11 Garden Lighting Ideas to Illuminate Your Outdoor Space
Just because the sun goes in, doesn't mean you have to stop enjoying your garden. OK, so it does get rather chilly at night here, but it's nothing a blanket, a cuppa tea and a fire pit can't solve!
Below are some elegant garden lighting ideas to add a whole new dimension to your outdoor space.
Solar Garden Lighting
Want to light up your garden or other outdoor area without using more electricity? Solar garden lighting can help. Solar lighting is available in quite a few different styles, from stake lights that stand alone to illuminated stepping stones. There are even solar string lights available from some manufacturers. They all use solar collectors to absorb sunlight during the daylight hours. That energy is stored in an internal battery, which kicks in when the ambient light drops below a certain level, or you turn them on.
Depending on the lighting you choose, you may have an auto-on function, a timer, or a manual switch. As a note, solar technology is still relatively new, and you’ll need to shop with care. Look for solar garden lights that have good reviews, that last for several hours, and that hold up over time.
LED Garden Lighting
LEDs offer lower power consumption than incandescent bulbs, and substantially higher light emission. However, because individual LEDs are very small, you need quite a few of them to equal the amount of light emitted from conventional lights. With that being said, there are many different styles of outdoor lighting that use LEDs. They’re an ideal option for pairing with solar technology due to their low power consumption, which can add hours of use time. These lights also last far longer than conventional incandescent or halogen bulbs, allowing you to get the most out of your investment. LED garden lighting can be found in many formats, as well, ranging from string lights and rope lights to spot lights and stake lights.
Plug and Play Garden Lighting
Long to add a bit of light and colour to your garden or deck, but don’t want to go through the hassle of hiring an electrician to wire it all up for you? Plug and play garden lighting is the answer. You’ll find that these 12-volt systems can be installed by just about anyone. All you need to do is mount the light(s), connect them to the transformer, and then plug them in. You’ll find low voltage LED lights, but also brighter halogen bulbs on the market today to suit your particular needs. Plug and play systems are also available in wall lighting, deck lighting, string lighting and other styles.
Garden Wall Lighting
Have a flat vertical surface in your garden or other outdoor area? This can be more than just a visual feature – it can be the perfect place to install lighting. You’ll discover a host of different styles out there, from hanging lanterns that mount to the wall to disc shaped lights, squares, swivel lights, spotlights and more. Many of these use LED bulbs for longer life and lower power consumption, but you can also find halogen bulbs if you prefer something more conventional.
Many garden wall lighting systems are also plug and play, meaning that you won’t need an electrician to wire them up for you. When choosing wall lighting, consider the aesthetics of your outdoor area and the overall design that you want to achieve. Then, purchase lighting that helps you achieve that, whether you’re going for sleek and contemporary, rustic, or avant-garde.
Garden Patio Lighting
Patio lighting ensures that you have plenty of illumination in your outdoor seating and dining area. Whether you’re relaxing with your preferred libation after a long day at the office or hosting a garden party, you’ll definitely need light once the sun sets. Patio lighting can be as simple as a couple of tiki torches, or as elegant as strings of lights suspended from posts over the patio area. Look for lights that are easy to install (plug and play) and that are rated for excellent weather resistance. Ideally, the lights can remain up all year long without suffering damage. However, be aware that some styles of patio lighting are only designed for use in good weather, and must be taken down during the winter, or when the weather turns foul.
Contemporary Garden Lighting
Contemporary garden lighting is distinct from rustic and traditional lighting. It tends to be sleek and modern, although some styles do hark back to previous decades. You’ll find a number of different elements common with contemporary lighting. Stainless steel housings are very popular today, because they offer outstanding durability and weather resistance, while providing a clean, modern look. Bronze is also popular, as are aluminium and glass.
Most of the actual lights are LED types, providing cool white or warm white lighting combined with lower power consumption. In terms of fixture style, you’ll find recessed spotlights, traditional spotlights, industrial-style string lights, decking lights that affix directly to the wood of your deck, and many others, as well.
Garden Party Lighting
Do you regularly host parties and other events at your home? Your garden area can be an ideal option for these gatherings during the warmer months of the year (and even during fall and early spring if you have a source of heat, such as a fire pit or outdoor heater). Of course, you’ll need lighting for these gatherings, and garden party lighting can spice things up while adding a bit of fun to the mix.
Look for multi-coloured string lights to add a touch of whimsy to your events, or go for paper lanterns that add flair (note that paper lanterns will need to be taken down when the gathering is done, and are not suited for damp weather). Coloured rope lights can be wrapped around posts and other upright structures for fun and light, and fairy lights are always a nice touch to garden parties.
Garden Decking Lighting
Garden deck lighting can add illumination to your deck in some surprising ways. While you’ll find conventional lights out there that mount to walls around the deck, or uprights on the deck, there are also styles designed to be mounted to the floor of the deck. These are generally flat in design, with disc-shaped LED lights that emit blue, cool white or warm white light depending on your goals and the overall aesthetic of your outdoor space. Some deck lights can be “daisy chained” together, and then the entire chain can be connected to a power source. There are also solar deck lights on offer if you don’t want to connect to the mains.
Garden Shed Lighting
Your garden shed is crucial, and you’ll most likely need a bit of light to navigate your way around tools, past flowerpots and other obstacles. Garden shed lighting can take the form of conventional fluorescent light fixtures, but you’ll find hanging lights, LEDs that can be mounted to the walls and quite a few other options out there.
You’ll need to consider several things before buying garden shed lighting, including the material of the shed (wood, metal, composite, plastic), your usage habits, and whether or not the shed is already wired for power, or if you’ll need an electrician’s assistance. If power is a concern, there are solar options available, as well, although they’ll take a bit of installation since the collector will need to be attached to the roof or an exterior wall that receives plenty of sunlight.
Low Voltage Garden Lighting
Low voltage garden lighting comes in many different forms. You’ll find string lights, spotlights, stake lights, and many other options here. However, despite the wide range of styles, they all share a few common characteristics. Obviously, they’re low voltage, which means that they use less electricity than other options. That’s good news for your utility bill, certainly. With that being said, understand that some low voltage garden lighting can be somewhat dim, so you may need more lights to illuminate the area.
Garden Security Lighting
Keeping your garden area secure and protected is important, and there are many security lighting solutions out there. Motion-detection systems can detect motion in the garden and turn on a bright spot light in response, illuminating the area. You can choose from flood lights that attach to high points on the outside of your home, ground-based lighting solutions, and even powerful LED lighting solutions that offer plenty of illumination, a long lifespan, and low power consumption.
As you can see, when it comes to garden lighting ideas, there is a myriad of options available, whether you want to create a soothing outdoor oasis, a place for regular gatherings with family and friends, or to enhance the security of your home.