A Guide To Outdoor Lighting From House To Home
Now so many of us use our gardens as outdoor rooms, getting the lighting right outside is as important as it is for inside. With the right mix of permanent feature lighting, stylish decorative lighting and, of course, candlelight, you can give your garden that magical glow.
Highlight features with permanent lighting
When planning your permanent lighting use torches to try out different ideas. Think about it from a practical perspective. Walk to your front door in the dark and note all the places that need lighting.
Use uplighters to shine against the back fence or wall – this draws the eye to the end of the garden, making it appear larger.
Remember less is more. Task lighting is most effective when used sparingly, with plenty of dark areas to create contrast.
An uplighter that highlights your tree beautifully may also shine into your neighbour’s bedroom, so be considerate.
Use the right bulbs. 50W and over can get hot – it’s best to use 40W and lower for out door lighting, especially near plants.
You’ll need help from an electrician to install most permanent garden lighting. For an NICEIC – approved electrician who can install the lights and connect them to your home’s electricity supply, go to http://www.niceic.org.uk
Make alfresco parties sparkle with decorative fairy lights
Don’t over do it; too many fairy lights will look garish, especially in small gardens. Use them to decorate just one or two specific areas.
Solar lighting is easy to set up, but is not as bright as electric light and it does rely on a sunny day to be fully powered at night.
Remember to take your decorative lights inside after use, unless the box states they are waterproof.
Enjoy warm evenings with ambient lighting
Mix of different types of lighting – tea lights work best on a tabletop and larger lanterns are better suited hanging from trees or standing on the ground.
Keep your lanterns and tea light holders in tip top condition by taking them inside at the end of an evening.
Remove dripped wax by waiting for it to dry before scraping off carefully with a plastic spatula.
Don’t use open flames near plants. Flare candles are safest in a pot on their own or placed in graveled areas, while tea lights and candles should be put safely in holders.