Choosing Garden Lights - Where To Start
Updated: Jun 16
Spending evenings outside, whether dining al fresco in Summer, or wrapped in a cozy blanket in Fall, is a magical experience. The right lighting can really create a great mood, but choosing the right lighting can be a bit of a minefield.
So where to start?
First off, familiarize yourself with the three different types of outdoor lighting:
Accent lighting highlights a particular feature or area of the garden which you may love and want to see at night, such as an old tree or a pond.
Ambient Lighting helps create mood and has a subtle glow rather than a harsh glare, like fairy lights or string lights.
Task or Safety lighting has a direct purpose or function, for example, lighting a pathway or BBQ area so you can see what you are cooking!
Look at your garden from different angles, including from the view from your house. Think about the space in terms of the above types of lighting to help you zero in on the areas you want to highlight or are important to you.
You should aim to use all three types of lighting together to create a layering effect which will add more dimension to your space.
Next, you'll need to determine exactly how much lighting you need for the space. A good calculation is to multiply the square footage of the area you want to light by 1.5 which will give you a rough estimate of the total wattage you will need. For example, 100 square feet of space would require 150 watts. Don't worry about being exact, a rough estimate is fine.
Now you are ready to start the fun part researching lighting styles and designs you like. Lighting varies in price point, type and quality, so remember before you purchase anything, check the item meets your needs and installation requirements. A set of fairy lights that are for indoor use only for example, are not going to fair well outside.