How to plan your garden lighting installation

How to plan your garden lighting installation

The garden is one of the most important parts of a home and an effective lighting installation can transform it into a truly unique focal point.

However, planning a lighting project can be daunting, especially if you’re doing it on your own. But with the right preparation you can be sure the end result will look stunning and – most important – that the lighting meets your every need.

Getting off to a good start

Before you even think about choosing products it pays to spend time carefully considering all the aspects of your installation and what you want to achieve from it.

For example, is your main priority low-key lighting to promote calm and relaxation, or higher illuminance levels for increased safety and security? Does your garden have different ‘zones’ such as seating areas, pathways or planting beds which need different lighting approaches? Which areas require lighting for safety and security?

Once you’ve planned out your lighting needs, you can then enjoy selecting the products that will bring your vision to life.

If you want to save on energy bills, LEDs are a must. Smart lighting technology such as programmable control systems and presence and absence detection sensors also give you total control over how and when you use your lighting to suit your individual needs and moods, as well as regulating energy use.

Here’s a short guide on which products work best for different garden features:

STEPS: LEDs, positioned at either side of steps, project a safe but attractive beam of light across the space.

PATHS: Consider up-lights, spaced opposite or diagonally apart on either side of the walkway, or low height bollards which can be targeted specifically onto pathways. In more open areas, ground recessed LED marker lights or recessed inground lighting are good options.

PATIOS: If your patio is adjacent to your home, installing downlights onto the building walls is the most common lighting approach, or you could place freestanding luminaires or bollards around the patio perimeter. Downlights or spotlights can be attached to columns, and low-level recessed lighting inserted in walls to illuminate floor areas.

PERGOLAS: Downlights or uplights can be used to create different but equally dramatic lighting effects.

STATUES: Spotlights are perfect for highlighting a statue or sculpture to create stunning a focal point. Spotlighting from above is best for statues or sculptures to be viewed from the front, while spotlighting from below offers a more dramatic effect. Open structures can even be illuminated from the inside using close offset highlighting.

TREES: Uplighting is the most common way of illuminating trees, in either a symmetrical or asymmetrical pattern. You can sink luminaires into the ground or camouflage them with other greenery.

SEATING AREAS: Aside from the wall lights and uplights, consider festoon lighting to add a touch of style to your seating area. Festoon lights and light holders are available in various lengths and can be strung across flat surfaces or suspended above head to provide an attractive glow.

No matter what size your garden space, with the right lighting in place you can be sure to make a big visual statement – and keep your outdoor area safe, secure and cost effective.