ILLUMINATING GARDENS | Transform a Garden with Lighting


There are endless reasons why a garden should have lighting. From safety and security to creating the perfect atmosphere, a well-considered lighting scheme can help transform a garden and bring it to life once the sun goes down.

Once lit, a garden can become an extension of the home and not just one that can be enjoyed outside but from the inside too. On a cold and dark November evening, simply flick the switch and admire the beautiful outside space from the comfort of the sofa.

In this blog we’re going to dive into a few reasons why lighting systems should be considered for your projects, and how they can be implemented effectively.

If you’ve attended one of our Talks or Training Days, you might be familiar with the FAF principle. FAF stands for Function, Aesthetic, and Feature. This principle is a great place to start when planning a lighting scheme and allows everyone to remain focused on what they would like to achieve from the garden lighting. So let’s break it down. 


Think about how the garden is going to be used, along with any areas that require lighting for safety reasons.

For example, lighting a seating area means that it can be enjoyed well into the evening and all year round. Picture a cosy night with friends and family gathered around a fire pit; now picture that scene with soft and precisely placed mood lighting. Immediately a magical atmosphere has been created, and even better so, one that can be easily navigated and enjoyed all year round. 

From a safety point of view, are there any areas within the garden that could be hazardous if unlit? Steps, pathways, edges of water features or ponds, etc. There are several ways to achieve subtle yet effective lighting when it comes to illuminating these areas. Our Design Support team is always on hand to help with choosing the best fitting for the application/situation. 


So when we mention ‘function’, think about the areas within the garden that require lighting, not just from a safety point of view but also usability. 

Top Tip: Don’t forget that steps can be lit in many different ways, including: from the side wall, the riser, the tread, or even from planting beside the step. The width of the step and the lighting wash desired will guide you to finding the perfect solution.


This is the lighting used to create mood and ambiance and to enhance the visual appearance and atmosphere of any garden/outdoor space. Aesthetic lighting provides an opportunity to get creative and to think about the effects created by the fittings used, along with their placement. Lighting within planting and trees can enhance a garden with a flick of a switch, and watching the patterns created by the illumination of leaves and branches can be truly magical.

Now it’s not just the effect created by the lighting or what the fitting is illuminating that provides beauty, don’t forget about the fitting itself. Decorative lighting has become more popular in recent years meaning fittings don’t always have to be hidden away. They can provide beauty themselves. 

Top Tip: Remote control systems with different zones and timer settings can help boost the atmosphere within the garden. Automatically controlled lighting systems are also an excellent option for the client or end user.


No two gardens are ever the same, and why should they be? What people remark as beautiful can vary so much but everyone will have at least one feature within their garden that they want to draw focus to. Perhaps a specimen tree, bespoke sculpture, carving, or water feature; it's time to shine the light and give it the attention it deserves within the space. Not only does it draw focus to the feature but it can also enhance its beauty. 

Top Tip: When highlighting a feature, think about the surrounding lighting; is it complementary to the feature or is it overpowering and distracting from the focal point? Using layers of lighting can be a great way to achieve the perfect balance of lighting.  

When planning Outdoor Lighting, it is always important to think about zoning. It’s best to think practically and efficiently at this point. For example, there is no point in having the driveway lights on at the same time as illuminating your seating area in the back garden. Think about areas or aspects within the garden that complement one another; for example, you could have the feature lights and a few border/planting lights on the same zone, helping to create an inviting atmosphere from inside. You can also use zoning as a way to achieve different stages of lighting within the garden. If you’d like maximum output, you have all of the zones on. If you want to create a more intimate atmosphere, you could simply select 1 or 2 zones of lighting. 

In addition to zoning, there is also automation to consider. We have a variety of systems that will activate and deactivate the chosen zones automatically. Consider motion sensors for driveway lights or an astronomical clock that changes on/off times with the seasons, helping to make the garden practical as well as beautiful. 

As you can see, there are endless reasons why every garden should have lighting. Not only does it create moods, atmospheres, and a stunning view of the garden at night, but it also enables the garden to be navigated safely and enjoyed all year round.

A few important things to remember are: the ideal fitting for every application exists, lighting a garden doesn’t have to be complex but most importantly, Landscapeplus are always here to help. Whether it’s your first install or your hundredth, we will work with you to ensure you have a working system and one that is right for the space and your clients' needs. 

If you need help with an upcoming Lighting Project check out our FREE Design Support service and how it can help. You can also contact us on 01666 577577 or

Picture Credits: Olivia Lister Garden Design, Oakleigh Manor, in-lite & Chris Beardshaw