Mark out zones and areas in your patio and garden by placing just a few lights far apart. This will give you just an idea of where the different areas of your space begin and end, while helping to direct people to specific areas without much exaggeration.
There are many different styles and many different types of lighting to choose from. Using too much of one particular thing can make your space look bland. With so many different choices, play around with at least three or four different types of lighting to give your garden some variety and unusual texture.
Another cool idea to play with is different colored lighting. LED bulb comes in a variety of colors, but you can also use colored glass shades or colored paper to give the light different hues.
Although it is counterintuitive, pathways should not be lit like a Christmas tree or an airplane runway. Lighting along walkways should be minimal, just enough to indicate to the walker how the path is progressing. The fewer lights the better, and placement is extremely important, so test several options before betting on one layout.
If you don’t like the path lighting, another option is to eliminate it altogether. Instead of lighting the path, try lighting a few shrubs and trees along the path. There is no need to light every square inch of your property. The key to good outdoor design is to let the space decide where light is needed and never force a (bad) idea.
One of the coolest ways to light up your property is to do it in a way that guests can’t figure out how you’re doing it. Moonlighting is achieved by placing lights high in the trees to give the effect of true light from our natural satellite, while hiding the light fixtures.
Lighting the aforementioned “moon” also helps in seating areas where there are no harsh bulbs at eye level to distract party guests. Especially in areas where people can gather, this light will create a more intimate, cozy environment, whereas direct lighting can make your guests feel like they’re on stage instead of relaxing outdoors.
Moonlighting creates a cool ambiance outdoors, but can play a real role in the background when it coordinates with spotlights and other bright lighting. Highlight any areas where you choose to use cool lighting with the warmth of a set of table candles placed in high traffic areas. Although candles should be used as a temporary lighting solution, their flames add a certain intimate texture to your garden and patio. And if you really like the look of candles, electric versions are available for a more permanent look.
A lot is up to you when it comes to your garden lighting setup, but a few things are non-negotiable – and one of them is safety. To ensure the safety of your home’s residents and visitors as they traverse your garden, be sure to light all dangerous areas. This includes walkways and driveways (especially stairs), pool edges, borders of flowerbeds and other garden plots, and any areas of your yard that are steep or abruptly sloping.
We mentioned lighting the edges of pools and ponds for safety reasons, but that’s not the end of the road when it comes to lighting water features in your garden. Placing a spotlight under a flowing fountain will create a dancing illumination that punctuates the garden wall.