Despite the deluge of rain and smattering of snow that has left us all shivering the last few weeks, spring is on its way (we promise!). With it comes the prospect of finally being able to get back in the garden for some essential maintenance before the weather really heats up and we can begin to think about enjoying BBQs, dining outside and many an enjoyable hour soaking in the sun from our patio.
Before we get too ahead of ourselves though, now is the perfect time to begin prepping your outdoor space in readiness for the arrival of better weather. Along with weeding, mowing and planting, getting your garden lighting planned and installed is a must do task for spring. Here are a few things you’ll need to think about:
1. Which part of the garden do you want to light?
Before you can even think about the type of lights you like, you’ll need to decide which areas of the garden you want to illuminate. There are actually quite a few components to this decision;
-Do you need to add lighting for safety and decoration, such as to pick out the edge of steps on your decking?
-Do you want to make a focal point of a certain feature like a particular shrub or tree?
-Do you need coloured lighting to highlight certain areas?
-What will the play of light and shadow look like and can this be harnessed to create more of a show stopping area?
2. What level will light be placed?
In addition to deciding where you want to place light in terms of sectors of your garden or terrace, consider at which height the light will sit too. Low level lighting for example runs close to the ground, meaning it can make a focal point of pathways. Lighting placed higher up can cast a wider beam of arc, so may be better above an outdoor dining table.
3. Should lights be concealed?
As with choosing a new kitchen or new colour scheme for your house, adding lighting to your garden gives you the freedom to create the style and aesthetic you prefer. You’ll need to think what that is. If you want to create a very modern, minimalist space outside, consider how and where lights can be concealed. If you want to conceal them you’ll need to think how they can be incorporated or camouflaged.
4. Wired or solar?
The power source for your lighting is obviously a big consideration. Do you want to have wired lights (which could mean finding an electrician) or can you find solar lights which give you the style and illumination you’re looking for? If you want more flexibility such as the option to dim lighting, you’ll also need to factor that into your garden lighting selections.
5. Will lighting impact on garden maintenance?
Your chosen garden lighting needs to be practical so you’ll have to consider how it will impact on the use and maintenance of your garden too. Could wires potentially be accidentally snipped for example when you’re pruning trees or mowing the lawn?
Created by Steve Ellwood on 2nd March, 2020
Qualified as an Electrician, founder of BLT Direct