Inspiring lighting ideas for your London garden

It is obvious but important to say that lighting brings a garden to life at night. Why lose sight of your pride and joy from dusk to dawn? But lighting is not just a practical addition to your design as it can also create drama. One simply placed light can add a focal point, making it the centre of your garden.

Garden Pools

An illuminated fountain like this adds a tranquil splendour to any garden. There’s nothing quite like watching the interplay of ripples and light. But it’s important to get the lighting just right. Here, we’ve used a warm, almost orange glow instead of white light to balance the visual chill of the water.

Something we always recommend that you do is if you have one or two plants either side of the water feature it is just as important to light these as it is the light the water feature, otherwise you would have no layering. If you get it just right it looks absolutely fantastic.

White Garden

Block lighting involves the careful placement of outdoor lights close together to create a steady block of garden lighting. It looks absolutely wonderful in small gardens but it is difficult to get right in larger spaces.

We tend to use LED lighting. It is cost effective but it also has a really strong illumination. A 3 Watt LED bulb, for instance, has the equivalent output of a 30-50 Watt incandescent bulb. In addition to the up-lighting and downward-facing outdoor wall lights, we’ve used numerous candles. This gives the lighting a kind of multi-dimensional depth of its own.

Blue Garden

We love the challenge doing strip lighting because it looks fantastic if you get it right. It’s essential to get the glow just perfect – it can’t be too bright or too dark and it must be strong enough to stand on. Colour schemes are important too. If you choose a blue light with a dark grey stone that works well because both colours are in the same spectrum.

The strip lighting on this roof terrace extends right the way around the space. And, as a result, we had to think carefully about the placement of items. Lighting the legs of a bench, for instance, would look terrible, since this is where dirt collects.

Cubed Garden

Some gardens only see use in the evening and this is a great example of that. While the planting might seem sparse under daylight, it gives a warm green glow to the night-time outdoor lighting. And because the leaves of bamboo are so feathery, which is without a doubt the best plant to use to create this, there’s a reciprocity with the texture of the wall.

The overall impression is such a beautiful ambience. You are left with a series of fountains of light—the perfect environment for you and your family and friends to dine in the nearby glass conservatory.

lite Garden Pool

This dramatic scene owes everything to the balance of lighting. Just look at the contrast of blue light and green. This is smart exterior lighting at its best. But it’s not only about colour; it’s also about depth and form. As the garden lights hit the topiaries, for example, they lift their creative shapes and bring their contours into striking relief.

The pool in the centre has such an impact that we had to plant prominent borders. However, these features are certainly not vying with each other for attention. Our use of lighting to reflect the green of the plants on the water helps even more to unite the design.

Floating Deck Garden

As you can see in these pictures, lighting can be a fantastic focal point in and of itself. The strip lighting defines the lines of this fabulous walkway and draws you right along it. This wonderful journey seems that much more inviting because it’s level with the flooring indoors. It’s almost a part of the house.

We couldn’t think of a more suitable plant than bamboo to pair with this garden design. Not only does it complement the wood of the walkway, as well as the building it leads to; but, thanks to its sparse planting, it serves to transfer the focus to the lighting.

Ambient Garden

Colourful lighting—and pink in particular—can make your garden look tacky. In this example, however, the dampening effect of the frosted glass keeps the design looking tasteful. We also limit the use of coloured lighting to specific zones, which are echoed in the colour here and there to make it less of a feature. We certainly wouldn’t want a pool to be pink!

The spotlights set in to the decking, meanwhile, keep it from looking too gloomy. Without them, there would be far too much focus on the pinks and the design would look strangely unbalanced.

Box Ball Garden

Garden lighting systems don’t have to look modern. Even a rustic cottage garden can benefit from coordinated lights. Although the orbs in this picture have a contemporary and minimalist feel, they don’t look at all out of place with the box balls.

The other lights simply bring out the forms of the plants. And we just love the play of shadows on the fence. Diffuse light is absolutely crucial here, which we achieved with frosted glass. Were the lighting any brighter or more concentrated than this, it would be far too severe for a cottage garden.