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Using Lighting to Transform your Garden

If you’ve gone to a lot of trouble to ensure your garden looks great and you love spending your days outside, you can make your outdoor area even more special with lighting. As well as looking good, a beautifully lit garden means you can spend even more time outside, long after the sun has set. If you’re looking for ideas on where to start, try some of our suggestions below.

Fairy lights and lanterns

These have become incredibly popular for outside spaces. Fairly lights will add sparkle and give your garden a festive appearance, while lanterns give a lovely warm glow.

You can string fairy lights around trees or poles, across the underside of gazebos or canopies or above any seating areas. Lanterns can be hung up or strung along walls, or placed on the ground for a gentle glow.

Rope lighting

Rope lights have the versatility of being able to be used on the ground as well as elsewhere. They can be wound around tree trunks or poles in the same way as fairy lights, or you can make paths and borders come to life by using rope lighting along the edges. This can really make these areas into a feature without the obviousness of spotlights.


Spotlights can be used to draw attention to special features in your garden for the wow factor. Spotlights shining upwards on a tree can look spectacular, or you could use them to highlight any particularly attractive area in your garden. Just make sure they are not going to shine towards any seated areas as their brightness will be uncomfortable on the eyes.


Gentle uplights can be used on paths or decking to provide subtle light at ground level. There is something magical about following a trail of lights underfoot. They can also be used along borders in a similar way to the rope lights mentioned above to give a gently glowing outline to the edges. Stronger uplights can be used similarly to spotlights, casting light up onto a tree or other special feature.

Bringing garden lighting ideas together

You can mix and match these various ideas to create a beautifully lit garden at night. The trick is to layer different types of lighting at varying levels for interest. Fairy lights and hung lanterns can be strung up high, while larger lanterns, rope lights or uplighters can bring interest at ground level. If you are using a variety of different types of lighting, try to stick to a similar colour to ensure they all work together. For instance if your fairy lights are warm, don’t use cold blue rope lighting at the same time or it is likely to look tacky and overdone.

Coloured lighting can look festive but try to stick to one single colour or a colour theme to keep it cohesive. If you do like to mix colours, a popular trend right now is pastel coloured lighting. This has less of a tendency to look gaudy but still provides plenty of variety.

At the end of the day though, the lighting for your garden is a personal choice and should reflect your personality as well as be practical. You can keep it subtle, go all out or do something in between. Whatever works for you is what’s best as you’ll be the one enjoying your newly lit outdoor space.

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