I do love the warm twinkling glow of my outdoor fairy lights in the evening. I find it so relaxing as their subtle glow reflects of the small water features and pond I have. But when I started thinking about how to enhance my garden so I could spend more time in it later in the day, I was really lost for where to start. Did I go for something big, like some outdoor garden lanterns and swathes of landscape lighting? Then there is the choice of mains powered, solar powered fairy lights outdoor or even battery operated fairy lights. Then there were colors, installation, placing and care. It really was an overload of information!
What I would have given for some simple guidance to help me sort things out. In the end I learnt from hard experience and a few toys out of the pram moments. My wife knew not to disturb me when the shouting started. She just left me to fume away as I stomped around the garden in frustration. Luckily, I gradually got things sorted and now am delighted with the results. So I thought that a few tips and hints for those of you just starting out might be useful. These guidance notes on outdoor fairy lights I hope will help you avoid the same problems I had. Within no time you should be able to enhance your garden evenings and even think about some special seasonal outdoor party lights, outdoor Christmas lights arrangements or for Easter and birthdays.
Can I Use Outdoor Fairy Lights In My Garden?
Well I look at it this way. I you have enough room to swing a cat, as it were, then there is enough room to install and enjoy outdoor garden lighting of some sort. The great thing about fairy lights and their many variations is the flexibility. You can have a permanent type of arrangement, or even just bring them out on special occasions, Having a range of outdoor party lights that you can light up a celebration with is great fun. You don’t have to have a huge length of them either. Start small and then add as you go along. That way you won’t swamp your space. Look to enhance the natural beauty of your garden rather than completely drown it out. Subtlety is the name of the game.
Well yes there does seem to be too many types to choose from first of all. But, remember that most are just named after where you might put them. The term outdoor fairy lights is really an all covering phrase. So there may be outdoor patio string lights, deck lighting, Christmas outdoor lights and more, but they come into the same group. String lights and fairy lights really just describes ways of arranging fairy lights outdoor to suit situations. The real choice comes in how to power them.
Low Voltage Fairy Lights
First up choice is mains powered fairy lights. This will require you to run an electrical cable from your indoor power point to where you want to install them. Now obviously this seems easy, but does have many downsides. You are dealing with electricity here. So, you will have to keep the lights and cabling well away from water.
If you are fixng them on your roof as Christmas outdoor lights, then beware of metal guttering and what wind can do. Also the dangers from accidently damaging or cutting that cable during any home improvement or even cutting lawn areas are very real risks. Many people have ended up in ER as a result. Finally, you have to pay for that electricity don’t you?
The other thing is that when you are just starting out, having to plan out your lighting plan, with all the cabling requirements on type and specifications to suit is a pain. Couple that with figuring out what transformer you need to counteract voltage drop and the cost of that transformer, then it is not a simple matter for newcomers.
Solar Outdoor Fairy Lights
My choice is to go for battery powered fairy lights, or solar fairy lights. They are perfectly safe for a start. You can not put a price on your wellbeing. They are environmentally sound as well. Solar powered fairy lights use the best, free sustainable power of all, the sun.
I do favor outdoor solar fairy lights over their battery powered cousins. Batteries cost money and have to be disposed of properly. I like a bit of green contribution, as every little bit helps in my mind. With the solar fairy lights, you can also buy waterproof fairy lights to combine with them. Water and light is just magical if done right.
Where Can I Buy Outdoor Fairy Lights
You will find that outdoor solar fairy lights are very easy to gte online at places like Amazon and eBay, without dropping too much money either. You can get a good starter string of fairy lights for your garden for well under $20. have a look at some of the best sellers and check out the customer reviews.
So what do I mean by this. Well, rather than have a grand plan, costing hundreds of dollars, with complicated arrangements, build it up gradually. By doing this, you will see just how to get the best from your garden and the lights. Mistakes won’t be costly and you get a chance to move things around and experiment with future possibilities easier.
So perhaps we can begin with simple string lighting along a decking edge. Small loops of patio string lights tracing the edge and framing your evening relaxation space. If you have verticals, use them, by spiraling up for a lovely effect. It does not have to be a grand scheme at this point, but subtle and simple.
As you get more confident, and then move onto trying things out with water features, with some waterproof fairy lights. Or experiment with some garden string lights around trees and natural height. Framing pathways with pathway lighting is a great effect, especially if your outdoor areas are not right next to your house. Outdoor solar fairy lights are exceptionally good for this.
Well I hope these starting tips and guidance for using outdoor fairy lights have got you thinking about what you can do effectively in your garden. Remember keep it simple, safe and inexpensive first of all. Learn to experiment gradually with the natural features you have already to enhance them. This way even a complete newbie can produce a beautiful night time glow to enjoy. Keep watching The Outdoor Lighting Guide for more great advice.