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Tailored Lighting Solutions for Specific Plant Types

Garden lighting can transform your garden space into something truly spectacular. However, to achieve a brilliant effect, it takes more than some scattered stake lights to make a lighting statement in a garden.

Every plant has a unique colour, shape, shadow and personality, and it is important to choose the right type of lighting to support your landscaping. Read on to discover more about lighting for different plant types, different garden light types, and strategic outdoor lighting.

Understanding plant types

When planning your garden lighting design, it helps to understand a little about the various plants that inhibit your garden. From lush foliage to delicate flowers, each plant demands a different lighting approach to highlight its natural features.

Flowering plants

Classic flowering plants include roses, lilies, and hydrangeas. These vibrant blooms should be lit to accentuate the petal colours and shapes while providing gentle illumination to the surrounding foliage.


Foliage refers to leafy plants collectively. Examples could include ferns, hostas, and ornamental grasses. Foliage lighting should enhance the foliage depth and texture, highlighting leaf patterns and casting intriguing shadows.

Sculptural plants

Sculptural plants are often used as features because of their striking shapes, colours and textures. Some examples include agaves, yuccas, and succulents. Lighting should emphasise sculptural qualities, cast dramatic shadows, and demand their focal point in your garden lighting design.


Evergreens are a steadfast part of good landscaping, as they provide year-round shape and greenery to a garden. Common evergreens include conifers, boxwood, magnolias, eucalypts, banksias, and citrus trees like lemons and oranges.

Garden lighting for evergreens should showcase the plant’s endurance while adding warmth and depth to bring attention to the evergreens in darker months.

Tailored lighting techniques for specific plants

Having a firm understanding of what kind of lights a garden lighting specialist would use to illuminate specific plant types can help optimise your outdoor lighting design.

Below are some standard lighting types a garden lighting designer would incorporate in strategic landscape lighting.

Flower Beds and Borders

For flower beds and garden borders, install low-voltage spotlights or wash lights along the perimeter, as this will help showcase the blooms and lush foliage. Using warm LED lights will enhance colours and create an inviting glow along borders and pathways

Tree lighting

Tall mature trees are best highlighted using techniques such as tree uplighting, which involves installing lighting fixtures at the base of the tree that project light up to illuminate up the trunk to the canopy and branches.

Warm-white or amber LED lights help create a natural moonlight feel while minimising glare and light spillage into other garden lighting features in the surrounding landscape.

Focal plants

Focal botanicals like sculpture plants or ornamental trees are also best highlighted with techniques like uplighting. Position a spotlight-style fixture at the base of the plant, or plants, to cast upward beams of light that accentuate the plant’s forms and create large, captivating shadows behind.

Pathway lighting

Pathway lighting is as much of a safety and navigation feature as it is aesthetically pleasing. Opt for low-level light, like soft recessed LED lights, that provide ambient guidance without polluting the other garden lighting features.

Wall lighting

Outdoor wall lighting can be used to create a glowing backdrop for your other plant-focused lighting features or shine down on feature plants from above to contrast your uplighting. It is also great for long pathways to highlight the main property, making navigation to the front door easier at night.

Depending on the application, it is often best to use softer wall LED lighting to accentuate wall textures and cast eye-capturing shadows with your feature plants’ foliage.

Enhance your garden with landscape lighting

Not all your outdoor lighting needs to be plant-focused. Strategic landscape lighting can enhance the overall ambience and create an atmosphere.


Mimic the moonlight glow by installing downlights in trees to create a diffused glow and dappled shadows as the lights create a gentle illumination that filters through foliage from above and subtly highlights the landscaping below.

Water features

Illuminate your water features, such as birdbaths, fountains, ponds, and waterfalls. You can use submersible lights to shine up from under the water, strategic spot lighting to catch light off of cascading water, and blue and green LED lighting to enhance the tranquility of the water feature.

Outdoor living and entertainment spaces

Illuminating your outdoor living,  entertainment areas, and outdoor kitchens encourages your household to utilise the backyard more in the twilight hours, meaning people get to appreciate and enjoy their garden and garden lighting more often.

Install overhead string lights, lanterns or sconce lights on walls to create cosy seated areas, soft lighting watching sports on an outdoor screen, or upward lighting to illuminate boundaries around firepits.

Swimming pools

Garden lighting around swimming pools can define the boundaries of wet areas, and provide added safety, which is always welcome around water-dangers. Use recessed lights around the garden edge, backlighting behind the garden bed by a fence, or moonlighting effects around pools with big eucalyptus or palms.

The benefits of collaborating with a landscape lighting specialist

If you want to optimise the brilliant effects of garden lighting on your property, then consider hiring an expert landscape lighting consultant.

Some of the benefits of collaborating with an outdoor lighting specialist include:

  • Optimised custom lighting design
  • Increased curb appeal
  • Minimise energy consumption
  • Highlight architecture
  • Potential increase in property value
  • and more

Our garden lighting consultants at Bondilights have over 15 years of experience in designing prestige landscape lighting installations Across Sydney and around Australia.

With over 15 years experience, Bondilights have become the go-to garden lighting specialist Sydney-wide.

For more information about our extensive Australian-made lighting catalogue or to discuss partnering with Bondilights for your garden lighting installation, you can call us at 1300 384 860, text at 0482 076 739, or send your enquiry via email to sales@bondilights.com.au.