Harsher colours such as blue or white should be avoided when planning outdoor lighting, design experts have agreed.
Warmer colours work better and are more natural, while harsh whites and blues can appear ‘creepy’, according to the group of professionals who include an award-winning architect, a garden designer, an LED specialist and the president of The British Institute of Interior Design (BIID).
The advice was delivered during a series of interviews used that formed a garden lighting guide from lighting specialists Lamp Shop Online. Giving their opinions were garden designer Jane Hicks, architect Steve Reading, LED expert Arthur Smith, and Gilly Craft, current president of the BIID.
“As a rule of thumb, warmer lighting colours work better as outdoor lighting. It just looks more natural and less creepy,” said Arthur Smith.
Stark primary colours should also be avoided, according to Steve Reading. A better option is to go for bulbs with more of a yellow tone, as they create a softer, calmer atmosphere.
The experts came together on a number of other garden lighting techniques, including the use of upward illumination known as ‘uplighting’.
Jane Hicks recommended highlighting mature trees using a spotlight at the base of the trunk to shine up through the branches and canopy. This method can also be used around the perimeter of a deck, paving slabs or along pathways—which will not only look attractive but help to illuminate the way.
BIID president Gilly Craft had this to say: “The outdoor lighting plan should be thought about from the moment the garden design is first considered. It is no different from when designing an interior scheme, the lighting plan is an integral part of the overall look.”
Other tips from the design professionals include:
· Using spotlights to illuminate water features
· ‘Moonlighting’ trees and distinctive plants using lamps angled downwards
· Threading strings of fairy lights among topiary
Rob Holroyd, digital marketing manager at Lamp Shop Online, recommends LED lights as the best long-term garden lighting solution: “Although solar lights are a cheap and instant option they aren’t always the best quality and will most likely need replacing annually. Good quality LEDs are far more reliable and hard wearing, and their long lifespan will make them infinitely more cost effective in the long run.”