Quality Outdoor Lighting Feature – Garden Lights and Wildlife

Outdoor Lighting

You might want to improve the security of your home or business premises with quality lights. You might want to use premium quality lighting to enhance the appearance of your garden, giving a wonderful glow to plants and dramatic exterior features during the evening hours before bed. Whatever you want to achieve with outdoor garden wall lights and free-standing versions, there are some things you should know about lights and wildlife.

Wildlife and garden lighting

You have some fantastic choices when it comes to lighting an outdoor space, everything from outdoor post and pedestal lights to outdoor hanging lanterns, floodlights, garden lanterns, PIR lighting and spots. But if you have wildlife visiting your garden, it’s good to take their needs into account.

Like humans and other mammals, plants also have circadian systems that work in a natural rhythm. You can imagine how you’d feel trying to get a good night’s sleep with the lights blazing, and that’s how plants and wildlife probably feel, too! That’s why it’s important to light your outdoor space responsibly and turn the lights off when you go to bed.

Research reveals that all types of artificial light, from ordinary incandescent light bulbs to LEDs and halogen bulbs, negatively impacts wildlife. It isn’t the type of light that matters, it’s light full-stop. If it’s overly bright, artificial light can make your garden a total no-no for wildlife, which is a shame when gardens are amongst the most important havens available for our fellow creatures.

Moths navigate by the light of the moon and get very confused by outdoor lighting. Bats, many of which are seriously endangered, tend to keep away from lit areas, although some types of bat take advantage of confused moths and grab a hearty meal. Garden birds are woken up by bright lights and can even start singing in the middle of the night because they think dawn is on the way. Worse still, some mammals’ breeding cycles are disturbed by bright lights after dark.

It helps to light sensitively, rather than lighting up the entire space like a Christmas tree. Pools of light work a lot better than great, open lit spaces, which just flatten things. Use discretion and keep plenty of dark areas free for wildlife to use.

Security lighting is best positioned carefully to capture movement, usually around doors, windows and outbuildings. There’s no need to go for blinding lights. The most wildlife-friendly security lighting tends to be low-voltage, with small, discreet light fittings, and it’s enough to put most intruders off.

As a rule the dimmer your lighting, the better it is for wildlife. It helps to situate the lighting near the ground rather than high up, or if it’s high up point it at the ground. It’s essential to turn decorative garden lights off when you go to bed, and it’s best to use motion sensors and timers for security lighting. Low intensity lighting like solar emits less light, and low wattage bulbs are always a good choice.

8 creative garden lighting tips

Bearing the needs of wildlife and plants in mind, here are some tips for making the best impact with outdoor lights.

  1. Pick attractive areas to light rather than lighting the entire space – maybe choose a water feature or sculpture, pathway, steps or seating area to focus the lighting on
  2. Spike light fittings let you move the lights around as the seasons change
  3. Use subtle night lights in glass holders to showcase staircases and walls
  4. Uplight dramatic, large or particularly colourful plants from underneath
  5. Mount subtle lighting in trees for use as downlighters, making beautiful pools of light on the ground
  6. Choose an underwater spotlight to enhance your pond after dark
  7. Exterior fibre optic lights make a dramatic feature of flowing water
  8. Choose exterior lights with 1w – 8w power, which will cost less to run as well as being more wildlife friendly

Our large, tasteful collection of Elstead outdoor lights is a popular choice with customers. We also sell a great many quality garden wall lights, outdoor wall lights specially designed to fit simply and deliver a stunningly beautiful effect. We stock literally hundreds of designs, everything from sleek, contemporary garden lighting to traditional designs that perfectly complement older and historic buildings.

Get it right and you will be able to share your garden with local wildlife and still enjoy outdoor lighting after dark. You can pick your favourite from a host of finishes including aluminium, black, brass, bronze, frosted and galvanised, each with its own unique charm. And if you’re lost in space and don’t know what to choose, our enthusiastic expert staff are always thrilled to put their knowledge to the test on your behalf and make sensible recommendations.