In your home, you use lighting to transform a room and create a certain kind of atmosphere.
If you’re having a romantic dinner for two, you might use a dimmer switch to turn down the main light to create a more intimate ambience. And you use lamps to light and highlight sections of a room. In some circumstances, you may even choose to use candlelight for that period look.
It makes sense use lighting this way in the home, but what about outside, in your garden?
Summer is the perfect time to take your indoor habits – relaxing, reading, eating – outside. Especially at the end of a scorching hot working day when you were stuck inside your workplace for eight hours or more.
But there are one or two little issues you might need to overcome to turn your nighttime garden into an inviting space. Where you are happy to spend time with your friends and family.
Top of the list comes lighting.
When the sun finally sets, and the snacks and nibbles are going down a treat, without decent lighting, you’ll be sitting in darkness.
Let’s look at some of the ways you can use lighting to transform a dark outdoor space into somewhere magical and inviting. And the good news is, you don’t need to run power to your garden for any of these ideas.
Use solar-powered string fairy lights to illuminate dark seating areas or cosy corners
Solar-powered fairy lights come into their own when the sun goes down.
You can wrap them around the branches of a tree, a pergola, a shed or drape them from your fence. The warm light they emit is perfect for creating a cosy atmosphere on a hot summer night and illuminating seating areas.
They’re available in a range of colours and styles. And some have different modes so you can make the lights flash, twinkle, wave, chase or fade in and out. Perfect if you want to adjust the settings depending on your mood or the occasion.
When you first install solar-powered fairy lights, you’ll need to allow 6-8 hours for the sun to generate the power needed to light the lights.
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Hang lanterns from your garden shed
Outdoor lanterns come in a wide range of styles, colours and sizes so you’re bound to find some that suit your taste and match your garden. You can buy them as individual units or a collection of multiple units on a length of wire, usually called string lanterns.
Some solar-powered lanterns have a dancing flame inside to mimic the actions of a real flame. But if you want the real thing, find a lantern that accepts candles and buy yourself some long-lasting tealights.
Hanging the lanterns from your shed helps spread the light a little further around your garden. Alternatively, look for a wall-mounted lantern that can be permanently attached to the shed.
The string lanterns below are much smaller than they look in the photo so always check the size before you buy!
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Light up a corner, path or focal point with an LED rope light
Over the past few years, rope lights have started appearing more often in various rooms around the home. The strips of light add a little something extra to our homes and can be seen at the bottom of kitchen cupboards, behind shelves and along the edges of stairs. They’re subtle and effective.
Why not take the same principle outdoors and use them in the garden to highlight a focal point, path or brighten up a dull corner?
They look amazing on dark nights especially during parties, barbecues and special celebrations when there’s music pumping and people are all having a good time.
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Use a flickering candle lantern to replicate candlelight
Do you enjoy candlelight? Maybe you’d like some candles to illuminate your eating or seating area but you know there’s no point lighting any because the wind will blow them out in no time. If this sounds familiar, why not try the next best option – a flickering candle lantern.
They look wonderful in any setting and you can take them indoors during the winter months to use in any room.
Use solar lights to highlight areas of your garden
Solar lights, like the ones in this photo, are possibly the easiest kind of outdoor lighting to install. All you do is bury the bottom part of the spike into the ground and leave the sun to charge them during the daytime.
They’re simple and effective, functional and decorative. And because they’re solar-powered, they’re energy-efficient.
Use solar-powered deck lights to illuminate decking areas
If you’ve got a decked area in your garden that could so with an uplift, why not try placing some of these solar-powered deck lights along its edges? They’re easy to fit and they come with an on/off switch so you can power-down when the evening is over and you head indoors again. They’re simple and effective and add a touch of elegance.