There’s nothing quite as disappointing as putting your heart and soul into a gardening project, only to come out wishing you hadn’t bothered in the first place. Or if not quite so extreme, wondering why exactly things don’t look even 5% as spectacular as you had expected.
Nevertheless, this is a relatively common occurrence when it comes to garden lighting – something that is often underestimated in terms of its complexities. The reason being that while the idea of lighting up a garden seems quite simple on the surface, getting it done as the professionals do it can be quite to the contrary. Quite simply, it really isn’t a case of investing in a bunch of bollard lights, throwing them all over the place randomly and expecting them to look fantastic.
On the plus side, by acknowledging and accepting exactly where you went wrong, it becomes much easier to correct your mistakes and avoid making them a second time. So with this in mind, what follows is a brief overview of five possible reasons why your garden isn’t perhaps shining as brightly as you’d like it to be:
1 – You’ve Overlooked the Layers
First of all, getting it right with garden lighting means remembering that there are actually three layers of garden lighting to consider, which are as follows:
- Overall lighting. This is the kind of lighting used for general and practical illumination.
- Task lighting. This is the kind of lighting that has a specific purpose, which could be to illuminate a path or a driveway.
- Accent lighting. This third kind of lighting is used for the purposes of highlighting points of focus or interest in your garden, or anything of a purely decorative nature.
It’s of crucial importance to be mindful of all three of these layers, for the simple reason that if you don’t, the result will be unbalanced. It may be practical but unattractive, just as it may be highly attractive but impractical. In all instances, the key lies in strategic balance.
2 – You Didn’t Plan Your Approach
Speaking of strategy, you cannot and will not achieve professional quality results if you do not have a full plan of action in mind, before getting started. This means taking the time to study your garden, consider your options, determine exactly what kind of result you want and work out exactly how to get it. Not only this, but it also means approaching your garden one small area at a time, rather than attempting to tackle the whole thing all in one go. Draw pictures, take photographs and gain inspiration from the million and one examples online of how to illuminate an outdoor living space like a professional.
3 – You Ignored Colours and Warmth
If you have found your newly illuminated garden looking somewhat sterile, cold and uninviting, it’s most probably because you have saturated it in nothing but cold white light. Don’t misconstrue – there are certain areas in the garden and outdoor features that look simply fantastic when illuminated with bright white light. However, there are others that look exponentially better when illuminated using different colours, tones and temperatures. Once again, if you are unsure as to what kinds of colours will have what kind of impact on the various areas of your garden you wish to illuminate, you need only check out a few examples online.
4 – You Chose Low-End Bulbs
Make no mistake about it – the quality of the bulbs you choose when lighting your garden will make an enormous difference. These days, there really is nothing to gain from investing in the lowest-grade bulbs on the market, which will only result in your outdoor living spaces looking like a floodlit tennis court at midnight. The reason being that incredibly high-quality, high-tech alternatives are now so reasonably priced that they make the only realistic option. Not only do they look better, but they are significantly safer and more cost effective to run at the same time.
5 – You Forgot About the Dimmers
Last but not least, to install a spectacular outdoor lighting system and not include dimmer switches would be a tragic waste to say the least. The reason being that there is absolutely nothing on the market that will give you more control over the overall ambience and atmosphere of your outdoor living spaces than simple dimmer switches. And given the fact that they are practically given away these days, there really is no reason whatsoever not to include them in your outdoor lighting project.