Interesting Garden Lighting Ideas

Author : robert eliot | Published On : 25 Nov 2021

One of my favourite pastimes is sitting in the garden idly and watching nature change its colour as day meets night in the twilight. It never stops to excite me as I watch the shadows evolve and the sunsets gradually.

You can create the same effect in your garden with careful planning of the lighting scheme and enjoy the exciting play of light and shadow in your garden.

Functions of Garden lighting

Garden lighting has four main functions:

  • Provide safe movement around the garden.
  • To discourage trespassers
  • To enable the use of the garden after dark.
  • To add an aesthetic value to the landscape.

Main types of Garden lighting effects

Five main lighting effects help to light up your garden aesthetically are:


  1. Uplighting- The focus of the light is on an object from a low fixed point to draw attention to it. The object can be a tree, a shrub, or any architectural structure in the garden.
  2. Downlighting or Moonlighting- This type of lighting illuminates the general areas and takes care of the safety, security, and aesthetic functions.
  3. Spotlighting- This type of lighting directs a strong, narrowly focused beam of light towards statues, sculptures, nameplates, or specific landscape features.
  4. Path lighting- These low fixture lightings are directed downward and outward and are used along paths, stairs or anywhere that needs safe night access.
  5. Backlighting- This type of lighting generates an aura around any object by directing the light onto the back of it. The object blocks most of the light and some light peeks out from the borders giving a glowing effect.

Here are some exterior lighting ideas for you to contemplate.

  • Keep the natural ambience - Some light fixtures easily blend with nature like tree floor lamps. The spike lights can be moved and arranged according to the changing seasons and plant growth.
  • Use recessed lighting for steps or pathways - Recessed lights along the side walls create subdued lighting that provides enough light to navigate around yet gives an aesthetically designed ambience. The Reina or Lucca External recessed lighting solutions from John Cullen are a treat to the eyes.
  • Light up the area around a water body with Reed like floor lamps. Alternatively, you can use a simple underwater spotlight or add fibers at random at the base. The movement of the water will refract the lights and give a magical effect to the water.
  • Use ground level lights to create a silhouette of trees, plants, and other architectural features to highlight their forms.
  • Fairy lights provide an easy option to light up the canopies of trees or bushes. They are flexible and can be used in multiples.
  • Tuck away lights throughout the garden between shrubs and bushes to give an effect of subtle lighting to the garden.
  • Give your personal touch to your garden. Put some candles in brass or clay potswith holes and place them near the waterbody.