With spring in full swing, and warmer evenings (hopefully) just around the corner, it’s time to dust off your garden furniture and start kitting out your garden to enjoy your outside space after dark.
Lighting can make all the difference to a garden at night, as other statement features fade into the darkness. It can not only add warmth, but it can make a space feel bigger, more inviting and allow you to enjoy it for longer each day.
That’s why Michael Meiser, President at lighting experts Lumilum, shares his advice on brightening up your garden and give it that wow factor for you and any guests to enjoy.
Nothing beats the warm, inviting glow of an open flame and its versatility still makes it one of the best types of lighting to create that rustic, homely feel outdoors.
An open fire pit or a chiminea can make a fantastic natural centrepiece for an occasion in the garden offering broad coverage without an overbearing glare. You’ll also benefit from the heat on those colder evenings.
You can take this one step further and add tealights or hanging candles and drape them trees and around bushes to give your garden more depth and focal points after dark.
Because they’re open flames, the lighting is dynamic and literally changing with the wind – offering a subtle flicker that sets a relaxing tone. But a word of warning, be careful not to place an open flame by any dry leaves and never leave unattended.
Experiment with path or wall lighting
Having an illuminated path or garden wall is not only practical, but attractive, and it can be done in many ways.
Overhanging lighting, dangling from trees or other garden structures, provide a softer hue that’s easy on the eyes and illuminates your path from above.
For a more modern twist, small LED floodlights or solar-powered LED lamps installed on the ground can offer a sharper and more striking concentration of light. This is less likely to annoy the neighbours by reducing light pollution after dark.
The power of pendants
Pendants – whether they’re hanging up on a wall, cascading down from a canopy or engulfed in your foliage – can give you different design options based on your unique style.
Like over a dining table, you can show off your outdoor dining area and provide soft lighting by hanging some stylish pendants directly above the furniture.
Just like with indoor pendant lights, the options are endless. You can choose to match your interior theme or go for something completely different – it’s up to you. Popular garden pendent lighting includes cages, cubes, lanterns and even chandeliers.
If you live in a coastal area you should avoid choosing aluminium or steel materials as the salt air can make them corrode and rust.
Get things flowing
Whether big or small, a water feature can create a soothing atmosphere while adding a touch of class to your garden.
Like open fires, a lit-up water feature can add a statement feature to your garden in the evenings.
Draw attention to it using LED spotlights – designed to look like rocks or pebbles – to blend in with the surrounding foliage and gives a glistening, ripple effect on your water feature.
Better yet, submersible LED fixtures create a visually interesting shadowing effect under the water, and they come in different shades to set the mood.
A splash of colour
Feature outdoor lighting doesn’t have to be boring. While white light is popular for spaces that benefit from being well lit, coloured bulbs and stained glass can create a bold statement.
Why not try colour-changing LED spotlights placed in key focal points around your garden to cast natural shadows in trees and bushes, adding depth and visual interest.
You can also change the colours to suit any occasion – whether it be bold primary colours for a party or softer orange or pink for a relaxed dinner to mimic the sunset, the choice is yours.
Words By Michael Meiser, President, Lumilum