Combining various lighting techniques in the garden creates visual interest. You could use uplighting along specimen trees to illuminate a focal point. Backlighting along shrubs helps define space. Or you could add soft downlighting along paths and steps for appeal (and safety). But outdoor lighting requires that all codes be met; consider the following tips when setting up your outdoor garden lighting.
Think about your family’s activities and lifestyle. Outdoor lighting need not be limited to the garden; adequate lighting can cover nearly your entire lot if you wish. Most importantly, illuminate the areas that are most used.
Garden Lighting Placement – place your garden lighting:
- Around fire pits
- In and around water features
- To highlight: paths, decks, and stairs
- To feature vegetation
- To illuminate statues
- To illuminate patios
- Around the pool
Light up the path for guests. But how about using dimmers on porch lighting? This softens the lights to welcome visitors without the glare.
What is the focal point in your garden? Whether it is a pool, a barbecue pit, or a waterfall, set up some sort of lighting scheme around this area to highlight this garden feature.
Respect your neighbors when setting up your garden lighting. Don’t let your lights bother them by shining in their windows in the middle of the night. Lighting only needs to be bright enough to softly illuminate an area and provide safety while walking through the yard or garden.
Will low voltage systems adequately meet your garden lighting needs? LED’s (light emitting diodes), in particular, are energy efficient (so they save you money), they last longer, and they are cooler in temperature.
Are you considering solar lighting? Consider whether you get enough sun in the locations in which you wish to place the lights and whether they will work in both the summer and the winter.
Consider how you will control the circuits. Will they be controlled from inside the house or by using a three-way switch?
Keep in mind when planning your garden lighting that all outdoor lighting must be grounded, water-resistant, and UL approved. Planning your outdoor circuits requires a plot map of your property; from here, you can plan the layout of conduit for the wires to receptacles and fixtures.
If you need more ideas or information on setting up outdoor garden lighting, check out your local home and garden shows.
LED Garden Lights
Outdoor Lighting Tips