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5 On-Trend Lighting Ideas For Your Garden

It's summer, and even if you live in Britain with its unpredictable weather, you're sure to be spending a significant amount of time relaxing in the garden or lounging around on your patio or deck. The long, warm evenings are also perfect for entertaining guests outside - what could be nicer than watching the sun go down with a cool drink in your hand?

If you're planning to redecorate and upgrade your alfresco areas, don’t forget to include outdoor lighting. An often overlooked aspect of landscape and garden design, the right type of lighting fixtures and elements will add to the safety of your outdoor spaces and encourage you to use these areas even after sundown.

These exterior areas add to the beauty and value of your home. In addition, they increase the curb appeal of your property and create the perfect backdrop for your home structure. Take a look at some on-trend ways in which you can add allure and charm to your garden and yard areas:

1. Welcoming and comfortable spaces

outdoor-chandelierIn the past, most home owners have focused on creating very comfortable and cosy indoor spaces, but haven't given the same thought to their outside areas, often buying uncomfortable and unsightly wooden chairs and tables, and not investing in quality lighting. This has all changed and outdoor space is now very much seen as an extension of the inside living space.

Regardless of whether you have a big garden or a patio, deck, terrace or balcony, you can make your outside area the perfect place to relax with comfy sofas and chairs, low tables, and ambient lighting. When you are planning the lighting fixtures, your priority should be to create an outdoor ambience that entices you to spend time there. Try the following lighting features to create a welcoming atmosphere:

• Recessed lights in columns or niches
• Track lighting with LED strip lights under in-built wall seating installations
• Under counter lights and floor lights
• Underwater lighting (in ponds, waterfalls and fountains, swimming pools etc.)
• Uplights and downlights
• Track lighting in the false ceiling
• Sconces on exterior patio and balcony walls
• Paver lights
• Walkway & driveway lights
• Low level cross lighting
• Boundary wall lights.

2. Thought-provoking lighting fixtures

Stunning and unique outdoor living design is never a matter of chance. Just as you take care to choose the right type of furniture and décor, make it a point to choose the right lighting concepts as well. Some of the on-trend lighting elements you can add are:

• Fairy lights. Add fairy lights to different areas of your yard. Not only will they provide soft and warm illumination to these spaces, but will also add a very festive look to your home. You can drape these lights along hedges and fencing and wrap them around beams and columns or even string them on tree branches if you like. While these lights may look small, the LED bulbs in them throw sufficient light without making the spaces look stark or cold.

• Chandeliers. Most homeowners won’t consider installing a chandelier in the alfresco areas of their home as they believe that these fixtures are better suited for indoor areas such an entranceways, dining rooms, bedrooms etc. But the fact is that today there are a number of different chandelier styles to choose from; you can unleash your creativity while designing your balcony, patio or deck.

Chandeliers will make these areas look romantic, elegant and stylish. Just ensure that you choose a chandelier installation that’s proportionate to the space it is going to be installed in. Make sure you hang the chandelier in a semi-enclosed, dry space that is shielded from the elements.

3. Clever outdoor lighting

If your landscape isn’t illuminated well, this can impact the attractiveness of your property once the sun goes down. Aside from this, you may not be comfortable letting your children or pets play freely in the yard after dark, if the space is poorly lit. You will feel restricted when planning parties and may not be able to make optimal use of your garden if it isn’t illuminated appropriately. This is why it’s important to plan garden lighting well.

Outdoor lighting is far more than just installing a few floodlights in different areas of your front and back yard. In some cases, this does more harm than good and the floodlights lend a very industrial and cold look to the landscape. Planning outdoor lighting smartly is about using the fixtures in such a way that they highlight the distinctive features in your landscape and mask ones that don’t flatter your property, such as sheds, pump rooms, or even an unattractive view, etc.

4. Focal points in the landscape

chandelier-on-treeAs mentioned earlier, every landscape has some distinctive features. For instance, your garden might have a very large and beautifully-structured tree that could be skillfully illuminated to highlight its shape and leaf texture. This can become the focal point of your outdoor space and the rest of the lighting effects can be centered around it.

If you have a fireplace or fire pit, fountain or even a waterfall, strategically placed LED lights can bring the beauty of the natural stone or brick to the fore. These elements can also easily become focal points in your landscape. Wrought iron fencing or gates can be highlighted with cleverly placed lighting to spotlight their intricate designs. Outdoor kitchens, pergolas and gazebos are other features that can be artistically lit to enhance their beauty and make them more visible after dark.

5. Layered lighting

The concept of layered lighting is widely used by interior designers when they are planning lighting fixtures for indoor spaces. This concept works well in outdoor spaces as well. In fact, it’s a great way to add fullness and dimension to your garden. Some of the basic rules of layered lighting include:

• Creating a contrast between light and dark
• Using light smartly to define the wide space
• Using reflective elements and recessed lighting in more compact gardens
• Installing some overall lighting along the periphery of your garden
• Adding some task lighting in areas such as patios, decks and outdoor kitchens where you would require some direct light when you are using the BBQ, grills or gas stove
• Adding accent lights to highlight the beauty of some architectural elements, either in the landscape or the exterior of your home
• Including some floodlights or spotlights as well.

As you can see, creating stunning outdoor lighting concepts is about seeing how these latest trends fit in with your requirements and objectives. It just takes a bit of artistry and planning to create drama in your landscape with the right type of lighting concepts - but once you've created the perfect outdoor relaxing and entertaining space, it will all be worthwhile!