The South West London Gardener

How to Illuminate your London Garden with Some Garden Lights

garden lighting

Winter is coming, and that means the hours of sunlight we get to bask in our garden are quickly diminishing.

Now is the time of year when we get up and head to work in the dark and arrive back home in the dark.

While winter is a time of festivity and celebration, spare a thought for your garden. With not as much light, your outside space can soon be forgotten about.

But it doesn’t have to be.

There are plenty of options of ways to light up your garden that can have a lovely effect throughout winter and beyond.

At The Southwest London Gardener, we believe gardens should be enjoyed all year round, and that’s why we’ve created this guide to illuminating your London garden.

Let’s take a look.

Garden Lighting Ideas for Your Outside Space

When we say garden lighting, we don’t just mean setting up a light to brighten things up.

In fact, there are many ways you can use garden lights to really add character to your garden.

Here are three top ways you can add to your outside space with lighting.

  • Create a Feature – If you have a tree or structure in your garden such as a pergola, this is a perfect opportunity to wrap some lights around it and really turn it into a feature. Sitting under a pergola covered in lights is a great way to spend a winter evening and just doing this will create a whole new area of your garden to enjoy relaxing (just don’t forget to wrap up warm).
  • Add Some Colour – Lights don’t have to just be there to make things visible. They can act as a mood-changer for a garden as well. For example, why not use different coloured lighting or light shades to add some colour into your garden. From calming blues to energetic reds, you can completely change the feel of your garden and the features inside it by changing the colour of it.
  • Mix Things Up – When thinking of garden lights, the first thing that pops into your mind may be fairy lights, or baubles, but lights actually come in all shapes and sizes. Why not go festive and really make the most of your winter garden with some snowflake shaped lights? You can even get light up gnomes, animals, or other characters, so feel free to really use your imagination and embrace your fun side with something a bit different.

Adding Garden Lights

There are different types of garden lights that require different set-ups.

If you want something simple that will do a good job of keeping things bright, then installing a flood light on your home is a great option.

While this is a quick and easy lighting method, it may require an electrician to get things set up as it will need to be wired in through your home (most of this kind of light has a switch on the inside).

If you use wired lights (often used along pathways for example), then these will need to have a power source. This can either be something buried away and out of sight or coming out from your home. Depending on the complexity of the set up, and the size of your garden, you may be able to handle this yourself.

A very simple option is using battery powered lights. These can be placed anywhere in your garden and regularly have a small power pack attached to them that you can use to turn your lights on and off.

These are all options to keep your garden lit during winter, but there are ways of doing it also without any electricity at all.

Solar Garden Lights

Solar lights are a great choice for a garden as they can soak up the winter sun during the day, and this will provide the power to light up your garden at night.

If you’re wondering how solar garden lights work, then the answer is that each light will contain a solar cell. Throughout the day, this will pick up energy from the suns ray, before transferring it into usable energy that can be used at night to set the light going.

Solar lights need around 6 hours of light a day to keep fully charged, which oftens sees them run for at least 8 hours, so there’s plenty of opportunities to keep your lights well stocked.

What you must remember is although you may have an area in your garden you want to illuminate, you must make sure your lights are placed in the perfect spot to get plenty of the light they need.

Having a Fire in Your Garden

A very natural way of lighting up your garden is using fire.

While it always takes a responsible adult and every precaution has to be taken to ensure everything is safe, when done correctly this is a lovely, serene way of lighting up your garden.

You can go small with lighting some candles and placing them in containers or go bigger with a fire pit or chimenea.

Nothing can replicate the flickering of a flame and you also get the added bonus of having something to keep you warm, which makes this choice a win-win!

Lighting Up Different Sized Gardens

Our team love working in London and seeing all of the different gardens throughout the capital.

One thing we have learnt over our many years as gardeners though, is that no one is the same.

Gardens come in all different shapes and sizes, and these require different approaches, and this includes when looking at lighting.

Small Garden Lighting Ideas

If you have a garden that may be on the smaller side, then you need to look into lighting that creates a cosy scene.

There are many ways to make a small garden feel bigger, and creating garden zones is a key one.

Creating a lounging area through lighting is a great way of making the most of your small garden and can add a completely new element to your outside space.

Another benefit of lighting a small garden is that there isn’t as much space to illuminate.

This means that some well-placed solar lights, or even one flood light should do the trick in making your whole garden visible and enjoyable.

Large Garden Lighting Ideas

When it comes to bigger gardens, it can be tricky to not leave corners in shadow.

What you must do is focus on certain hotspots.

Look at your garden features and seating areas and make them dazzle with lighting wrapped around.

If you want to light up your whole garden, it is best to focus on borders. Spreading lighting along your fence for example can help to light up whole sides of your outside space.

While floodlights may not reach the end of your garden, some solar lights leading down the middle, lighting up a garden path for example, can help to keep them shadowed areas lit.

And one major benefit of a larger garden is that you can designate an area to seating and cosiness, without taking up a lot of your outside space.

Adding a chimenea or fire pit to this zone will make it a lovely space to enjoy winter nights under the stars.

Front Garden Lighting Ideas

A great place to light up is your front garden.

When walking home on a dark night, having a front garden that feels warm and welcoming is a lovely way to arrive home.

The best places to hang lights here are around the front door, or around the perimeter.

Front gardens are often on the street so try not to go too light and upset the neighbours, but something subtle is a great way of providing a lovely ambience to your outside space.

Using some solar lights that stay relatively dim is a good way of completely changing the feel of your front garden, without illuminating the street too much.

The Southwest London Gardener

Knowing where to put, and how to set up, garden lights can be tricky, and may require expert help.

If you’re looking for garden designers and landscapers who can transform your garden, adding lighting as we go, then get in touch with The Southwest London gardener today.

We can offer a free, no-obligation quote for your project today, and we would love to discuss how we can help you make the most of your garden this winter.

We look forward to hearing from you.