Outdoor Spaces

Lighting means you can enjoy your garden during the day and again at night – twice as much fun. The use of lighting in a garden space is multi-purpose:

  • To see when it is dark
  • To illuminate a special feature, for example a specimen tree, sculpture or a set of steps.
  • Add mood and atmosphere to the garden when it is dark.

We spend the majority of time looking at the garden from inside out. The installation of large patio windows giving fantastic views of the garden can also be a big black picture during the longer nights of winter. Lighting, even just a small amount, adds interest to this big black scene.


The most common use of lighting in a garden is functional. You may have a drive, paths, steps or ponds-water features that need to be highlighted from a safety point of view. Function doesn’t always have to override aesthetic though and by using a creative mix of positioning, angles and different strength and sizes of lights it is possible to build up layers creating depth to the views

Functional lighting in this garden illuminates the house and pathways
Functional lighting in Richmond upon Thames

Atmosphere & Placement

Lights can create atmosphere and enhance shadow and aspects to create interest. With the developing seasons and changing elements the effect is constantly evolving.  The use of swing lights in the ground or hanging lights from trees or fences that move in the breeze can create an enchanting effect. Lighting can be used to create dramatic silhouettes, to enhance focal features like statues and unusual garden structures and to highlight the shapes and features of trees.

Temperature & Colour

Lighting can also influence the physiological experience of a space. Cosy atmospheres can be created using flame effects or glowing lanterns. The use of warm reds, yellows, and orange-coloured lights can make a space feel welcoming.  Conversely, a more cooling effect can be created using blues and brighter white lights.

Whatever your intended use of the garden – how you use and implement lighting can drastically change the experience. If you have the luxury of a blank canvas, then planning any lighting at the early stages is vital to the success of the project. Take time to consider the different zones and how they will integrate with each other and how they will be switched. What is the primary functional requirement of each zone? Can you play around with how they interact- how you move from one zone to another. If planning your garden from scratch, then planning where your cabling will go and where to place the conduit is a fairly straightforward process. If you don’t think your budget can stretch to include lighting at the initial stages a useful tip is to discuss having cabling and conduit installed which is relatively inexpensive. This can be connected at any time in the future.

If your garden is already fully established and you don’t want to start digging up beds and lawns to lay cabling there are alternative options on the market. There are systems available that can be retrofitted which come with lights, cabling, transformers. They are a completely comprehensive system and don’t require the expense of an electrician to implement them. You simply plug a transformer into an outside electrical source and each light plugs directly into the cabling. If you change your mind on positioning, then you can remove and reposition the lights as many times as you wish. The cabling is low voltage and doesn’t need to be buried but can be tacked along the bottom of borders or walls out of the way.

Garden lighting for an entire house

For all your garden lighting advice contact our design team today to discuss how we can help you transform your outdoor space, so that you can enjoy your garden whatever the time of year or season.

Do you have a similar project you’d like us to work on? Please contact us.

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Please contact us if you would like us to look at transforming your outdoor space.

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