From super-size decorations to adding subtle sparkle with candlelight, find the answer to your festive outdoor lighting dilemmas here
1. “I would like to add a fun, but stylish element to our garden for our children. What can you suggest?”
‘Outdoor lighting adds a magical touch to your house and garden during the Christmas season,’ says Jemma Jaques, Brand Manager, Cox & Cox. ‘Deer, star and tree lights will create a stylish and whimsical scene that will please parents and captivate children. This season, a beautiful faux-rattan light-up reindeer and outdoor light-up tree tower are two statement light features that are both really fun, and tasteful, keeping the whole family happy!’ Light-up reindeer, £70, Cox & Cox, 0844 858 0744, coxandcox.co.uk.
2. “We don’t have a front garden, so would like to light up our home’s tiny leaded windows. Any ideas?”
‘Create a winter wonderland scene by hanging glittery snowflakes and mini lanterns on any hooks, windowsills or nearby greenery,’ says Josephine Bennett, Head of Design, Laura Ashley. ‘Then draw the eye with the extra glow of tealights or candles on the windowsill inside.’
3. Is there a way to light my home that’s welcoming but not overbearing?
‘For an instant warm welcome, add some battery-operated fairy lights to give a traditional bay tree extra sparkle,’ says Craig Roman, Head of In-store Design, Dobbies Garden Centres. ‘These can be bought with a timer and set to come on after dark or when you get home from work, and will cast a warm glow over front doors and porches.’
4. What’s a suitable way to light the entrance of our converted chapel?
‘Lanterns are the perfect way to
bring festive charm to the exterior of your home,’ says Sandie Wallman, co-founder of Nordic House. ‘As well as looking striking, they protect candles from the elements, meaning you don’t need to worry about them being accidentally blown out. Choose lanterns in a range of sizes and materials and fill them with simple pillar candles, positioning them around the entrance to your home and along garden paths. They’ll create an instant welcoming light for guests.’
5. How can I illuminate my country home for Christmas without going over the top?
‘For an elegant look, make sure your lights are all similar – if not exactly the same – colours,’
says Bryony Hayburn, Product Specialist, Festive Lights. ‘White lights always add festive warmth and never go out of style. Lanterns or candles are ideal for paths and you could try winding waterproof outdoor wire lights around a log stack or tree. Icicle lights look great across the front of a house, hung in straight lines.’
6. Is there a modern country alternative to fairy lights for the wooded entrance of our home?
‘Why not go for oriental-style concertina accordion lanterns instead,’ says Bernadette O’Farrell, owner of the Indian Garden Company. She suggests decorating trees with stunning white, fire-retardant lanterns that, when fitted with a
tealight (either real or battery) provide a beautiful soft ambient light. ‘Try looping several over branches at different heights for a fabulous display that can be viewed from the house. This style of lantern is also classic enough to be used throughout the year for garden parties and outdoor entertaining.’
7. What are the best lights to show off the beautiful hedge in our front garden this Christmas?
‘Hedges look stunning covered in
net lights, as they work perfectly with the uniform shape,’ says Jo Naughton, co-founder of Lights4fun. ‘The lights are evenly spaced over the net, which makes them simple to arrange, and if you go for connectable ones, you’ll be able to cover as long a length as you wish, all from one plug. If it’s a less uniform look you’re after, try strings of outdoor fairy-light strings that you can drape to give a twinkle here and there.’ LED net light, from a selection, Lights4fun, 01423 816040, lights4fun.co.uk.
More companies to try…
B&Q 0333 014 3098, diy.com. Clas Ohlson 020 8247 9300,clasohlson.com. Dobbies Garden Centres 0131 561 6406, dobbies.com. Festive Lights 01257 792111, festive-lights.com. Homebase 0345 077 8888, homebase.co.uk. Indian Garden Company 01491 575367, indiangardencompany.co.uk. John Lewis 0345 604 9049, johnlewis.com. Laura Ashley 0333 200 8009, lauraashley.com. Nordic House 01872 223220, nordichouse.co.uk. Not on the High Street, 0345 259 1359, notonthehighstreet.com. Selfridges 0800 123400, selfridges.com. Squire’s Garden Centres 01252 356860, squiresgardencentres.co.uk. Tesco 0800 323 4050, tesco.com. Wyevale Garden Centres 0344 272 3000, wyevalegardencentres.co.uk.