There are several tips when it comes to landscape lighting for gardens: ensuring flexibility when designing a garden's landscape lighting, ensuring the lighting of walking paths and steps, and selecting appropriate lighting designs for each area of a garden to bring out the right lighting effects. See our detailed overview of each tip below.
Tips to Designing Your Garden Landscape Lighting Plan
1. FLEXIBILITY IS IMPORTANT TO DESIGNING A GARDEN'S LANDSCAPE LIGHTING
A flower garden's landscape lighting design should be flexible as flowers are often not permanent, and eventually, they may need to be moved. Additionally, different flowers have different blossom magnitudes, meaning you may need to trim them from time to time. Therefore, it is important to keep flexibility in mind when designing a flower garden's landscape lighting so that the design can be easily and effortlessly moved from one place to another as needed.
In addition, the use of LED lights in the design of garden landscape lighting is gaining more attention not only because of the light's low power consumption, but also because of the flexibility and durability that comes with the usage of LED lights.
Seasonal maintenance is needed to make sure your lighting effects are working well year round. Trim your plant material or add risers and extensions to your fixtures during overgrowth.
2. ENSURE THE LIGHTING OF WALKING PATHS AND STEPS
Placing path lights near flowers and plants adds texture and beauty to a garden's landscape at night. However, it is important to avoid a “runway” effect. To do this, path lights should gently nudge people towards paths and steps instead of appearing in a “soldier-like” line among the garden landscape. This ensures safety while still providing the desired aesthetic of the garden landscape.
To produce a natural lighting effect like that of the sun or moon, downlighting of a garden's area along walking paths and steps should be done. The natural lighting effect of downlighting can be achieved by installing downlights on a neighboring tree, 20-35 feet from the ground to make the light mimic how the moon's light falls on the earth from the sky. The lighting fixtures could either be concealed using garden vegetation or low-voltage garden landscape lighting that resembles lamp posts. Additionally, the lights should be shielded to reduce glare.
The lighting of a garden area along steps should be specifically designed in such a way that is it hidden under the rim of each step to ensure the elevating part of the step is adequately illuminated. The lights should also be placed in a way that shows off the garden to ensure the steps are not too bright. Using a diagonal pattern to set up step lights makes steps appear unique because light will shine directly on the location of each step's landing.
To sum up, the illumination of walking paths and steps is important because it makes it safer for people to pass through such areas at night. This type of illumination also scares off any potential trespassers that may have the intention of intruding into the premises.
3. SELECT THE APPROPRIATE LIGHTING DESIGN FOR EACH AREA OF A GARDEN
Lighting should come from the same direction as natural light, i.e. from above, and the higher the height, the better. For this purpose, low-voltage lighting should be used with a strict restriction on light bulbs that exceed 100 watts halogen equivalent.
LED landscape lights should be considered in lighting design because they are known to produce a lot of light while remaining efficient on power consumption. In addition, smaller lights should be used when lighting large flower beds or other planting areas of a garden instead of a single large unit. Doing this creates overlapping pools of light that are free of glare in the center as can happen with a single large lighting unit.
The Illumination of bare trees should be avoided and light-colored areas such as walls and fences should be illuminated because their reflective surfaces will extend illumination by reflecting and diffusing light over a wider area.
Finally, areas that are to be illuminated using floodlights should have the light source placed between 15 ft and 25 ft above ground level. Additionally, the local lighting of specific objects can incorporate different types of bulbs to bring out the right effects. When large beds of flowers are to be illuminated using floodlights, touches of accent lighting should be added in order to create an interesting scene when the flowers bloom.
Regardless of where you are in the design process, whether the garden is in full bloom or you’re sitting down to plan everything out, these top tips will ensure you strategically use low voltage landscape lighting in your garden design process.