Summary: Using colored landscape lighting in your garden can add loads of drama, but use the lighting sparingly, and only after experimenting.
Question: We have been thinking about using color lighting as a part of our garden lighting plan. We do not want to make things look weird or ugly with color.
We cannot find much in the way of advice on the best ways to use color landscape lighting, can you help? Evan, Lebanon, Pa
Answer: Evan, using colored in the landscape lighting design can be tricky. Colored lights can be used advantageously to add drama to your garden lighting, but use it sparingly, and only after experimenting first with white lights.
I’m not a fan of landscape light fixtures with color change features. I never think you achieve a GOOD LOOK.
A good home exterior look can be easily achieved by means of a special color lens kit designed to snap over the face of any standard landscape lighting fixture. The lens itself is made of heat-resistant weatherproof glass, and I’ve seen it available in red, green, blue, or amber.
At least one manufacturer also makes a weatherproof reflector flood lamp with the color fused into the surface of the light bulbs.
These come in five colors: red, yellow, blue, green, and amber. They eliminate the need for separately colored filters but are more expensive than standard reflector floods.
Colored Lighting Filters Lessen Light Brightness
Remember that colored filters of all kinds considerably lessen the brightness of the light, so you must increase either the number of lighting fixtures or the wattage of the bulbs to get the same amount of light on a given area.
Generally speaking, shrubs or flowers in colorful bloom look best in white lights only. See how each color result to a different light output.
Green or greenish-blue filters enhance the colors of grass and green foliage and add depth to the scene.
Yellow, on the other hand, deadens the color of grass and foliage, but is used satisfactorily on some types of shrubbery and on garden sculpture as a focal point.
Red is best used when the scene is to be viewed from a distance, and gives the appearance of firelight.
Blue gives a weird unnatural light, and is not particularly desirable in gardens unless mixed with green.
The video below shows different colored lighting on a plant to show you how they provide different looks.
An exception is the pale bluish-white light given off by some lamps. These give a truly beautiful effect when used for lighting large shrubs and trees.
Colored lights can also be mixed to give various intermediate shades, and to create interesting multicolored shadow effects.
But the resultant effects are often quite unexpected, so experiment first to assure the desired results.
What Is Color Temperature?
Color makes one of the great qualities of lights. In the entertainment industry, they frequently use bold lighting as it creates excitement and spectacle. Apart from this, we encounter more subtle and sometimes, stronger variations where you can feel the warmth and coolness of the lightning. We call these variations as color temperature.
Popular examples of these include:
- Warm white lighting
- Natural white lighting
- Daylight white lighting
- Cool white lighting
Some Reliable Lighting Products
DIY solar lamp lights make great lighting items for those who would like to do it in budget and on their own. You don’t need to add wires and you don’t need a professional to install them. This light source may serve as a good option but it doesn’t work as great as other products you can get with a higher price.
A more expensive option would be traditional incandescent lamps and LEDs. Unlike DIY solar lights, you may require professional help to get them installed. Lots of burying and wire work is expected. Bulkhead lights and bollard lights are just a few samples in these categories. Hiring a landscaper or specialists for a pro-grade lighting system such as Outdoor Lighting Perspectives for higher quality products and worry-free installation.
Endless Of Possibilities
Today’s lighting fixtures offer many possibilities, from solar lighting, cage lighting, outdoor lighting, new fiber optic lighting, string lights, outdoor low voltage, LED lights, deck lighting, pathway lighting, landscape well lighting, waterfall lighting and street lighting, you now have many options to make your lighting project unique and energy efficient.