.
Read through the following considerations before you decide to go shopping for your lights.
Quality of materials used
Obviously, garden lights are going to be placed outside. They will be working under different conditions such as extreme heat and cold, heavy rain, snow, and other elements. Since this is the case, you need lighting that will be able to withstand all types of weather.
Remember: The fanciest lights don’t always mean durable and better quality. Aside from opting for LED lights, go for fixtures that are made of either solid brass, stainless aluminum, or stainless steel. Lights that are made of low-grade plastic or recycled aluminum may be cheaper, but these are only meant for short-term use.
Getting the right lights in terms of how they look is not so hard a task. Garden lights come in different designs, shapes, colours, and sizes that the possibilities seem endless. If anything, you need to ensure that the lights you choose are appropriate for what you intend to use them for.
For instance, colour-changing and flickering lights aren’t suited to illuminate the pathway to your garden. Doing so will not only look inappropriate but may also cause someone to trip or bump into something along the way. It does sound silly for sure, but it’s still something to keep in mind.
Performance and reliability
Two other factors that you need to consider when choosing garden lights are performance and reliability. At the very least, they need to be able to provide your space with a consistent and reliable light.
Reliable lighting can also protect your home from intruders as a well-lit garden isn’t an ideal target for a burglar. If you don’t want your garden lights to stay on constantly throughout the night, one of the biggest home security mistakes would be to neglect lights with a sensor function.
Additionally, you’d also want your lights to have features such as water and water resistance, as well as rust and weather-proofing. This will ensure that your lights will last as long as possible.
It’s also good practice to check the IP rating of lights. Lights that will be placed in areas with protection from direct exposure to rain like under porches should have an IP rating of at least 44. Those that will be situated in areas with less protection should have at least an IP65 rating.
Garden lighting ideas
Now that you’re aware of the things that you need to consider or check for when buying garden lights, it’s time for some inspiration. Keep in mind though, not all lights and gardens, are created equal. There are so many ways that you can use outdoor lights to design your outdoor space that it could prove to be a little overwhelming.
But don’t worry, here’s a roundup of some of the most stunning lighting ideas to give you and your garden a head start.
Connect your interior to your exterior
This is an excellent idea especially if your rear living space opens out to your garden. If your house is designed like this, consider using garden lights that are similar in style and colour to the ones inside.
Doing so will encourage a more feel-at-home mood to anyone — perfect for when you need to entertain guests. So if the lights installed inside are white, use the same lights to illuminate the steps that lead down to the garden. You can also do the same to the connecting walls that lead outside.
Use solar lights
The benefits of using solar lighting in your garden outweigh that of traditional lighting. Modern solar lights now come in different styles and are designed for different uses. There’s pretty much a solar light for every area of your garden.
For instance, solar stake lights can be used to light the pathway to your garden. Solar spotlights, on the other hand, are perfect for highlighting trees, bushes, or an architectural feature. There are even models that come with motion sensors on them that can scare any unwanted visitor off your lawn.
But more importantly, solar lights are friendly to the environment because they make use of the clean energy from the sun. Because of this, they’ll save you money in the long run since there are no operational costs involved.
Add some magic to your garden
Fairy lights work wonders in making any lifeless garden look magical at night. What’s nice about these lights is that they can easily be strung around anything and moved to a different area when needed. If it’s a more festive mood that you’re trying to achieve, go for the brightly coloured ones.
Do note, that you need to be extra careful when using fairy lights that are powered by an electrical outlet. You don’t want anyone tripping over electrical cables or worse, electrocuted. As such, it’s better to hire an electrician to install the lights for you to be on the safe side. Otherwise, go for fairy lights that are powered by solar (yes, they do exist).
If fairy lights are for adding a magical feel to your garden, then lanterns are more for the romantic, special occasions. They also have that classy feel to them which makes them perfect for vintage-themed gardens.
Lanterns that make use of candles and real flames that flicker are nice to have. However, candle flames can easily die when faced with strong winds. They are also a potential health and safety risk, so keep that in mind.
Alternatively, you can choose lantern lights that are battery-operated or solar-powered (as usual). They’re a lot safer, and you will never have to worry about strong winds while you enjoy your time outside in your garden.
Without a doubt, having a fire pit in your garden will do the job of illuminating it at night. Additionally, a fire pit can also make you comfortable during cold summer nights. And come winter, you’d be really glad that you have decided to put one in your garden.
Besides, nothing beats sitting around a fire pit, talking and having fun with friends and family. If you have a grill, you can even take dinner to the next level by eating outside.
If you decide to have a fire pit built in your garden, see to it that it is built away from anything that can catch fire easily. This includes plants, shrubs, and low hanging trees. The first two are easy to take care of yourself, but the latter is better handled by a professional tree surgeon with the right tools.
It’s best practice to clear the area first before you start building your fire pit.
Light it up
There are lots of different ways you can light up your garden in the evenings. All you need to do is choose which type of lighting suits your garden’s style, and then work out where the lights will go!
Just make sure that you choose high-quality lights made of durable materials, and are as efficient as possible.
In no time, you’ll be enjoying your garden long after the sun has set.
Contributed by Emma Metson