Lights in the Garden – How To Let Your Garden Shine!

Imagine soft, warm lighting claiming your garden back from the shadows. Lights In The Garden will make your Garden Come Alive at night.

Who wouldn’t want to follow the path of lights in the garden into the cool night air? So you’ve spent hours perfecting your garden. Perhaps you had help from a professional garden design company to create the perfect garden. You considered the most functional layout, the prettiest features, comfortable furniture, and interesting plants. Most probably, your lawn is your personal victory! It’s such a pleasure to enjoy such a beautiful and calm space. Weekends with family and friends, perhaps by the pool, pets and children frolicking in the open air. Though when the sun goes down, your garden is dark and looks dead.

If you wish to stay outdoors, you must rely on the distant streetlamp’s cold and dim light. Alternatively, you can huddle beneath the single patio or wall security light. Unfortunately, if you want to do anything constructive, you’ll  most likely have to retreat indoors. Instead of enjoying outdoor time, you’ll find yourself underneath the bright fluorescent lights, like moths to the flame. But fortunately, there is another alternative…


Warm white garden lights create a welcoming atmosphere.
Warm white garden lights create a welcoming atmosphere

Now imagine soft, warm lighting claiming your garden back from the shadows. A winding path is gently lit to guide the way. Pools of light at familiar landmarks, foliage revealed, and intriguing accents of taller features invite you for a closer inspection. Incredibly, you’ll notice that your lovely allotment has suddenly taken on a completely different look. Shady areas during the day are now lit from within. Forms take on a surprisingly more elegant façade. Rhythm and pattern are enhanced as your garden quietly reveals its evening wear.

Your eyes need less light outdoors than they do indoors, so outdoor lighting does not need to be especially strong or bright. Garden lighting needs to balance out the darkness gently yet evenly. Your entire garden opens up as you can once again distinguish spaces no longer dazzled into oblivion competing with the well-lit house.


Large backyard filled with lights in the garden
Well lit garden space allows you to enjoy your garden after the sun sets

Lights in the garden do not come cheap, but it is well worth the investment.

If you’ve invested a lot of time, money and effort into creating a multifunctional garden space, then you should be able to enjoy it during the day and at night too. Lighting up may be expensive but bear in mind you are doubling your garden’s usability. Since garden lighting does not come cheap, it is essential to consult a professional when planning.

So what are you waiting for? A well-lit garden allows you to enjoy your garden space after the sun sets. Moreover, it is a great security feature too.

Elements to consider when planning your garden lighting

A wooden deck, surrounded by plants and lights in the garden
Garden Lights will make your wooden deck come alive at night
  • Paths:  Welcomes guests and provides security when walking.
  • Entries: Speciality fixtures on either side of a doorway will set the tone for your home.
  • Driveway: Low-voltage landscape lighting is essential to prevent dazzling the driver.
  • Steps: Reassurance and safety.
  • Decks or Patios: Illuminate specific common use and functional areas, such as a braai or seating area. Lights must be strong enough to allow for good visibility of tasks.
  • Architectural Features: They can be highlighted with wide beams of light for accent and interest, and spots on feature plants make them stand out. Ensure that you have considered the positioning and aiming of landscape garden lighting to prevent glare directly into a person’s eyes. Furthermore, the correct positioning of garden lights will prevent wasted light and light pollution.
  • Direct versus indirect light: Keep in mind that direct light will brighten the actual object it is directed at. Indirect light will reflect on the surrounding surface of the object, creating a soft and gentle haze.

What types of light bulbs can I use for lights in the garden?

3 different kinds of e27 light bulbs
You have different types of light bulbs available to choose from In the picture we show a traditional incandescent bulb a CFL as well as a LED bulb
  1. Incandescent bulbs: Radiates great light in the garden, but their life span is short, and electricity consumption is high.
  2. Halogen bulbs:  These light bulbs have a longer life span and less energy consumption than incandescent ones.
  3. Fluorescent bulbs: great colour ranges available and less energy consumption than the above-mentioned light bulb types.
  4. LED light bulbs: These lights used to be very expensive, but nowadays, it is becoming a lot more affordable. LED light bulbs have a long service life and very low energy consumption. Also, they are now available in warm yellow tones and other colours, rather than cold white, which they were initially only available in.


For a comprehensive guide to installing your own garden lighting system, have a look at This Old House’s webpage All About Landscape Lighting . They offer an illuminating look at the various garden lighting components. The styles and fittings available for outdoor lighting and lights in the garden are endless. Furthermore, you can take a look at some beautiful garden lighting examples on our Cape Contours Pinterest board.  It will inspire your own personal style before you decide how best to make your garden shine.

A few final points to remember for lights in the garden

A gardenscape with a few garden lights

Keep light fixtures free of leaves and debris to prevent them from overheating. Replace burned-out light bulbs immediately so that others on the circuit aren’t subject to life-shortening voltage overloads. Warranties on garden light fixtures and transformers range from one to 10 years, but fixtures made of brass, copper, or stainless steel should shine indefinitely. If you’re concerned about electricity usage, you can minimise energy consumption by controlling the lights with timers, controls and dimmers. And although pricey, LED bulbs use almost 75% less power and last for an average of 20 years. So buy smart. 

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Let’s plan your project together!

We plan, install and maintain award-winning landscapes for our commercial clients and project partners. Clients who wish to add function, value and inspiration to their outdoor spaces and properties.

Our roots are in Cape Town, but our footprint stretches deep into southern Africa.


+27 (0) 21 788 1202

Unit 2 Lakeside Place Capricorn Business Park, Muizenberg, Cape Town, 7945

Let’s plan your landscaping project together!

We plan, install and maintain award-winning landscapes for our commercial clients and project partners. Clients who wish to add function, value and inspiration to their outdoor spaces and properties.

Our roots are in Cape Town, but our footprint stretches deep into southern Africa.