Gardens and garden lighting in particular are just as much important to many households as with the interior of their homes. However, when lighting an outside area it is important to ensure it is installed professionally and safely.
Tips for lighting your garden
Time must be spent planning your lighting to enhance your prominent gardens features.
Concentrate on these most attractive features, such as a plant or water feature, and don’t just light everything in sight.
Use torches to design your lighting to help decide which spaces you want lit, and if you’d prefer uplighters or downlighters.
Light up paths and steps for safe access and egress, also combine with security lights.
Visit home improvement centres and look at websites for inspiration.
Think about the controls – there are lots of options from wall-mounted light switches to remote controls.
Outdoor lights can get hot, therefore place out of reach of small children.
All cables and transformers should be placed out of sight to ensure the lighting scheme is only apparent when lit at night.
Types of garden lighting
Downlighting is used to single out features, or place above a table to give you better illumination.
Uplighting works best by shining them onto the fence at the end of the garden to make the space look bigger.
Light washing will gently wash over the nearest surface by placing a light at the bottom of a wall.
Shadowing - Place a light in front of a plant, tree or object to create a striking look. The height of the light will make the shadow larger or smaller.
Cross lighting is where you position two lights at opposite side of a feature to emphasise it with a softening effect.
Moonlighting gives a romantic effect by mounting a light in a tree, so the foliage breaks up the light beams.
Garden electrical power
Other considerations for outside your home.
Security lighting – the most common type of external lighting for your home. New LED technology is reasonably priced and energy efficient.
Socket outlets – is a must for those garden power tools, jet wash or even the Christmas lights.
A supply to an electric gate or pond pump.
A supply to a detached garage, shed or other outbuilding.
Sauna or hot tub.
Important information about your garden
When carrying out electrical work, the garden is considered as a high-risk area due to the additional risk caused by weather.
All external equipment and cables shall be suitable for installation outside.
For safety, all external sockets must be protected by an RCD (residual current device). Which trips the electricity when a cable is cut.
Underground cables shall be buried at a depth to avoid damage from garden tools. This will require digging a trench in the garden.