A well-considered outdoor lighting scheme will show your garden off to its best and allow you (and your guests) to enjoy the space long after dark. But with so many lighting styles on offer – spike lights, uplights, downlights, flood lights and hanging lights – working out what you need and what you don’t can be a confusing business. Here’s how to create an outdoor lighting scheme that delivers on both style and functionality.
A good outdoor lighting scheme creates real ambience outdoors. It sets a warm and welcoming tone when you’re entertaining, and it can be used to highlight your favourite outdoor features, while making less-attractive elements recede into the background. The key to a great garden and deck lighting scheme is to combine different light sources. You want a layered lighting set-up with lights that perform different roles. This will provide practical illumination so guests can move comfortably around your garden and deck, and it will also add depth and intrigue to the space.
Your lighting scheme might include a mix of uplights, downlights or up/down lights to highlight architectural features or your favourite plants; bollard lights to illuminate a path; recessed deck lights so guests can travel about the area safely; and spotlights to provide a gentle wash of light to your outdoor space and draw the eye to its best features.
Which Types Of Lights Do I Need?
Path Lights: These will help guests travel safely from your front gate to the front door or move around your garden at night. Bollard lights are great for illuminating walkways and uneven surfaces, and give your pavers and tiles a lovely glow.
Up/down Lights: These luminaires produce a narrow beam of light and when installed on the exterior of your home, they’re a great way to showcase its architectural features, your house number, or a beautiful arrangement of pot plants.
Ceiling Lights: Outdoor ceiling lights help illuminate undercover alfresco areas at night.
Front-Door Light: These help guests navigate their way to your front door and create a welcoming vibe. A front-door light will also make it easier to find your keys at night.
Deck Lights: Great for setting a warm, welcoming mood on your decked area for entertaining; they’ll also help guests move about the space comfortably. For a sleek contemporary look, seek out styles that sit flush with your deck, verandah or entrance.
Step Lights: If you have steps outdoors, these lights are a must for safety.
LED Spotlights: Use these to illuminate water features, trees, plants and sculptures.
Sensor Floodlights: These are great for lighting large areas, such as driveways, when you or a guest approach.
Timers and sensors are a great addition to your outdoor lighting set-up – they allow lights to turn on and off automatically at pre-set times or provide illumination when it’s needed, such as when a guest (or you) approaches your home. As they only come on when required, they also help cut energy costs and boost security. Also consider using a timer to control the on/off times of your garden lighting for spotlights and up/down lights, and connect bunker and bollard lights to sensors that turn on only when someone approaches. LED lights are much more energy efficient and last longer than other lighting types, such as halogens. They come in both warm and cool white, allowing you to create different looks.
- Don’t overdo it. Many homeowners go for the biggest and brightest outdoor lights they can find, believing it might increase safety and security. But having a bright floodlight shine in your eyes is not a pleasant arrival for guests (nor for your neighbors) and can affect your night vision, making it harder to see.
- Avoid using floodlights in entrances or entertaining spaces as they are extremely bright.
- Keep lights such as garden spikes and pond lighting hidden as much as possible – you want them to highlight your garden gems, not be a visual feature themselves.
- Don’t put in too many path lights or the area will look cluttered and overly lit. Less is more; place lights periodically along a pathway.
Here at Hurst Homes our clients have a one on one meeting with our experienced landscaper out on site to design their perfect garden. As an experienced Wagga Wagga builder we assist you through selecting all aspects of your home, including plants that are suited to Wagga’s harsh climate. Just another reason why we are considered Wagga’s Best Builder. Click here to inquire about building your dream home today!
For more tips from the Houzz experts visit Houzz.com.au
Photo credit: Bell Landscapes