Outdoor lighting might be one of the last things you think about after plants, furniture and that big, shiny BBQ. But it’s actually super important.
It can completely transform your garden in the evenings from a dull outdoor area with no purpose after 8pm, to a slice of evening paradise that begs to be enjoyed well past your bedtime. It’s also a great idea for those who want more security; a well-lit garden area deters crime and helps to put your mind at ease.
But there’s one more benefit to outdoor lighting: avoiding ‘oops’ moments. And to prove this point, I’ve received stories from three Plant Geeks about their embarrassing moments that could’ve been avoided with some garden lighting!
But first, here’s a gorgeous outdoor lighting idea to get you inspired…
This Lumen Solar Lamp Post comes complete with a planter base so that you can combine your lighting with your favourite plants and flowers!
The light mimics the classic style of a Victorian era lamp post, but it’s brought into the 21st century with the addition of solar power! Let warm white light radiate across your garden through the crackled glass casing of the lamp, complemented by the matte black finish of the post.
Sensors allow the lamp to turn on when the sun goes down, so that you don’t have to remember to switch it on manually. However, you’re provided with a personalised touch in the form of a high/low switch to control the output of light.
Want to get this for your garden? Keep an eye out – it’s coming soon to QVC!
“I knew what it was as soon as I stood in it” – Mark
“We had the entire family round for my 40th birthday last year, which is about 17 people, plus our family dog, Pickle. Everyone came round at noon and we all enjoyed a BBQ, games, birthday cake and music.
“The kids played on our trampoline and were completely tuckered out by 8pm, which was about the time when it started to get dark and everyone decided it was time to go home. I ducked inside to grab everyone some leftovers while they said their goodbyes to my wife.
“Tin foil-wrapped burgers in hand, I stepped back outside to give my guests their goodies. But as soon as my foot hit the decking, it went cold. I knew what it was as soon as I stood in it, and the fact that I was barefoot made it even worse.
“After that, we made sure to walk Pickle every couple of hours while there’s a gathering at the house so that he could wee without getting nervous. And we also got some proper outdoor lighting.”
“I can still feel them wriggling” – Jaxon
“Me and my roommate spent one entire summer fishing. It’s something we’ve always done together and bonded over. There was one evening, though, where I had eaten some low quality cod, so I decided to recover instead of going out on the boat again.
“My roommate took this opportunity to try out his new night fishing gear. While he got his equipment together, I strolled into the back garden to cool off under the stars for a bit. I didn’t see that he had left his live bait in an open polystyrene cup on the arm of one of our deck chairs.
“I realised with horror that I was laying on top of dozens of worms, so naturally I jumped up and screamed. My roommate ran to see what had happened, and all he could do was frown and huff that I’d wasted his bait. To this day, I can still feel them wriggling into my sleeves.”
“I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I saw what she was holding” – Jemima
“Years ago, when I lived in the States with my family, I was on my way to my mum’s for dinner. I rang her beforehand to say that I was coming over, and she said she was sitting on the patio ready with a glass of wine.
“Between calling her and arriving at her house, the sky had turned dark pretty quickly, and because my mum didn’t have any garden lighting (and she had been drinking a little) I was worried that she’d trip over one of the many ornaments she had on her patio.
“I went straight through the house to the back yard and relaxed when I saw that mum was sitting happily watching the starlings. She heard me and twisted round in her chair. I looked down, and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I saw what she was holding – a rather confused raccoon.
“After a bit of commotion, she explained that she didn’t have her lenses in and when she felt something furry brush against her leg, she thought it was Smokey, her cat. So she picked it up and stroked it for a few minutes. She was so lucky that it didn’t get aggressive! Safe to say, I bought her some garden lights after that.”
More lighting ideas
Need some more exciting ideas for lighting? QVC has just the ticket. From the quirky to the classy, there are lighting ideas for all types of gardens! Browse just a few of my favourite options currently on offer below…
Solar rope light
For a nautical feel, get this solar rope light for your garden! It can be wrapped around items such as columns or railings, and lights the way with a warm LED glow.
Get it here.
Mesh table light
This classy table light is made with a mesh casing with a bronze finish. The casing contains a solar-powered candle which features a flick effect – all the style of a real candle without the fire hazard!
Get it here.
Set of 3 solar pineapple stake lights, £30
Add colour, quirkiness and light to your garden with these solar-powered pineapple stake lights, which easily stake into the ground for immediate use after charging.
Get them here.
Set of two tiki mask torches, £21
Bring a Hawaiian island feel to your garden with these tiki mask torches. They light up with warm LEDs, and can be staked in grass, beds, borders and pots!
Get them here.
Ceramic solar lantern, £27.50
This lantern comes in shades of blue or white, and its Nordic-style pattern brings a touch of style to your outdoor area.
Get it here.
Cut-out solar lamp, £54
Create beautiful patterns across your garden with the cut-outs on this stunning, chic solar lamp. Its in-built solar charger sends energy to the powerful Li-ion 18650 battery for hours of use.
Get it here.
Share your ‘in the dark’ oops moments with me!
A huge thanks to Mark, Jaxon and Jemima for contributing their stories for this post. If you’ve got a story to share about your ‘in the dark’ oops moment, tell me in a comment on Facebook – also, share your outdoor lighting photos with me on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #QVCShareYourLighting!
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.