Undoubtedly you'll be spending more time in the garden over the coming few months so why not make sure the lighting is right so that you can enjoy your outside space to its full potential.
I've just visited a client who asked me to improve her garden lighting. It had been installed at great expense the year before by a garden landscaping company as part of a bigger landscaping project. She had a wide variety of lights (up-lights, step lights, wall down-lights, path lights, underwater lights, you name it....) but the scheme didn't work. The atmosphere created was wrong, so much so that she preferred her garden without the lights on. My recommendation to her was to reuse a subset of the lights, introduce mulitiple circuits and improve the positioning of the lights to maximise their effect. I'm pleased to say that it made all the difference.
Here are my top 10 tips for lighting your garden:
Make if flexible so that you can use it in all the ways you want to (dining, entertaining etc).
Make it subtle. Less is definitely more when it comes to garden lighting.
Make it functional so that you can navigate through it without any hazards.
Make it energy efficient. There are now some fantastic LED fittings available now. I light my garden with only 10 watts.
Use it to minimise any detrimental aspects of your garden, for example, if its long and narrow make sure you light up the sides.
Use it to highlight any particularly attractive features: a brick wall, a statue, a plant/tree, a water feature (moving water looks particularly good when lit).
Hide the source of light wherever possible and keep glare to an absolute minimum.
Use the same colour temperature light throughout (I always recommend warm white rather than cool white).
Choose good quality fittings that can withstand all that the weather throws at them and blend in with their surroundings.
Ensure the light falls onto a surface - there is no point lighting up space!