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Ideas for lighting your garden at night | Leaf Probably

For many people, the idea of ​​the garden as an extension of the home has become increasingly important in recent years. Outdoor living is still on the rise and there is a lot of interest in creating outdoor living spaces, outdoor dining areas and outdoor kitchens. Lighting in a garden can bring such spaces to life and dramatically increase the time you can spend in them.

Sustainable lighting in the garden

I believe that lighting in a garden needs to be used very carefully. Unfortunately, modern trends mean that light pollution is a major problem. Lighting is often used so heavily that it negatively impacts neighbors and wildlife.

When lighting an outdoor living space, it is important to consider the impact on the area as well as energy consumption.

Garden lighting can affect neighbors and others in your community by shining into bedrooms and affecting sleep quality. The garden lights cause a glow that obscures the view of the night sky – a major annoyance for astronomers and stargazers.

It is also very important to consider the impact of lighting on wildlife. Lights left on at night or motion-controlled lights disrupt the activities of nocturnal creatures.

Of course, using non-renewable energy sources for garden lighting will also have worse effects.

So to ensure that garden lighting causes the least amount of harm to other people and wildlife:

  • Use lighting that illuminates only the spaces that need it.
  • Ideally, make sure the lighting is directed downwards or shielded from above.
  • Make sure the lights are off at night and turned off when you are not using the room.
  • Use only renewable energy or low-tech, environmentally friendly lighting solutions.

How to illuminate garden rooms

There are three main options when it comes to providing sustainable lighting for garden spaces.

Your first option is to light the room using mains/city power. This grid-tied solution is only an environmentally friendly choice if your electricity comes from a renewable provider. Wiring outdoor lights and connecting them to your home’s electrical grid is an option, but often much more difficult and costly, both to implement and to operate.

If you are off-grid or generate your own electricity from PV panels or other sources on your property, consider linking outdoor lighting to lighting inside your home. You must ensure that you comply with local codes and run cables appropriate for outdoor use.

However, wired lighting is not the only option. It’s a good idea to run solar powered LED lanterns or string lights and place them around a pergola, porch, or other outdoor living space on your property. These are inexpensive and charge during the day to provide gentle but sufficient light when natural light levels drop.

Catherine Martinko

You can use fairy lights to accent important trees or shrubs and to garland a structure. You can bundle string lights into DIY lanterns to illuminate a seating or dining area. However, less is more, because you do not want to light up your garden like a beacon, you just want to create the right atmosphere for evenings in the garden.

With fire safety in mind, the final option is to simply light outdoor spaces with natural candles or candles in lanterns, or with the flickering flames of a fire or outdoor fireplace, if permitted.

When burning candles, avoid paraffin candles, which are made from fossil fuels. You should also be cautious about using soy in candles unless you are very sure where it came from. Soy production contributes to deforestation. If you’re not a strict vegan, organic beeswax candles can be a great choice.

Remember that lighting should be used sparingly for practical and aesthetic reasons, and also remember that there are other ways to improve things in your garden after dark. For example, consider that mirrors or shiny surfaces in a garden can reflect light and you need fewer lamps for a similar effect.

Careful design can actually take into account the moon and the light it provides, and feature white, light-colored plants that glow in the moonlight. Of course, a moon will not always be visible. However, if you think about natural light sources both at night and during the day, your garden can become a more pleasant and practical place to spend your evenings.

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