Being a homeowner is delightfully satisfying, especially if it is something that you have been working towards for a while: but it can be a pricey business too. It can be all too easy for things like decorating that last bedroom or sorting out the garden to be left for a while until finances allow some money to be spent on them. But if you are looking at garden lighting ideas to enable you to enjoy your garden for even longer in spring and summer, you do not have to invest a considerable sum to have a fantastically welcoming and well lit-up garden.
Why should you light up your garden?
Gardens tend to be used mainly in the daytime, and usually only when it is warm enough to sit or play outside. But this is a huge shame and can mean that a great deal of your home is drastically under-utilised. The addition of a patio heater for warmth and lighting in various parts of your garden can really make a difference. You can light up your garden to make it look pretty, spotlighting your favourite flowers, lighting up your shed or summer house so it can be used after dark and simply to make your path clearly visible and therefore safer to walk down. We will be exploring top garden lighting ideas and to help you light beautifully and use the right exterior light fittings for your needs.
First things first – be safe!
Whatever work you decide to do on or in your garden should always have one overriding proviso; that you or whoever is working on the project is completely safe at all times. Ensure you know how to use appliances and tools, be confident that you can achieve the result you want to, and give serious consideration to employing a professional to do any jobs that you are not trained to do. Having said that, let us take a look at how to implement some garden lighting ideas.
Powering your garden lighting
What will actually power your garden lights? This is perhaps your first decision to make, and it should be considered carefully as there are four different powering approaches, battery, solar, mains wired and outdoor plug.
Solar-powered lights are great as they can be put in place and left to their own devices, gathering a charge from the sun during the day and discharging it after dark. Solar technology ranges from the very cheap and cheerful, which will give you a moderate amount of light for a few hours after dark. These lights are not very reliable and may not work effectively for a long time but they can work well for a short period and are perfect for an impromptu event.
Higher-end solar lights are available too, and the better the quality, the better the results and the brighter the light you will enjoy. The beauty of solar is that you can often put them in place and then leave them alone to harness the sunlight and give you nightly lighting. Some solar lights do come with an on-off switch which means that you can save the lights for those evenings that you need extra lighting, leaving them off the rest of the time.
Combining solar lights with LED bulbs can provide you with a bright and cheerful solar-powered light that will last for many hours after dark.
Always use a professional electrician for light installation
When it comes to any kind of electrical work, you must always hire a professional to make sure that all of the required health and safety standards are met. Here at Checkatrade, we pride ourselves on enabling customers to get into contact with reputable, reliable tradespeople. Take a look here to find an electrician local to your area.
Also called ‘plug and play’, a term borrowed from the computer and gaming world, having your outside lights run off the mains is an excellent way to ensure steady lighting that will last as long as required. You will need an external extension to safely use your mains electricity outside – these can be found at most hardware shops (such as those that also stock products perfect for garden lighting ideas! The downside with this sort of lighting is simply one of running wires across the garden – the cables can snag underfoot or look unsightly – but this is often easily sorted by running the wires along fences or under the edge of the decking to keep it neatly out of sight.
Installing an outdoor plug socket will come in handy for so much more than just your garden lighting at night time: an external plug can be used to power lawn-mowers, hedge trimmers, leaf-blowers, an electric pump for a paddling pool and so much more. Once it is in place, you will soon wonder how you ever managed without it! An outdoor plug is sturdy and weather-proof and must be correctly installed so it is compliant with council bylaws and wider electrical safety legislation. A big advantage of installing an outdoor plug socket is that it comes with an RCD (residual current device) that will protect users from any chance of serious electric shocks.
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Exterior Fairy Lights
Fairy lights are a wonderful addition to your exterior space that can be temporary or permanent fixtures. Fairy lights come in warm variants, although some opt for neon colours to light up there garden.
Garden Path Lighting Ideas
Garden paths should always be easily visible, to keep everyone safe and on the path. There are many lights for sale that are designed for the purpose: from illuminated stepping stones to flat, floor-mounted lights that can be fitted to the edge of decking, to paving slabs, or along the edge of paths.
Outdoor Solar Lighting Ideas
Solar-powered lights are great as they can be put in place and left to their own devices, gathering a charge from the sun during the day and discharging it after dark. Solar technology ranges from the very cheap and cheerful, which will give you a moderate amount of light for a few hours after dark.
Garage Path Lighting Ideas
Garage paths should always be easily visible, this keeps people aware of the potential oncoming vehicle and also lights the way in/out for the driver. Floor mounted lights and illuminated stepping stones can be used.
Some suggested garden lighting ideas
No matter whether you are using solar lights or LEDs or even traditional halogen bulbs, ensure that you use as many lights as you need to brighten up your garden without putting in so many lights that it hurts the eyes! It may take a little experimentation to get the layers of lighting just right for your garden, so do not be disappointed if it does not look perfect on the first or second time.
Garden shed lighting Ideas
Mounting a patio style light on your shed can give it the whimsical look of a Wendy house, giving it a lovely charm while brightening up your garden. Uplighters running around the base of the shed, or downlighters hidden in the eaves are also a great way to brighten up the outside of a shed without dazzling anyone. Inside a shed, a couple of old-fashioned lanterns powered by battery or electricity can create a welcoming light creating a cosy feel to the garden.
Garden fence lighting ideas
Enclosing your garden in threads of light is a lovely and unique look, being effective in any size garden. Thread strings of lights along the top or middle of your fence, or install standalone stake-style lights along the perimeter. Otherwise, use the fence itself as a mounting for individual lights.
Garden Path Lighting Ideas
Garden paths should always be easily visible, to keep everyone safe and on the path. There are many lights for sale that are designed for the purpose: from illuminated stepping stones to flat, floor-mounted lights that can be fitted to the edge of decking, to paving slabs, or along the edge of paths. Stake style lights can also be used here, with a row of lights to the side of the path keeping everyone on the straight and narrow.
So, as you can see, investing in unique garden lighting can really transform the living experience you have by making your garden usable at every time of day.
Looking for a local electrician to help you carry out any larger lighting projects? Take a look here to find an approved professional through Checkatrade.
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