Beyond merely a consideration of safety or comfort, lighting fixtures in your garden can have truly inexplicable and magical effects on your outdoor spaces.
Appointing your outdoor spaces with lighting is more than just an affordable way of extending living areas or increasing the sense of security and comfort around the home – intriguing lighting fixtures may become the central component of the décor, serve to distribute attention away from a central feature, or intangibly frame a space for more subtle effects. If you find yourself spoilt for choice with the wide selection of various lighting fixtures available, take a look at the following eight inspiring ways of using lighting in outdoor spaces for some ideas.
Applied more for decoration, the matching orbs of light pictured here are used to mark out the edges of the seating area without imposing on the view or the simplicity of the arrangement. As the sun disappears over the horizon, the radiating fields of illumination will accentuate the white fabrics of the seating to create an inviting mood that would have been otherwise overwhelmed by an abundance of lighting.
A wash of light is applied to render this contemporary poolside scene in a monochromatic palette: with a background dominated by an expanse of pale architectural finishes and lined with the dark frames of wood. The simple contrast in shade is complemented by a beach resort ambiance, created with the deliberate placement of lighting to focus attention on the pool and the tropical-style gazebo.
The modern gazebo occupies the central position of this outdoor space – indicated by an array of hanging pendant lights, while a border of downward-facing lamps illuminate the footpath around it. As the light emitted from the foot lamps rarely comes into direct contact with the eye, these lamps serve to subtly illuminate the background while the pendant lights narrow focus to the seating furniture.
The poolside of this tropical home is dotted with lighting fixtures that are intended to frame decorative features rather than putting them in the spotlight. The decorative plaster plaques along the pool’s long edge are framed by modern fixtures that cast the light downward, while the shaded lamps hanging from the poolside canopy add to the serene mood.
Few fixtures – if any, can reproduce the mystifying effects of light given motion by way of ripples in water. This enigmatic effect is best served with waterproof lights submerged in or around water features, with relatively plain architectural finishes acting as a backdrop to receive the reflected light.
Lighting fixtures arranged into a regular shape rarely produce a result that fits cohesively with a natural landscape – unless that polygon is used to frame a water feature, in which case the result is an enhanced body of water that invites a closer look. While light applied with deliberate geometry may appear out of place in tropical-themed gardens, the effects of lit right-angles complement the manicured gardens of modern urban homes.
While warm white light is commonly understood as being the most appropriate quality of light for inducing relaxation, the occasional streak of cool white light provides a measure of stark emphasis for dramatic effect. When used in conjunction with a body of water, cool white light creates magical impressions of bluish flames that ripple with the motion of water.
You don’t necessarily have to spend any time lingering on a beachside resort to get some ideas on how to create a resort-like ambiance at home. Having been repeated countless times around the world, the formula for applying lighting to affect a resort-like outdoor space is fairly established: spotlights directed upwards at foliage, vertically-oriented cones of light along walls, and ethereal underwater lights along the edges of a water feature.
Article by Kevin Eichenberger