The setting sun need not mean the end for enjoying your gorgeous outside space. Bringing solar powered garden lights into our outside spaces isn't just a way to brighten them. Intelligent lighting design can transform an outdoor area, and create a pleasant atmosphere come sundown.
Light isn't just for decoration – it can also be a useful way of guiding people around your flowerbeds, water features and seating areas. If you have pathways winding their way through your landscaped garden, outdoor solar lights provide a wonderful opportunity to create a trajectory.
Illuminating the ground is a smart way to give prominence to paths. Pick some bright bulbs that can be tucked away; place them flush with the surface to avoid creating a hazard. For some eye-level lighting, lanterns give a rustic twist.
There are several excellent reasons to use solar powered garden lights. First of all, outdoor solar lights are an easy way to save on energy consumption for the house, as they don't have to be hooked up to the grid. Additionally, solar powered garden lights are simple to install – there's no need to worry about feeding electrical cables into power.
The placement of your outdoor lights will affect the way your garden is seen at night, drawing the eye to certain areas before others. With this in mind, it makes sense to choose a handful of features, then use lights to make these the centre of attention.
Dramatic plants are a sensible place to begin. Use uplighters to draw out the shape of your most spectacular trees and bushes. Think as well about the shadows you're casting. Sparse tree branches can cast beautiful dappled shadows across open lawns, for example.
Even if your outdoor area is minimalist in its design, leaving you with very few aspects to accentuate, you can still use lights to bring out the best parts. Coloured bulbs can help add texture and interest. Be sure to work with the existing features of your outside space; for example, if you have a swimming pool, strong blue shades are a good place to start.
If you're looking for decoration over and above something practical, fairy lights are an obvious choice. These tiny solar powered garden lights can be draped over bushes, shrubs and fences to spread the excitement evenly throughout your outside space. They're small and star-like, and look particularly enchanting when reflected in water.
Last but not least is your social space. After all, hosting events is central to making the most of your outdoor living area. Some ambient lighting is the bare minimum, and will enable guests to see one another properly during evening gatherings. To take the space up to the next level, consider bringing candles into the equation. Just half a dozen tealights can transform a cold space into something utterly romantic.
With a little creativity, our outdoor spaces can become every bit as comfortable and beautiful as our indoor areas.