Garden Lighting Design Guide and Tips

Lighting Design Inspiration

Lighting design is an art that, when done with professional creativity and technical expertise, can transform the atmosphere and experience of a garden. The garden designers at Graduate Landscapes will work with you to create the experience you require, from subtle beauty, to dramatic effect, to stylish glamour and more. A beautifully designed garden lighting concept can completely change the character of a garden. Whether it be for an intimate evening soiree, a large celebration, or a quiet relaxing evening alone with a book and a glass of wine, a lighting design is a material change to the garden experience. Lighting up a garden as the sun goes down allows you to enjoy the garden for longer periods of time, throughout the year.


Lighting Design Principles

The principles of lighting design remain the same whatever style or theme of your garden. It’s important to focus on the garden layout, and its features, including the dining and socialising spaces you want to illuminate. Having a design to work from and ensuring you have a lighting layout plan at the beginning of the project are key. These detailed drawings, before groundworks begin, ensure cables and conduits can be placed accurately below ground.


Experienced Lighting Designers

It’s highly recommended that you seek expert designers to design and install your lighting as there are many technical aspects to consider.  Electricity and water don’t mix well so all fixtures and fittings must be designed for outdoor use with as high an IP rating as possible. The position of fixtures underground, above ground, or against a wall, will all impact the IP rating. Brightness, aesthetics, warmth of the light and area of the light cast are also technical aspects to consider. Once you have all the lighting installed think about how best to integrate lighting to existing systems to avoid excess clutter. Lighting can be integrated with iPads or home entertainment systems so you have ultimate control on how your lighting is operated and when.


Lighting Plants and Home

Different zones and styles of garden lighting amplifies and accentuates features and functions. Uplights can be hidden at the base of plants with architectural form, such as Yukka and Palms creating magnificent striking shadows, adding an element of drama and theatre. If you want to be able to move lighting around season to season, uplights on moveable spikes allow you greater flexibility. Large door systems to the rear of our homes create a continuity between home and garden. A well planned and thought out lighting design scheme can increase this relationship between the inside living area and a beautifully illuminated space outside.


Lighting Water Features and Sculptures

Water features are a fantastic medium to illuminate. Movement and refraction creates patterns which reflect on the surrounding area. Garden sculptures can be lighting focal points and remain a centerpiece with splendour that can be enjoyed through the evening and into the night. David Harber sculptures look stunning and are a particular Graduate Landscapes favourite.


Using LED’s

Lighting can also be used to safely guide you through the garden when daylight has disappeared. LEDs recessed in to decking or patio steps create a lit up pathway. Imagine a summers evening with an illuminated stroll to your natural swimming pool for an aperitif or even swim under the moonlight. LEDs are the most commonly used garden light source as they are adaptable, controllable and frequently used as feature lighting. They also consume much less power and last a very long time compared to halogen and other fitting types.


Garden Lighting Security

Security lights are beneficial for securing your property, but be careful they are not overused. Very high wattage flood lights are generally unsympathetic to a garden and should only be used on security sensitive areas with a PIR (motion sensor), rather than being used for the majority of the garden.


If you would like more information and ideas on how to professionally design your garden lighting, contact garden designers, click here.