10 Garden Lighting Techniques
Every home and person is different, and there are hundreds of varieties of lamps and other inventive fixtures, but there are only ten basic techniques of lighting your garden that are available to almost every landscape.
1) Diffuse Lighting – short low standing lamps give a soft ambient light that doesn’t interfere with the field of vision. The bulbs of these lamps are usually covered or tiered so the light is diffused in a 360 radius. This design prevents a bright glare from the inside filament. Usually these lamps are used to illuminate small bushes or flowers.
2) Path Lighting – a variety of lamps exist to create a well lit walkway. These lamps, usually small ones of varying height as well as ones installed in the ground, illuminate already existing walkways to provide guidance and sense of space in the garden.
3) Spot Lighting – as the name implies these lamps are angled and adjustable to varying degrees to draw attention to a particular aspect of your garden. To spotlight a tree or shrub, the lamp is placed at a low angle a few feet away.
4) Silhouetting – Using bright low angled lamps aimed at a flat surface, the wall of your home for example, this technique illuminates the background creating a defined shadow of the trees and bushes in front of the wall.
5) Shadow Lighting – conversely you can put these lights in front of the objects, especially small trees, and put a shadow of the object against the wall.
6) Up Lighting – similar to spot lighting. With up lighting use multiple spot lights to provide a less defined viewing point of a particular object in your garden. This method makes shadows less severe and can use less intense lights to illuminate the object.
7) Down Lighting – if your garden has high fixtures, such as a covered walkway or a wooden fixture for vines, lamps placed at the top of these fixtures and angled down can provide a diffuse lighting for a large area.
8) Filler Lighting – lamps placed in backdrops to other spot lit or accented areas to provide a balance of light and to eliminate unwanted shadows. Also, beneficial as extra light for security purposes.
9) Decorative Lighting – luminous sculptures of animals and such can be found on the market. These don’t provide much illumination, but can give a stylistic accent to your landscape.
10) String Lighting – similar, but robustly built, to Christmas tree lights, strings of lights can be wrapped around trees, along walkways, or on other fixtures in the garden to create boundaries and added texture to a garden.
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