Landscape lighting ideas generally focus on illuminating outdoor living areas or highlighting interesting architectural or landscape features around your home. We do not often think of including our vegetable gardens in landscape lighting designs, which makes neglecting our gardens a common mistake. Fortunately, this is one mistake that is easy to avoid, particularly if you are working with a professional outdoor lighting installer who can make suggestions about how best to incorporate lighting for your garden into your overall lighting plan.
Whether you are working with a professional or taking it on as a do-it-yourself project, be sure to include at least a few lights to help illuminate your food plants or herb garden. This will allow you to spend more time in your garden, help protect your plants from accidental intrusions, and make your garden safer by illuminating stepping stones, decorative rocks, raised garden beds or your collection of garden gnomes.
5 Landscape Lighting Ideas for Vegetable Gardens
1. Pathway Lights: First and foremost, every garden can benefit from some strategically placed path lights. This is a simple way to reduce tripping hazards and save your plants from being trampled by clearly showing designated walkways. While pathway lights are most effective for lighting the way, they can also help make some garden tasks a bit easier to accomplish at night.
Solar pathway lights are a good choice for established gardens. When going solar, you do not have to dig up your garden to bury wires and you can place your lights just about anywhere you would like – as long as they will receive enough sun. Since most vegetable gardens are purposely located in sunny spots, this should not be a problem.
If you are using older lights or some halogen options that give off heat, make sure you do not place them too close to your plants.
2. Downlights: Downlights placed high on trees, poles or structures are a great way to provide general lighting for a garden area. Downlights can help you navigate your garden, perform gardening tasks at night and make it easier to see if any critters are in your garden.
When properly installed and disguised, downlights can also cast a beautiful, soft glow over your garden that mimics moonlight. It can be difficult to reproduce the look of natural moonlight with landscape lights you pick up at your local garden center. To achieve a satisfactory end result, we recommend working with a professional who can get you the right lights and properly position them for a moonlight effect.
3. Task Lights: While there are plenty of homeowners who love spending time working in their vegetable gardens, there are also plenty who find it difficult to fit these tasks into their busy schedules. This can be particularly frustrating during the shorter days of fall and winter or when your assigned watering days coincide with days you have to work late.
If you sometimes (or often) need to work in your garden after dark, you will definitely appreciate how much easier life can be with some strategically placed task lighting. With task lights, you will no longer have to wear a head lamp or carry a flashlight, which will make gardening tasks more convenient.
4. Uplighting: Up lights are a nice addition to your vegetable garden lighting, because they can serve two purposes. Like other types of lighting mentioned in this list, uplighting can brighten your garden after dark to make working in or enjoying your garden at night easier. While performing this function, this type of lighting can also be creatively used to highlight architectural features of your home, trees or interesting landscape features in or around your backyard garden. This can be particularly effective if your garden consists of borders or beds adjacent to your home or other structures.
5. Motion Sensor Lights: Motion sensor lights are a good choice for gardeners who do not need their herbs or vegetables illuminated all night but do occasionally need light to perform late-night watering or tasks. They are also great for quickly letting you know when larger critters, such as dogs or deer, are in your garden. If your garden happens to be near an access point on your property or is in a dark corner where an intruder could hide, adding motion sensor lights can also help increase the security of your home.