Love your garden with stylish outdoor lighting
One of the secrets to enjoying your garden all year round is well-planned outdoor lighting. In warmer months you can sit outside well into the evening, while in cooler seasons you can admire your garden while keeping cosy inside.
It’s essential that you check the IP (ingress protection) rating of the lights you buy. This refers to how well they’re protected from water and dirt. As a basic guide, look for a minimum rating of IP44 for standard garden lights such as path lights, uplights and tree lights. Deck lights and patio lights require a minimum of IP65. And ensure you have a minimum of IP68 when lighting ponds, water features or swimming pools.
As you think about the style of lights that’ll suit your space, plan for practicalities too. For example, where to position lights, how you’ll power them and how permanent you want them to be.
Electric lights need to be connected to the mains, so don’t forget to factor this in. They’re also a permanent fixture, so consider where to position them for maximum effect. All outdoor lighting that involves any sort of electrical installation must comply with UK safety regulations and standards, so use a qualified electrician to ensure your lights are safely set up.
If you are looking for something a little more flexible, environmentally friendly solar-powered lights don’t need professional installation or wiring. And you can move them around the garden to suit your changing lighting needs. Solar power is also one of the most affordable ways to light your garden, so bear this in mind if you’re on a budget. Battery-powered lights are another flexible solution. Again, they don’t need professional installation or wiring, so just move them to where you need light most.
And finally, don’t forget candles, which soften an outside space and make it feel warm and welcoming. Design note: pop candles into holders to prevent the wind from blowing them out.
A perfect outdoor lighting scheme must include practical lighting to make the space functional, safe and easy to navigate. Here’s some ideas to think about:
Wall lights: Looking for a way to prolong your garden party? Wall lights let you stay outside for longer. With so many styles to choose from, you’re sure to find one that suits the style of your home.
Deck lights: If you’re considering creating a dining space with decking, don’t forget to light it. The experts at Wickes have put together a handy how to install deck lighting video to get you started.
Spike lights: Super-simple to install – just drive spike lights into the ground. You’re then free to move them around as often as you like. Place them along pathways to avoid tripping in the dark, or group a few together to light up lounging and dining areas.
Now you’ve got the practical lights sorted, it’s time to think about decorative solutions. Read on for a few atmospheric lighting ideas:
String lights: Capture the party spirit with cheap and cheerful string lights. Available as solar or battery powered, they can be strung up across your garden, hung from fences or wrapped around trellises and trees. String lights come in a range of styles and colours, so shop around.
Spotlights: Use spotlights to draw attention to particular parts of your garden – for example, a favourite tree, a water feature or a pond.
Flameless candles: Dial up the drama without striking a match with flameless candles. Pop them inside glass lanterns of varying heights to make a fabulous centrepiece on your alfresco table.
Featured image: Katie of @faffingathome has made a fabulous focal point in her garden with an illuminated hot tub.
Want more? Find out how to turn your garden into an outdoor room Check out our blog here.