The garden is a luxury – an outside space that feeds our instinct to dwell with nature, escaping the artifical environments that surround us. A garden needn’t be a patch of scrubby lawn or a couple of sorry-looking flower beds – it can be a fabulous venue for entertaining, for relaxing, or for staring at the stars.
Microzoning is very much of the moment – creating sections of a space dedicated for different purposes – reading, eating, listening to music, art creation, etc. And the outside space is no different. A long, thin garden can be transformed with decking, raised beds, patios, and areas for lounging. And that’s very much why we pay so much attention (as well as our hard-earned cash, of course) on making the garden a place of calm and escape.
Decking is a well-established, clean cut from the lawn – perfect for late night drinking and dining, and a reasonably quick fix for a featureless garden. Of course, whatever your outdoor space, you can prolong the day with some suitable lighting, so check out our deck lighting ideas for a creative combination of practicality and beauty.
The Diamond Illusion
This fabulous configuration of focused lighting creates depth and texture on a flat wall that ambiently illuminates your decking or patio area, while performing an exciting aesthetic that’s sure to be a conversation starter. Created with both up- and down-lighters, this regular arrangement of focused light fittings conjures a harlequin stencil that creates an illusion of embossed dimension, evolving your outside space into something rather magical for when the sun goes down. For extra interest and contrast, colored lighting can create a rainbow palette of evolving shape and depth.
This simple string-light is a wonderful way to demarcate the decking while providing a pleasant, flattering glow that will bring ease to the eyes during a clement evening’s entertaining. Possibly one of the most straightforward methods of delivering a delightful light energy to a flat space, this solution is simple to mount, and ready to enjoy in no time. The string light brings a little festival chic to an outside area, and with the right music and the right company, and quite possibly the right tipple, you could be staring at the stars with your friends, while enjoying the freedom of outdoor living.
Ripples Of Reflection
This fabulous rippling water-feature is lit from below, creating a tattoo of texture: of shadow and dune-like shifting sands. The water cascades from the top, tumbling down a landscape of hillocks and pikes, creating an endless performance as unique as a burning flame. As water spills across the graded surface of the outdoor feature wall, it reflects the light, sending a kaleidoscopic projection of reflections around the decking space, providing the perception of sub-marine surroundings. With lighting this beautiful, you can afford a little minimalism in the furnishings – here, we have just a simple bench, nestled amongst bustling bamboo. The asymmetry of the stepping stones, surrounded by a pebble carpet, adds a zen-like touch that brings a spiritual balance to the bottom of the garden. Breath-taking.
Trees Of Wisdom
If you’re lucky enough to live among established trees, you should absolutely make them a feature of your outdoor space. Here, they’ve used string lighting to create a canopy of leaves that provides privacy to this simple, yet beautiful outdoor living room. The winding trunk and the feathery leaves are celebrated with this haphazard arrangement of festive lighting. The up-lighters sitting between shrub and bamboo screening adds an additional bohemian twist to this fabulous multi-functional space. The stylish pyramidal chiminea creates a night-time seating area while adding the dance of flickering flames to this lighting emporium. This space has the welcome of the well-established.
OK, so most of us lack the space for this colossal deck-seating, but the principle is what we’re examining, here. Lighting does more than provide illumination – it can be used as an artistic illusion, presenting the impression of anti-gravity. If you look along the length, where the base is out of view, the entire deck appears to hover, like a landing patch for an X-wing fighter. This effect is simple to create with LED string lights, and well worth the effort. If you’re working on a smaller scale (as most of us will be) make sure that the canopy-edge covers the base that supports the seating, and the illusion will be complete. You’ll have your own space-age sofa to bring an otherworldy lift to a dull decking area.
This feature lighting idea provides a gentle glow while reinforcing the protective properties of an enveloping boundary. The string LED is a bit of a revolution in outdoor lighting: it’s encased in transparent, waterproof housing, so it’s perfect for all-weather use. The three images shown here, demonstrate different applications of the same concept. The naval string fencing adds a little maritime charm to this raised decking space, providing a safety barrier, without obscuring the fabulous surrounding woodland. The more conventional slatted barrier does the exact opposite – the lighting reinforces the sense of the inside, blocking away the outside from clear view. The final image uses under-rail lighting, which provides the best of both worlds: a barrier that prevents accidents; a view of the outside; and a fun, rather sinister, otherworldly glow.
Ceiling Of Stars
This lovely arrangement of low-wattage string lights provides a gentle glimmer, fashioning the feel of a homely ceiling, bringing the outside inside with this beautifully simple arrangement of basic lighting. The pergola effect is achieved with hooks and extended bars and takes literally no time at all to get up and running. This seating area is arranged for socializing in this lovely living room that lies beneath the stars. Picture yourself with a glass of wine, a guitar, and your friends, and you’ve got yourself a party every night of the week.
Lighting makes such a difference to the energy of an outside space and extends the use of outdoor rooms into balmy evenings and solitary star-gazing. We love the simplicity of the majority of these deck lighting ideas – simple to create, with longevity to enjoy once installed. What do you think? Let us know in the Comments section below. And don’t forget to share with your friends!