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Why Do You Need Landscape Lighting?

Landscape garden lighting scene

Garden lighting design is an essential aspect of landscape design, providing functional and aesthetic lighting to your outdoor space. As experts in landscape gardening we understand the importance of garden lighting design and its impact on your garden’s overall look and feel. Let’s discuss the different types of garden lighting, factors to consider when designing, and offer tips and techniques to create an impressive garden lighting design.

Landscape lighting is essential for enhancing aesthetics, safety and security in outdoor spaces. It showcases architectural features and landscaping elements, while illuminating walkways and steps to prevent accidents, creating a visually appealing atmosphere.

With this in mind let’s explore in more detail.

Why Do You Need Landscape Lighting?

There are several reasons why you may need or want landscape lighting for your outside space.

  •       Improve the aesthetic appeal of your property by highlighting its best features, such as trees, plants, and architectural elements.
  •       Increase the safety and security of your property by illuminating pathways, steps, and entrances. This can help prevent accidents and deter intruders.
  •       Extend the use of your outdoor spaces by providing light for night-time activities such as outdoor dining, socializing, and relaxation.
  •       Add value to your property. According to research outdoor lighting is the second most desirable outdoor feature among homebuyers, following a patio or deck.


Types of Garden Lighting

There are various lighting techniques used within a garden landscape.  The following methods are arguably the most prevalent in outdoor spaces:

Highlighting is a type of landscape lighting that is used to draw attention to a particular feature, such as a statue or tree. This technique involves positioning a light at an angle in front of the feature to create a dramatic effect and enhance the object’s beauty.

Silhouetting: the technique of silhouetting involves positioning a light behind an object, such as a tree or shrub, to create a striking silhouette effect. This technique is often used to highlight the unique shape and form of a plant or object.

Shadowing is a lighting technique where shadow effect is created behind an object.  This could be a statue or wall, with the light source angled in front of it. This technique can create a dramatic effect and add depth to a landscape.

Washing is where a light is positioned at the base of a feature, typically as a wall or fence in order to produce a soft, diffused light that “washes” over the surface. This technique can create a warm and inviting atmosphere and is often used to illuminate large areas of the landscape.

Up-lighting is a way to make a feature, like a tree or statue, look more dramatic by putting a light at the base of it and pointing it upward. This technique can highlight the texture and form of the feature and create a striking visual impact.

Path lighting is a type of landscape lighting that is used to illuminate pathways and walkways for safety and convenience. This technique involves placing low-level lights along the edges of the path to create a subtle and inviting light that guides the way. Path lighting can also add a decorative element to the landscape and enhance its overall beauty.

What To Consider In Garden Lighting Design

When designing garden lighting, it is essential to consider the purpose of the garden, garden features, size, and energy efficiency. The garden’s purpose will determine the type of lighting needed, with functional lighting required for entertaining and ambient lighting for relaxation. Garden features such as water features, sculptures, or plants should be highlighted with accent lighting. Garden size will also affect the lighting design, with larger gardens requiring more fixtures.

The overall budget is also an important factor that will determine the type and scale of landscape lighting that can be used. Your garden designer will help plan the ideal lighting layout.

Is LED Better For Outdoor Lighting?

LED lighting has become so popular because the bulbs are extremely energy-efficient, durable, and environmentally sound. It’s an excellent choice, withstanding all sorts of harsh weather conditions.  When you compare to traditional incandescent bulbs, LED uses up to 80% less energy.  Over time this results in significant savings on your energy bill.

The lifespan of an LED lights bulb is typically 25,000 to 50,000 hours. This is up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, which reduces the need for frequent replacements and ultimately the cost.

How Do You Arrange Landscape Lights?

When arranging landscape lighting, it is essential to consider the lighting’s function and the features you wish to emphasise.

Lighting layout: Identify the areas of your property that you want to highlight, such as pathways, trees, or architectural features.

Choose the right fixtures: Select fixtures that are appropriate for the areas you want to illuminate. For example, use path lights to illuminate pathways and spotlights to highlight trees or architectural features.

Plan the layout: Sketch out a plan of the lighting layout, considering the size and shape of the area you want to illuminate.

Brightness and colour of the lights: Choose lights that provide the right amount of brightness, tone and colour temperature for the area you want to illuminate.

Testing: Once the lights have been installed, test them at night to ensure they are arranged correctly, providing the desired effect. Adjust the position of the lights as necessary.

Overall, landscape lighting can enhance the beauty and functionality of your outdoor spaces, and with proper arrangement, it can create a welcoming and inviting atmosphere. However, do keep in mind that over-lighting can have the opposite effect and make your property look a bit garish and uninviting.

When arranging landscape lights, less is often more. Focus on highlighting the key features of your property and creating a balanced and cohesive lighting scheme that complements your landscaping design.

Additionally, consider the practical aspects of landscape lighting, such as the placement of electrical outlets and the need for timers or dimmers to adjust the lighting levels as needed.


In conclusion, garden lighting design is a crucial aspect of landscape design, providing functional and aesthetic lighting to your outdoor space. When designing garden lighting, it is essential to consider the garden’s purpose, features, size, energy efficiency, and budget. Layered lighting, choosing the right bulbs, creating focal points, highlighting garden features, and using timers and sensors are all essential techniques to create an impressive garden lighting design.