There’s an art to outdoor lighting.
Get it right and you’ll create a stunning garden space where light and shadow work seamlessly to elevate your Mornington Peninsula property. Get it wrong and you’ll have an expensive local eyesore that keeps you up at night (and guarantees costly power bills).
When it comes to your garden lights, the 4 most crucial considerations are:
At Foliage Landscaping we’ve got over 25 years’ experience working in Victorian homes, so we know what it takes to turn a backyard blind spot into an inviting after-dark space.
Here are our 6 bright garden lighting tips to keep the fun going once the sun goes down.
Use task lighting to control brightness
All lights are not created equal.
A uniform approach to lighting will leave your paths well lit, but your alfresco entertaining area overwhelmingly bright. Task lighting illuminates each area of your outdoor space in a unique and well thought out way.
For example, if you’re considering lights for an outdoor BBQ station or outdoor kitchen, you’ll need ample light to cook and prepare food. Compare this to an outdoor dining table or entertaining area where you’ll need a softer, more ambient light. The trick to a well-lit outdoor space is directing light where you need it - but nowhere else. Think string lights, hanging lights, and wall lights for accent lighting, rather than direct illumination.
Source: Gardens at Night
Subtle light is the secret to entertaining
No one wants to sit down for dinner with a spotlight in their face. Outdoor lighting should be subtle and inviting for spaces where you’ll be eating, socialisingor relaxing.
You can create atmosphere and interest through indirect lighting, rather than illuminating your outdoor entertainment area in harsh light. For example, as outdoor lighting styles evolve, it’s common to see Mornington Peninsula homes embrace pendants, outdoor lamps or LED strip lighting to add a subtle glow.
As a bonus tip, consider adding a dimmer for full control over your outdoor atmosphere. You’ll be able to keep the lights up while cooking food on the BBQ, then dim the lights for a soothing and relaxing meal.
Follow a ‘safety first’ mantra
Outdoor lighting can help keep you (and your family) safe from harm by lighting up paths and walkways. No matter how well you know your backyard, moving around at night can easily lead to a twisted ankle or nasty fall.
Areas in your garden that become safer with lighting include:
- Retaining Walls
When lighting up a path it’s best to keep things simple. You only need enough light to guide you safely, not the type of light that turns night into day. Pathway lighting with 300 to 400 lumens (lumen = how much visible light you can see) will give you ample visibility without blinding you.
Outdoor lights installed for safety reasons can also help you get more out of your home’s utility areas. If you enjoy cooking outside during the warmer summer months, or spending time in the pool as the sunsets, safety lights make sure you move from each area of your home safely.
Source: Gardens at Night
Enhance garden focal points
Who says your Mornington Peninsula garden should only offer daytime enjoyment?
You can elevate your garden’s best features through lights that enhance and emphasise unique focal points. This could be used to elevate a natural feature, like a tree, through garden spike lights. Or, a man-made feature, like a backyard fire pit, brought to life with overhead string lighting. Outdoor lighting adds depth and harmony to a garden, turning your space into a work of art.
By creating focal points, you’ll have the perfect way to enjoy your home by night and day. Instead of waiting for the sun to rise, garden lights elevate individual features and show off areas that would otherwise be invisible at night. As a result, your garden becomes a living canvas, and you get twice the enjoyment.
Make security a priority
Think about garden lights and you probably picture a well lit alfresco entertainment area full of family and friends, or sitting under the stars with a glass of wine in hand - but outdoor lights help secure your home too.
Keeping each access point to your home well lit will deter possible thieves. Garages should also be well lit with a lantern on each side of your garage door, or a single fixture above, able to illuminate the space. For added peace of mind, motion-sensor lights provide protection when needed, keeping light pollution in your yard to a minimum. Using Passive Infrared (PIR) sensors these lights are activated by movement, triggering 300 lumens of light to deter possible intruders.
Fingers crossed you’ll never need your garden lights to keep your home safe, but it doesn’t hurt to add an extra, eye-catching, layer of protection.
Add drama to water features
A water feature is typically a focal point of your yard, so you want to draw attention as much as possible - even when the sun goes down.
When it comes to lighting a water feature, less is more. Overloading your yard with lights can create a chaotic and scrambled look. Thankfully, there are a range of lights suited to water features so you’ll never be short on creative options.
Each of these flexible lighting choices allow you to angle light where you want. This can create depth with delicate shadow play, or turn the water’s surface into a living canvas with a stunning reflective ripple effect. Positioning is key, so take the time to find your ideal lighting spot - or contact an experienced local landscape design team - to avoid any glare or irritating light pollution.
Striking outdoor lighting solutions
Unlike lighting inside your home, garden lighting has to stand up the Mornington Peninsula elements - from icy winters to harsh heat. All while looking stylish and keeping your space brightly lit and safe.
Lighting that makes the outdoors just as appealing as the indoors can transform your lifestyle. Instead of heading inside when the sun sets, you’re able to relax with a glass of wine, cook food and enjoy a meal outside, or just linger in the evening knowing your outdoor space is safe, secure and designed to make your home a more enjoyable place.
Looking for help with your outdoor lighting? Call us for expert advice today.