How lighting can set the mood in your garden
These days, lounge furniture, kitchens and outdoor carpets mean that the ‘open-air room’ that is our garden often boasts cosier furnishings than our interior living room. And of course that also requires the right kind of lighting. New exterior lighting such as lamps, light chains and lanterns allow us to experiment at a whim and are versatile enough for us to create incredibly different moods.
LED creates a world of possibilities
The general acceptance of LED technology has revolutionised garden lighting. LED lights are not only more energy-efficient and longer-lasting than their predecessors, such as bulbs and halogen lamps, they are small enough to fit into tiny casings, lighting strips or fairy lights. Therefore, there is virtually no limit to the creativity of designers, with a wide variety of outdoor lights currently available for all uses. Not only that, but LED lighting systems use low voltages, thus making the technology safe even for laypeople to install wherever they choose.
The environmentally-friendly alternative
The range of LED garden lights include lighting connected to a mains outlet or portable, battery-operated outdoor lighting. Some battery-powered lights are fitted with solar panels. These lamps charge during the day and emit energy in the form of light as soon as dusk falls. Solar panels must be capable of collecting sufficient sunlight during the day, however, that means that solar lights are unsuitable for use in the shade. Good old-fashioned candles rival solar lamps in their environmental friendliness, while their flickering light lends a romantic touch. Candlelight truly shines in a stylish hurricane lamp.
What light should I use, and where?
As with interior lighting, in gardens we distinguish between general and accent lighting.
- General lighting includes almost all types of fixed exterior lighting on a house façade next to the door, but also in seating areas and along paths. Light spots integrated in terrace decking offer general lighting and also have an aesthetically appealing appearance.
- Spotlights offer a perfect way to accent and are most commonly used to illuminate plants by directing light from the ground upwards. Garden decorations such as a pergola or rose arch can also be highlighted using spotlights. However, be careful not to overdo it with the lighting! After all, exterior lighting thrives on the contrast between light and dark, as well as interesting shadows. And that not only applies in pleasant weather, but also in wet and snowy conditions.
The latest trend: portable lighting
Break free from cables with cordless spotlights such as ground spikes that can be reconfigured to illuminate and highlight different garden spaces. Lights designed with the sole purpose of being carried around are another current trend and are basically torches in XXL format. Portable garden lighting is much more appealing to the eye and can be used for reading as well.
Lights used to highlight specific areas can create fascinating effects. Garden light really makes an impression, however, when it is used in unique ways such as in the form of garden furniture, floating pond lights, or paper lanterns. Yet nature itself continues to create the best effects. Flames glowing in a fire pit are the guaranteed highlight of any garden party.