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Your outdoor living space plays a significant role in how you enjoy your property, day and night. It's why your garden isn't simply a plant-filled, grassy expanse that disappears at night, but an extension of your home. With this in mind, a crucial consideration when thinking of a new lighting scheme for your home is how you illuminate your garden.

Whether it be highlighting different sections of your yard, providing security throughout your property, or spotlighting particular features, your garden lighting can dramatically affect the presentation of your home and add extreme interest to areas that would otherwise be concealed in darkness.

Benefits of Garden Lighting

Beyond the obvious use in illuminating your garden at night, garden lighting is extremely useful in many other ways.


Above all else, an effective garden lighting design greatly enhances the appearance of your home. When positioned correctly, the right garden lighting system can highlight the features of your outdoor living space and create an area that's not only beautiful but also practical.


The best garden lights enable you to use your outdoor space long after the sun has gone down. Bright garden lights add visibility to areas otherwise unusable in the dark, providing your patio, porch, or paved area with illumination that enables you to dine outdoors or simply enjoy the beauty of your garden at night.


Surrounding the exterior of your home in light can provide a veil of security for your property. Combined with a robust garden lighting system, you can bathe the perimeters of your land in a sea of light that will discourage most unwanted visitors. Designed the right way, your garden border lights can help secure your home while simultaneously projecting the appearance of mood lighting.


Using modern garden lights to highlight potential danger areas in your outdoor living space can protect your family and guests from falls. Lighting up stairs, pools, paths, and tripping hazards is an important and highly beneficial use of garden lighting.

Beyond these benefits, different garden night lights create other lighting effects, and it can help to know some of the common lighting techniques you can utilise to showcase your outdoor space in the best way possible.

Outdoor Garden Lighting Techniques

There's a wide range of stunning applications for garden lighting systems, each with its own specific purpose and intended effect. The right type of light in the right setting can significantly enhance the look and feel of your outdoor space, create drama, add a subtle highlight or act as a safety feature after the natural light of the day has faded.

When looking to enhance your outdoor space, there are several lighting techniques that you can use to evoke certain feelings or inspire particular moods.


The uplighting technique is used to illuminate walls, trees, fountains, and other objects from below. Placing a ground-mounted light fixture beneath the object, the light beam is directed upwards to capture the shape and beauty of the object.


Moonlighting is created by placing light fixtures in the branches of tall trees and aiming them downwards. The resulting effect will simulate the light of the moon shining between the leaves of the tree, casting interesting patterns on pathways and paved areas.


To create this effect, a light fixture capable of producing a wide beam is placed between the feature i.e. a plant or sculpture and a solid structure i.e. a wall. By lighting the wall and not the feature directly, you produce a silhouette of the feature, which introduces a sense of drama to your outdoor space.


The shadowing effect involves completely enveloping a feature, such as a tree or a statue, in bright light, so it casts a shadow on a wall or fence. Along with the silhouetting effect, this can add quite a dramatic flair to your garden, especially if the feature is affected by wind.


Extremely effective in highlighting interesting stonework or textured walls, a wide-spread light fixture is placed directly beside the wall with the light beam focused upwards. This creates shadows where the natural texture of the wall interrupts and plays with the light.


When you want to highlight a particular feature in your garden, you can use spotlighting to create a focal point. You can light up features such as pergolas, statues, or flags using this technique.


Similar to the moonlighting technique, downlighting highlights the area below the light fixture, wherever you may place them. For example, you can fix lights under eaves, on garden walls, or in trees to illuminate objects or areas underneath. Make sure to hang the lights just high enough to encircle the feature with light.


This effect works best on still bodies of water, for instance, a pond or pool. Lighting plants or trees on one side of the water creates a reflection on the surface when viewed from the other side. It's a simple way to increase light and imagery in your outdoor area without losing physical space.

Modern Garden Lighting Ideas

If you have the space and your budget is flexible, there are boundless ways to be creative in lighting your outdoor living space.

From landscape lighting ideas for large gardens to backyard garden lighting ideas for a modest courtyard, transforming your outdoor space is made incredibly easy with a landscape lighting design specialist.

Along with their design expertise, a lighting designer also incorporates thoughtful, environmental considerations into your garden lighting scheme, developing a system that not only provides you with the appearance and feel that you’re seeking, but factors in the surrounding habitat to ensure your new garden lighting design will not cause a negative impact.

With so many incredible garden lighting options available, you can create just about any look or focus on any area of your garden that suits your needs. Here are a few simple ideas that may assist in your design planning.

Architectural focus

This garden lighting solution is designed to highlight your outdoor buildings and the exterior of your home. It would work well with many garden lighting techniques, offering many choices in angles, features, textures, and structural components that you can highlight.

Path driven

This idea focuses heavily on the illumination of your pathways and stairs. You have the power to lead guests along pre-lit paths and create dramatic landscapes by drawing the eye (and the foot) along particular walkways or garden trails that may end in another feature of your garden.


This garden lighting idea is designed to highlight the specific features of your garden, for examples, statues, fountains or sculptures. Focusing heavily on pulling attention to particular areas of your property, it effectively creates a dramatic or bold statement and can also incorporate subtly lit paths leading to the feature pieces. This idea is also a fantastic way to showcase your garden while expressing your creative, flamboyant side.

Garden border lights

This lighting solution illuminates your garden's borders, following the shape and flow of your landscaping design. A great way to highlight hedges, shrubs, and the boundary of your property, this idea creates a sense of enclosure and safety by offering a subtle but comforting glow to your fence line.


Safety-first lighting solutions create points of light where caution is required or where additional lighting may be useful, such as highlighting steps and illuminating doorways. Functional lighting can also provide lighting in outdoor areas that may otherwise not be utilised at night, like illuminating your outdoor dining space, or pool area.

Creating Your Garden Lighting Design

Your garden lighting project is hugely personal and reflects your vision for your outdoor living space. Depending on the ambience you're trying to create, the lighting techniques used will vary significantly according to your lighting goals.

There are many considerations to factor into your lighting design:

  • What is the purpose of your lighting design?
  • Where does your property require outdoor lighting?
  • What do you want illuminated in your outdoor space?
  • Will the garden lights be used to highlight special features?
  • Will the outdoor lighting system also function as security?

The size of your outdoor space can also impact the different types of lighting schemes that may be suitable.

When contemplating the most effective and complementary way to light your property, engaging the services of a professional lighting designer can be incredibly beneficial. A lighting design specialist can provide you with inspiration and expert advice to help you develop and realise your dream outdoor space.

Hampshire Light has experts in landscape lighting design who will work closely with you to provide you with a tailored solution to suit your requirements. Receive suggestions on creative directions for your space and encouragement to be as flamboyant, subtle, or traditional as you wish by getting a bespoke lighting system that ticks all the right boxes.

Contact us today and discuss your project with one of our expert garden lighting design specialists.

Want to learn more about lighting design?

Download our lighting design brochure
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