There is a very large and important difference between illuminating the garden for the sake of visibility and lighting a garden to make eating spectacularly beautiful. This is perhaps best illustrated in the way in which some bathe their gardens in the ultra bright light from a single floodlight while others meticulously install lighting features across the whole yard to create something of a masterpiece. The former is undoubtedly more visible, but it is the latter that is the most breathtaking.
All of the above, therefore, leads to the obvious question which is that of what the average homeowner can and should do if planning to go about a bit of DIY lighting in their own garden? It often has a tendency to look rather complicated and the kind of job restricted to the pros, but there are in fact various ways and means by which pretty much anyone can transform their garden into something quite amazing.
So with this in mind, here’s a quick look at a few essential tips from the experts at www.thelightyard.co.uk when it comes to getting the most out of your garden and indeed the lighting you install:
First of all, it is a good idea to immediately forget about the garden as a whole and to begin thinking of its primary features and most attractive features as separate entities. You may for example have certain plants or trees that you would consider to be the centrepiece of the garden or perhaps one specific area in which it is more pleasant to sit and relax than any other. When and where this is the case, focus your efforts on these features as during the hours of darkness, the way they are illuminated will make them stand out even more than they do during the daytime. Trees look bigger, plants look more intricate and focus features in general really pop out.
If it is not simply visibility you are going for, think about the mood and atmosphere you would like to create. For example, if you want the garden to come across as some kind of year round wonderland you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to the various multicolour lights and chain lights on the market right now. If on the other hand you are looking for an effect that is cosier, refined and understated, you’ll of course be out for less colourful and vibrant lighting and probably less of it at the same time. Rather than just going hell for leather with no real plan, it is a much better idea to know in advance what kind of atmosphere and mood you would like to create at your garden.
It’s the underlying point that punctuates every tip and guideline given here, but it is nonetheless of crucial importance to acknowledge the fact that keeping things restrained is of the utmost importance. The moment anything is a little too bright and the lights begin to filter into an area that you wouldn’t choose as a primary spot to illuminate, the whole thing begins to lose its charm. When you are going about your plan, consider splitting the garden into a number of separate zones and focusing on one at a time with a unique plan for each.
If you are looking to create a genuinely mesmerizing effect with your garden lighting you could always try and pull off the trick of keeping the actual source of light as well hidden as possible. This is of course often easier said than done and isn’t always practical, but if you can light up any features in your garden without the light source itself being visible, the effect is intensified many times over. In any and all such instances, however, it is important to try and minimise or eliminate glare by ensuring the lighting sources are not pointed directly at anywhere those in the garden may choose to sit.
Last but not least, your garden gives you a unique opportunity to play with shadows and silhouettes the likes of which do not appear anywhere else around the home. There is nothing quite as striking as a garden lighting source which either projects a dramatic shadow on another surface or one that is obscured by an object which in turn creates an imposing dark silhouette. Suffice to say this isn’t an easy one to pull off but is by far one of the most enjoyable to play with – simply take your lighting sources, experiment with shadows or silhouettes across the garden and see how they look both up close and from a distance.