Garden LightingNighttime in the garden can be magical, particularly if it is complimented by outdoor lighting.

Outdoor lighting serves a number of purposes. It can be employed to extend the number of hours you can spend enjoying your garden, highlight features of your garden, a floodlit statue at night can be a very impressive sight, be used to illuminate water features.

Most importantly, it can also be used to illuminate hazardous areas in the garden. Areas such as steps and narrow pathways are so much safer if illuminated at night. By taking care to ensure these hazards are well lit you could avoid someone having a nasty fall.

There are many different types of outdoor lighting, some are safer to install than others.

Using the Sun at Night.

Solar lighting has undoubtedly gained popularity in recent years. The lights come in a rich variety of forms; short pole mounted pathway lights, feature highlighters, fairy lights and illuminated house numbers.

There are even lights that change colours if you desire to have something a little different to your nighttime garden.

These lights rely on the power of the sun to charge rechargeable batteries that supply power to illuminate high intensity low powered bulbs which provide the light source.

With solar lighting, there is the disadvantage in having to install it in areas that receive plenty of Sun to allow them to charge.

Another disadvantage of this form of lighting is the lights emit very dull illumination and will not illuminate a very substantial area, or for that matter any area very brightly.

One danger with these lights that many people don’t consider is that the batteries can degenerate and release acid that is not only toxic, but can additionally stain anything it comes into contact with.

Low Voltage Systems Take the Zap out of Outdoor Lighting.

The next and probably safest outdoor lighting choice available is one of the many low voltage systems.

These lighting systems are powered by a transformer. They provide excellent ambient light, or via the many varieties of spotlights that are available, they can be used to highlight garden features or dangerous areas.

The main advantage of this type of lighting system is the low voltage it uses. Being only generally 12 volts there is no danger from electrocution should anything go wrong. The most severe shock you could receive from this system is a mild tingling.

This kind of lighting system is very easily installed and the wiring installs either above or below ground. Another advantage is it is extremely easy to change the lighting system around if you happen to feel the need to do so.

The Power of the Mains.

The final option for outdoor lighting is using mains operated systems. This form of lighting is the most unsafe to use. The danger of an accident and electrocution is considerably higher with the greater voltages involved.

Many Local Bodies have differing regulations where it comes to this type of lighting and it would pay you to carefully check what those regulations are before you begin installation. These codes may seem like a lot of bother but they are there to ensure your safety and the safety of others.

For the sake of safety, if you specifically want a mains powered outdoor lighting system, have it installed by a qualified Electrician or Landscape Designer. It may cost you a bit more but they are well aware of safety regulations, local codes, and what materials are safe to use.

If installed safely outdoor lighting will not only help you enjoy your garden long after the sun has gone down, but will further help prevent serious injury from areas that are hard to navigate at night.

Light Your Garden In Style

If you would like to learn more about lighting your garden stylishly, take a look at the outdoor lighting article on