There is a very important difference between illuminating the garden for the sake of visibility and lighting a garden to make it spectacularly beautiful.
This is best illustrated in the way some gardens are bathed in the ultra bright light from a single floodlight while others take time to plan and carefully consider the installation of lighting features across the whole outdoor environment to create something spectacular.
All of the above leads to the obvious question of what should a homeowner do if planning to go about a bit of DIY lighting in their own garden? For larger and more complicated spaces it is often best left to the professionals, but there are a few ways that allows anyone to easily transform their garden into an amazing outdoor space.
So with this in mind, here’s a quick look at a few tips to getting the most out of your garden and indeed the lighting you install:
Focus on Features
Immediately forget about the garden as a whole and to begin thinking of its primary features and most attractive features as separate entities. You may have certain plants or trees that you would consider to be the centrepiece of the garden or perhaps one specific area which is your favourite place to sit and relax. Focus your efforts on these features as the way they are illuminated will bring them to life, creating a feature and talking point of your garden.
Think about the mood and atmosphere you would like to create. It is a much better idea to know in advance what kind of atmosphere and mood you would like to create at your garden, and this is best done at the early planning stages.
Keep It Restrained
Remember, less is more. With garden lighting it’s not so much about what you decide to illuminate with light, it’s more about what you choose not to light that will create depth, interest and a balanced lighting scheme.
When you are going about your plan, consider splitting the garden into a number of separate zones and focusing on one at a time with a unique plan for each.
Keep It Hidden
In some cases’ it is more visually attractive to hid the source of the light. This is often easier said than done and isn’t always practical, but if you can light up any features in your garden without the light source itself being visible, the effect is intensified many times over. In all instances however, it is crucial to minimise or eliminate glare by ensuring the lighting sources are not pointed directly at a visitor viewing the garden. Indirect lighting techniques and anti-glare guards are simple and cost effective methods of reducing uncomfortable glare.
Last but not least, by deciding to bring lighting into your garden this gives you a unique opportunity to play with bold shadows and silhouettes. A light source which either projects a dramatic shadow on another surface or one that is obscured by an object can in turn create impressive silhouettes and shadowing.
This isn’t an easy technique to pull off but is by far one of the most fun to experiment with – simply take your lighting sources and experiment with shadows or silhouettes across the garden and see how they look both up close and from a distance.
To find out more about getting the most from your lighting, download our Definitive Guide To Lighting HERE. It's incredibly user friendly and includes lots of top tips, basics of indoor and outdoor lighting, all the technical stuff explained and our unique printable Walk Through Guide!