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How to light a garden: ideas and tips
13 Jun 2022

With the arrival of the warm weather, the outdoor areas of our homes are full of animation and life. Gardens, terraces and green areas become very busy and pleasant spaces for all kinds of activities, reading, meetings with friends, evenings with your partner or simply relaxing and unwinding.


To achieve a good performance and enjoy all its possibilities to the full, it is essential to know how to light a garden so that it enhances aesthetics, comfort and also takes into account energy savings.

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Project: A never-ending summer by Egue and Seta | Photography: Vicugo Studio | VERSUS table lamp


General tips for lighting a garden


To begin with, we need to keep these basic ideas in mind:


Illuminate what is necessary


The general treatment of garden lighting has to follow the same rules as indoor lighting: we illuminate where we need light and differentiate the lighting in each area according to the use we are going to give it. 


Keep in mind that in the garden there will be daylight (natural light) and night light. The general lighting should not be 'flat' and overly bright.


The light should be sufficient, but not too much, to reduce light pollution and to enjoy the stars and moonlight.


A tip: we recommend indirect or flush-to-wall lighting for mid-height light points. They will prevent glare


Suitable materials and IP


Depending on where the luminaire is to be installed, it should have a higher or lower IP (protection rating against water and solid bodies).


In porches or semi-covered areas, IP23 will suffice; while luminaires to be installed inside a swimming pool should have IP68, which is the maximum protection against solid bodies and prolonged immersion.


Illuminate to protect


This is something very important that is sometimes overlooked. There are key areas to consider when considering how to light your garden, such as entrances, pathways, steps and windows.



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Creating a versatile and adaptable system


An intimate dinner, an informal business meeting, a chat with friends... create lighting that can create different types of ambiance, depending on the occasion. To do this, you can add portable luminaires.


Making installation comfortable


Try to place several light switches so that you can control the lighting in the area you want and not in the whole garden. This will also help to reduce your electricity bill.


Sustainable and efficient lighting


Look for luminaires that incorporate energy-saving or LED technology.


Areas to light in a garden


There are different areas: working areas (barbecue), reading and resting areas, meeting or eating areas, plant and tree areas or swimming pool, which require different lighting.



Access areas


The entrance to the garden and the different accesses to which it may lead should be illuminated in a direct and directed way by means of wall or ceiling lights (wall or ceiling lights).


Motion and/or light detecting floodlights can also be used, which are very useful as they are activated only when needed.


Meeting area: porches and dining rooms


Porches or places for celebrations in the garden should be illuminated by wall lights or pendant or hanging lamps, which will give them a different touch. Floor lamps can also be used.


Passage areas: passage areas


The light we will need to go from one place to another, to illuminate the path to the entrance or the one that leads to the swimming pool. This light must be a signalling light, projected or flush with the ground, illuminating only our steps without affecting the rest of the space.


Bollards are also a highly aesthetic and sustainable option.


Working areas: barbecues, garage


These are areas for reading, barbecue, garage... for these, according to the experts, the most suitable is the placement of wall lamps (wall lights) of low consumption, since they will be luminaires that will remain lit for a long time.


For less decorative areas, such as the garage or the barbecue, it is preferable to use sober wall lights or spotlights, which offer a type of lighting that is more suitable for these uses.


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Accent areas: plants, fountains and sculptures


To highlight objects, fountains, trees, sculptures... it is best to use small projectors or stakes, as they can be fixed to the lawn and can be focused wherever you want.


This is the 'romantic' part of the garden. It is the ornamental light that should discreetly illuminate our plants, our trees or some decorative element that we want to highlight. This lighting should create a cosy atmosphere that we can enjoy when we are in the garden, but also inside the house.



Project: An endless summer by Egue and Seta | Photography: Vicugo Studio


Around the pool


In the decorative area, the ideal is to create interest in a particular space, e.g. to illuminate a wall or a particular part of the garden. In the latter case it is best to use floor lamps or portable lamps.


Portable luminaires are very popular because they can be moved and have a long cable, they are practical and give a very modern touch to the garden.


Street lamps are also a very good option for general illumination and to create a pleasant atmosphere. Floor lamps are ideal for large plots of land. Their design combines perfectly with minimalist and very avant-garde gardens.


Swimming pool


If there is a swimming pool in the garden or terrace, one of the best ways to give it elegance is through good lighting, where the shapes and colours stand out. Some recommendations are:


Pool colour


When the pool bottom is white or blue, the pool will need lighting with a colour temperature between 4,000K and 4,500K.


Luminaire specifications


The immersion of the luminaires is one of the most important issues when lighting a swimming pool that has already been built in order to ensure that it functions properly.


The amount of light


Since water acts as a reflector of light, with a few luminaires included, the feeling of brightness will be much greater.


The type of lighting used


Although in other contexts RGB spotlights are very useful, in the case of illuminating a swimming pool that has already been built, these colour-changing spotlights should not be used, as colours other than all blue tend to produce unattractive results.


Instead, it is advisable to always use cool colours with larger recessed lights on the bottom of the pool and smaller ones for signage on the stairs or walls. LED strips are also a good option to place under the pool frame in cool tones.


Shape and size of the pool


In order to correctly design the lighting layout and determine the luminaires that will be needed, it is necessary to know the size and shape of the pool in advance, as what works for a specific pool may not be suitable for another pool with different dimensions.


At Faro Barcelona we have a wide range of outdoor luminaires. Browse our collection or download the catalogue to discover all the possibilities we offer.


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