Creating Natural Outdoor Lighting Effects For Your Gardens
If there’s no snow on the ground, it’s a great time to consider adding landscape lighting to your home or business. Many people think of the illuminating the front of their house for security or safety or curb appeal, but don’t forget the softscaping—gardens. You’ve worked hard to make those spectacular during the day, why not also enjoy them at night!
Here are our expert’s top five types of garden lighting.
Often used for narrow gardens along the perimeter of your property or in trees, these lights can create a warm and inviting ambiance as part of the outdoor lighting on your property. These lights can be hung along fences, in pergolas, or even directly on the branches of trees. The soft glow or gentle twinkling can evoke a bit of fairy magic or romantic elegance.
Up Lighting Creates Depth
This landscape lighting technique can create depth and show off the varied textures of your garden features. To achieve this a light is placed in a lower position and directed up at the feature being accented. This effect works well with trees, foliage or other taller garden features.
Down Lighting Mimics Natural Moonlight
As the name implies, this technique is the inverse of up lighting. A light is placed above the feature being accented, illuminating it from above. This type of landscape lighting is quite popular and especially effective at creating a natural effect, showing off the garden features in a way that mimics how it would be seen on a bright evening where the moon and stars are shining bright.
This technique can also be used in the branches of a large tree to light up the tree and the gardens below. This type of outdoor lighting not only illuminates gardens, but provides good general area lighting.
Highlight The Tall Flowers First
Consider adding downlights to nearby fences or posts. This should be a narrow light, not a glaring spotlight or floodlight, to add height to the design. Be sure to consider balance and symmetry where possible. From there, you can move into smaller areas and focus on highlighting individual plants.
Ensure Garden Lights Enhance Overall Outdoor Lighting Design
It’s tempting just to add outdoor lighting to the pathways around the garden, but there’s so many more possibilities than that to really show off your yard and gardens! A beautifully lit garden will look out of place if the rest of your property is under-lit or features few too many fixtures.
Do – Use lights to improve the safety of garden walkways.
This will ensure that all areas, especially those that change levels (steps and stairs) receive the right level of lighting to prevent trips and falls.
Do– Prevent glare.
Use shields to ensure that the light is properly directed.
Do – Illuminate shrubs and other shadowy areas to improve security.
Shining a light on these areas will eliminate possible intrusion points and improve the overall safety of your garden and yard.
Do– Make use of uplighting for a natural look.
Uplighting draws the eye upwards, giving the plants in your garden the illusion of size and grandeur.
Do – Get creative with specialty lighting and coloured bulbs.
Coloured lights can add unique textures and effects to you garden, highlighting the shades that appear naturally on your property.
Do – Consider daylighting lighting options.
When planning your garden lighting design, be sure to take dawn, dusk, and evening activities into consideration. This is when you’re most likely to be utilizing your garden for parties and social gatherings. Play with effects in these lighting situations in order to produce the perfect mood.
Do – Consider Small Areas
Sometimes the biggest impacts can be made through the smallest lighting improvements. Consider highlighting smaller features or areas of your garden in order to increase the “wow” factor of your design.
Do – Create And Make Use Of Shadows
Allow moving foliage and shadows to add interest and create depth to avoid a flat-looking design in your yard. Know where you want to draw a visitor’s eye and create a visual surprise! Make sure that you avoid positioning any beams on open trellises, bare trees, or spindly branches.
Do – Use Hoods And Light Shields
Many pathway and post lights come with hoods or light shields to help direct the light down. Play with the height of these to create visual interest without blinding guests as they walk by or annoying neighbours.
Do – Experiment With Wattages And Beam Spreads
Use different wattages and beam spreads in order to create a truly unique lighting experience in your garden.
Tiki Lights Add Flair
These fixtures are versatile and cast great light. Nothing creates a more romantic ambiance than candles with their flames flickering in the breeze, creating shadows and reflections. They add that magical feel to your garden, but still have style.
Why Use A Professional Installer For Your Outdoor Lighting System
When it comes to lighting your outdoor garden, you have a variety of options of light sources. Our professionally installed systems are “line volted” which uses the same reliable 120 volts your house uses. These are placed and left in one place. We also offer solar options that last longer than the models you find in the big box stores and don’t need constantly sunny days to work well. These are popular placed low to the ground along paths or around gardens to highlight a tree or an ornament.
Create Visual Interest That Works At Night And During The Day
Give some thought to placement with pathway lighting along your gardens. Avoid straight lines down both sides of the path which can resemble an airport runway. Instead, stagger them while still giving light for safety but strategically choosing which plants are illuminated.
Haphazardly throwing a few spotlights amongst the shrubs will leave you ultimately disappointed. While there are no hard and fast rules for garden lighting (every garden is different, after all!), but doing so shouldn’t ruin the look of your garden during the day.
The ideal garden lighting installation is inconspicuous – you notice the lighting effects at night, but the fixtures don’t attract your attention during the day. This landscape lighting design is difficult to achieve when working with solar power fixtures as the solar batteries require direct sunlight in order to charge during the day. Low-voltage lights or energy efficient LED lighting fixtures are a much more aesthetically appealing option.
Position Light To Shine On An Angle
It doesn’t matter whether the light source is positioned above or below your garden, just make sure that most of the light is positioned to shine in on an angle. Front lighting is very unforgiving and can wash out your landscaping. Angled and side lighting results in better modelling and will create a more interesting shadow effect in the end.
Create Pools Of Light In Gardens
When lighting large flower beds, many professional designers will choose to use many smaller lights rather than one large lamp. When placed correctly, these lights will create soft overlapping pools of light rather than one harsh beam. These areas of overlap can be places where you need stronger lighting for cooking, reading, etc.
You spend a great deal of time, effort, and money on your garden. Make sure it looks lovely long after the sun has set with sophisticated landscaping lighting from Nite Time Decor. Receive a custom quote from one of our professional designers today.