Transforming Your Summer Garden with Creative Lighting

Posted in Home & Garden

Transforming Your Summer Garden with Creative Lighting

It’s perfectly natural for Brits to want to spend every waking minute possible in the great outdoors during the summer. After all, it’s not as if we get enough pleasant weather days each year as it is, so it’s understandable that making the most of the ones we do get is nothing less than a national obsession.

Which is precisely why this tends to be the time of year during which millions of homeowners go well and truly to town when it comes to sprucing up their outdoor living spaces. From new furniture to decorative touches to cooking facilities and so on, the UK public spends a small fortune on making the most of the sunny summer days we’re blessed with. But at the same time, there’s one key area of outdoor improvement-efforts that tends to go overlooked more than most – lighting.

The simple fact of the matter is that there’s a huge difference between making it possible to see outside and enhancing your garden with quality lighting. And once you’ve experienced the difference first-hand, it’s pretty safe to say that those lazy, hazy summer evenings will never be the same again – and all for a very good reason!

Think Beyond Bright Beams

For example, the most obvious and perhaps the easiest way of lighting up an exterior living space is to install a powerful floodlight and literally flood the area with bright light. The only problem being that rather than creating the ambience of a dreamy exterior living space, you instead find yourself feeling as if you’re sitting in the centre of a floodlit football pitch. The glaring brightness, the shadows – it’s not exactly elegant or ideal. Which is why the first thing to do is to give thought to the alternatives – wall lanterns, decorative filament pendant lighting – pretty much anything that can be used to light the area without straying into the usual OTT territory.

Walkways and Borders

One of the reasons so many outdoor living spaces lose their appeal in the evening is the way in which the darkness makes the whole place appear to blur into one dark expanse with no real definition or features. It’s not as if the garden as a whole might be used as an evening living space, but this doesn’t mean that it cannot be hugely effective to install decorative lighting to provide a sense of definition. This can be as simple as placing small, unassuming and subtle lamps, bollards or lighting fixtures along the edges of paths, or as borders where one area of the garden meets the next. Great for safety and an added decorative touch the likes of which makes an extraordinary difference.

Highlighting Features

Another wonderfully effective approach to garden lighting is to stop looking at the garden as a single entity and to instead take into account its various features and highlights. Every garden has an array of potential points of focus – trees, pots, planters, shrubs, water features and so on – which could benefit enormously from strategic lighting installation. It’s once again about breaking things up and creating definition – a few focus points highlighted in the garden create a sense of uniformity and balance. Even if they aren’t necessarily the most eye-catching highlights in the daytime, they soon will be once lit up in all their glory.

Creative Control

Something else to think about for the sake of the overall effect (not to mention your electricity bill!) is the installation of creative controls for your garden lighting. Or to put it another way, quite the opposite of having just a single switch that allows every outdoor light to be on or off at the same time, with no flexibility. Just as is the case with indoor lighting, independent controls and even dimmer switches can help you really make the very most of your investment. There’s also the option of fully-automated lighting controls too, if you’d prefer to make things as easy as possible for yourself.

Quality Hardware

Last but not least, there’s nothing in the world that can dilute what could have been a wonderfully thoughtful and strategic garden illumination project quite like poor quality hardware. To buy low-grade is to buy lamps that discolour, bulbs that blow and installations that present nothing short of a genuine day-to-day fire hazard – all of which can be avoided entirely by investing in quality hardware in the first place. And given the fact that it is of course a long-term investment in the quality and enjoyment of your home, it’s more than worth vying for real value for money.