Give your back­yard the mag­i­cal touch with the lat­est in out­door light­ing – James Tre­ble of­fers his ex­pert ad­vice.

De­sign ex­pert James Tre­ble throws some light on your ex­te­rior spa­ces.

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

OUT­DOOR LIGHT­ING of­ten gets over­looked but, if there’s one time of the year when it will make your place the life and soul of the party, it’s at Christ­mas and New Year. Lights cre­ate at­mos­phere and high­light fea­tures in your gar­den: door­ways, pools, trees, water and ar­chi­tec­tural fea­tures. Hav­ing a beau­ti­fully lit out­door space also trans­forms how you en­ter­tain, turn­ing a sim­ple bar­beque at home into a sparkling event.


Once only seen at Christ­mas or at high-end re­sorts, fes­toon or rib­bon light­ing in trees is now a com­mon sight in Aus­tralian homes all year round. How­ever, it’s still a great way to add a fes­tive mood with style.

The adapt­abil­ity of this DIY-type of light­ing means it can be eas­ily wrapped around brick pil­lars, weaved along tim­ber per­go­las and draped over gar­den walls and fences, pro­vid­ing end­less op­por­tu­nity for you to in­di­vid­u­alise your space.


Light­ing en­try ways for your guests (pos­si­bly more essential on their way out!) not only en­sures a safe jour­ney, but al­lows you to make a dra­matic en­trance. Us­ing bol­lard light­ing, ei­ther in the gar­den or along the drive­way or gar­den path, pro­vides soft yet ef­fec­tive light­ing. Deck lights can help you il­lu­mi­nate a path or stairs and, bonus, help re­vi­talise tired-look­ing tim­ber. Some LED op­tions come with a re­mote con­trol, al­low­ing you to change the colours of the lights.

New-look gar­den spike lights shin­ing up and into the fo­liage are great for high­light­ing the trunk and branches of a tree in the back­yard. It re­ally does look ef­fec­tive and will change a sim­ple tree into an il­lu­mi­nated work of art.


As no elec­tric­ity is re­quired, so­lar and bat­tery op­er­ated light­ing can be safely and eas­ily po­si­tioned wher­ever you like around the home. It’s a great and quick DIY op­tion as it’s easy to in­stall and re­move, which also makes it per­fect for renters.

This kind of light­ing has come a long way, with so many great prod­ucts avail­able for gar­dens and ta­ble set­tings. Some of my styling go-to’s in­clude plac­ing tiny strings of wire lights in­side glass vases as a ta­ble cen­tre­piece, or wrapped around pot­ted plants to light up any dark cor­ners.

LED bat­tery op­er­ated can­dles al­low you to en­joy the magic of nat­u­ral flame with­out the dan­ger, and look beau­ti­ful on a ta­ble or placed in clus­ters around the gar­den.

Lastly, my top tip if you have a water fea­ture or pond is to use bat­tery op­er­ated un­der­wa­ter lights – no elec­tri­cian re­quired!

Brighten your out­door din­ing area with a light fea­ture. Ikea has a great range this sea­son. Mix up tea light can­dles in pretty hold­ers with large pil­lar can­dles in tall glass ves­sels. Drape gar­den beds with so­lar-pow­ered LED rope lights that turn on at dusk au­to­mat­i­cally.

Lanterns look fab hung up in trees – but what about string­ing them across the gar­den?

GREAT IDEA Clus­ter wax or LED can­dles on steps and paths to light the way.

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