The creative director of John Cullen Lighting, Sally Storey, offers expert tips on choosing the right lights to enhance the appeal of your outdoor spaces:

Dive in

If you have a swimming pool it becomes the natural focus of the garden, and when it is lit properly it provides a soft, reflective, ambient glow. However, uplighting the perimeter planting is also key as this helps to define the outside space. The impact is heightened when the interior is fully glazed, as you’re inclined to feel less like you’re living inside a goldfish bowl.

First impressions

Consider placing oversized pots on either side of a doorway to your property or house, as this will frame the entrance and create a lovely first impression for visitors. Large pots can add impact and drama when uplit with Lucca uplights and, to illuminate further, add lighting within the pots using Kew spiked fixtures.

Reflect on it

Multi-stemmed trees respond well to lighting as they often have a sculptural look, and when they’re positioned close to a water feature their reflections add impact to the scene. Hamptons, small spiked mini floodlights, are perfect for flowerbeds as they create pools of highlight while being discreet in the daytime.

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Keep cool

Water provides a visual focus and a cooling effect in the garden. Lighting a water feature – especially a fountain or waterfall – will create a beautiful ambient focal point at night. Use multiple one-watt fixtures to uplight such features.

Lighting the way

Lighting pathways is also important, adding depth and, from a practical perspective, the light will help guide guests along the garden path.

Entertain with flair

At this time of year, your outdoor spaces are at their most enjoyable and you should treat these as additional areas to style, whether you want to entertain or just relax. Light your dining table with Waterspring downlights Ω in this example, above, they are built into the cantilevered pergola, creating a sheltered yet focal feature. Lucca uplights casts a soft glow onto the foliage and the pergola. Consider lighting your trees, too; uplighting multi-stem trees will have an impact.

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Secluded space

A covered area provides respite from the sun, offering shade and also creates a spotlight area at night. When internally lit, it becomes a magical spot to entertain guests or relax with family. Lighting can also highlight design features and materials. Downlights on wooden walls will project shafts of light that emphasise the texture of the timber and accentuate horizontal or vertical slats. Further lighting emanating from candles or a fire will enhance the relaxing ambience.

Bright ideas

From water lights to hanging lanterns, LEDs to candles, find stylish ways to illuminate your garden at night

Imagilights balls, Desert River, Dh1,049Clockwise from top left: Thierry le Swinger LED by Fatboy, Desert River, Dh890; Ellen wall top light, Danube Home, Dh189; Copper candle stand, Dôme Deco, Dh2,979; Broste Copenhagen wire lantern, Amara, Dh400; Cibola teak hurricane, small to large, Amara, Dh165-1,395.Clockwise from top left: Danni pole light, Danube Home, Dh359; Black lantern Al-Futtaim ACE, Dh59; Cascade waterfall with LED lighting, Al-Futtaim ACE, Dh799; Three-ball water fountain with LED lighting, Al-Futtaim ACE, Dh499; Set of three brass lanterns, Amara, Dh969.

Sally Storey, Creative Director at John Cullen Lighting is considered one of the UK’s leading lighting designers. She has written three very successful books on the subject of lighting and has been a keynote speaker at top interior design and architectural events.

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Images from John Cullen Lighting