How Do You Choose Garden Lighting?

Let’s say you have just spent a load of cash, time, and resources into designing the perfect garden. You have it landscaped, there is a garden fountain, pathways, and all the accessories. But what about lighting? You don’t have to have sunlight to enjoy a garden. In fact, with the proper lighting, you can create an entirely different feel to it. Garden lighting, if set up properly, can illuminate areas and paths, accentuate a specific feature, or even create a mood. Garden lighting can be set up in a variety of ways using many different forms of lights. This makes the lighting design as unique and personal as the garden itself.

How do you choose garden lighting? Well, the first thing you want to do is plan your garden and how you want it to look. Think about what style you are going for or for the purpose of the lighting. You will want to carefully choose the right lights because different lights create different effects. If you are trying to accent a trellis, you don’t want to use a flood light and light up the whole neighborhood. If you need some tips on how do you choose garden lighting, keep reading below.

Garden Lighting For Security

One important reason to set up lights in your garden is for added security. Most people already have the front of their house heavily lit so where is the likeliest place a burglar will try? Probably the backyard which is normally poorly lit and much more vulnerable. Adding some extra lighting will discourage those seeking to do harm to you and your property. Security lighting is going to be brighter than other forms of garden lighting so you really don’t want to position it right outside your bedroom window. There is motion-sensitive lights that come on when the sensors detect any motion nearby. This is a great idea as long as you don’t live in an area that has a lot of wildlife. If you do, your lights might come on at all times during the night. When setting up the security lighting around your garden and yard, be careful that you don’t leave shadowy ‘holes’ where someone can hide. Consult a security expert if needed so that you can get the most coverage out of your lighting.

Garden Lighting For Illumination


How many times have you been walking through your garden at night and tripped on that big urn beside the path? General illumination is the primary reason for having garden lighting. You can create areas where you can see to hang out, such as a patio, and even set up lights along pathways so you don’t trip on that urn. If you want to create a certain mood, maybe for a party, there are all sorts of party lights that you can install. These lights can be bright enough to illuminate an area clearly or they can create festive moods with dimmer lighting. But the main reason for setting up any kind of ambient light is so people can see and won’t trip and bump their noses.

Garden Lighting For Accents

Any sort of garden that has been landscaped can benefit from accent lighting. This type of lighting can be used to add drama and accent an unusual feature like a waterfall or a statue. The purpose of accent lighting is not to provide illumination to see by but to add to a garden’s sense of style. There are several different ways to create an accent and several types of lights you can use. There are any number of soft spotlights that can make a feature pop out from the dark or even colored lights if you want to throw some blue or red on a wall. Accents are entirely up to you and how your garden is designed.

Different Types of Garden Lights

When shopping for lighting for your garden you will find many different styles that are powered by a variety of sources. The most common form of garden lighting is powered by good old electricity. With this type of lighting you (or a qualified electrician) will have to wire it directly to your house or a control box outside. The lights come on when you flip a switch or if they are on an automated timer. The only way that they will quit working is if the power goes off.

Another type of outdoor lighting used in gardens is solar powered. These little beauties are popular because they are energy efficient and inexpensive. You can get a decent pair of solar lights for around $30. They operate by storing light from the sun during the day and then converting that into energy at night. The drawback with solar lights is that they are not that bright. Some of the really cheap ones barely put out enough light to see by. The better ones have a separate solar panel that you can hide behind some of the landscaping.

There are some outdoor lights which are battery powered and are rechargeable. Though not as energy efficient as solar lighting, they generally do put out more light. A nice aspect of these lights is that since they are not hardwired directly to your house, you can move them around for a different look.

And lastly, there is a type of low-voltage outdoor lighting which runs on electricity, is hardwired to your home, but won’t run up your monthly electric bill as much. These are outdoor lights that have their own transformers which lowers their power usage from around 120 volts to 12 volts. They still put out an acceptable amount of light but are not as durable as the higher voltage lights.

Landscape Lighting Tips

Here are some landscape lighting tips you can use next time you’re looking to improve or change the landscape lighting in your garden. When choosing lighting for your garden, there are some things you should keep in mind when setting up the area. First is that you do not need a continuous stream of lights along your garden paths. It isn’t an airstrip and no one is landing a plane. All you need is just a few well-placed lights that are close enough so that one area of light starts where another ends.

When upgrading the landscape lighting in your garden, less is more. You don’t want to over do it with spotlights blazing all over the place. Subtly works better than over-lighting an area (unless your intensions are for security reasons). And don’t use too many spotlights.

Think practical when setting up your garden lighting. Don’t put a light where it is difficult to reach because eventually, you will have to change that bulb. Set all light sin areas, even if they are hidden, where they can be conveniently reached for maintenance.