Using Lights in the Garden Part 1

Using lights in the garden can broadly be divided into two types of lighting: decorative and safety.

To keep a garden safe at night you will need to consider lighting wherever there is a change of level, especially any steps within the garden. Also consider how you guide visitors from the pedestrian gate to your front door and where you might need to light the driveway to ensure it is clear where to park safely.

Firstly you need to think about what you need to light as this will help you decide the type of fitting you need.

Lighting a small specimen in a pot will require a spot light with a narrow beam. If you are trying to light an outdoor entertaining space you will need something that provides a wider beam, covering a greater area. How a space is designed may be influenced by how it is to be lit at night. You might wish to include a pergola or arches close to or over a dining area so light fittings can be attached to the structure providing plenty of light to dine by.


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What effect are you trying to achieve? You might wish to create focal points within the space, such as a water feature or a specmen tree. Wall down lights can create a dramatic effect on modern style fencing, spaced at equal distance along the fence line. This can be very effective in a contemporary outdoor living area.

The material of the light fittings need to coordinate with the style of the new garden design. Copper patinates overtime to a beautiful verdi gris finish and this can work really well with a more traditional sheme. Stainless steel fittings are often chosen as features in their own right in a contemporary scheme, contrasting with the material around them. Some lights need to be hidden so choosing black or green will help them to blend into the planting around them.

Remember the practicalities too. Glare can be an issue. Point lights away fto avoid anyone looking directly into the fitting or add a glare cowl or louvres. Some fittings will come with half shields if used on a vertical surface, such as the riser of a step. You might also consider how you will hide the drivers which can be rather unsightly. And how do you wish the lights to be switched? It is unlikely you want all of your outdoor lights to come on at the same time. 

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A little goes a long way!

Remember to create contrast.

Ensure that the colour temperature is the same across all fittings.

Consider how you will hide the cables.

Consider using moonlighting for an unusual effect.

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We asked Louise to design a modern, contemporary garden with an emphasis on colour throughout the summer, combined with specific areas for entertaining. Her level of creativity, professionalism and attention to detail was exemplary. 

Shanila and Andrew Baseley, Wilmslow

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Step 1

We will design your garden from the initial concept ideas through to finalising the requisite plans, drawings and written schedules, all of which are sent out to our recommended landscape team to quote.

Step 2

We continue to work with the landscape team throughout the build process to ensure your finished garden is installed to the highest standards and as per the specification.

Step 3

After sourcing the best quality plants at the best price, we will be on site to carefully set out all the plants in their final positions, ready for the landscape team to plant them.

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