Landscape Lighting for your Garden Ornamentation / by Chad Rodvold

While traveling through south Texas this week, I went to a clients and found a unique addition to the front garden. At first I thought it had to be a joke, but then I realized how it was securely mounted to the trunk. Brings a smile to my face and I thought how lucky I am to have such "cool" clients. 

Now don't get me wrong, I am not thinking of adding a light to enhance the viewing pleasure of the bicycle anytime soon. However, I do think it was the perfect lead-in to illustrate several examples of different types of landscape lighting for enhancing your garden ornaments and statues. 

First, I can't tell you all my secrets and I do have to give credit to the master John Robin Watson for his teaching. He truly was amazing!


Typically, a garden ornament or statue is an afterthought when added to the landscape and that is how the lighting of it is usually done as well. Put a light on a stake in front of it and let it shine!!!! The only time to ever consider doing such a thing is when there's considerable landscape around to conceal the lighting unit and there are no trees on the property. This means do all your feature lighting from the trees. The above statue was illuminated with a low voltage 50W Par36 incandescent on a dimmer. The key to this type of lighting is finding the correct location for the lighting unit and amount to dim for the appropriate affect.  

Below, this garden ornament on a west Texas ranch was illuminated with a medium 3,000 kelvin 24W LED spot with a special lens and dimmer. Again, location of the unit is extremely important to get the proper coverage and lighting intensity.

While working at JWLI

While working at JWLI

The above feature is when you have to use everything in your arsenal so a 300W Par56 incandescent and 500W Par64 incandescent were used to achieve this result. Both lights are on separate dimmers and you have to determine the type of beam spread to use, for example spot, flood, medium flood, wide flood and narrow flood. Proximity to the feature and the feature characteristics will help you in determining which one to use.

Garden ornaments bring so much to an outdoor environment that it requires proper illumination or that ornamentation will turn into an eye sore in the evening hours. Just google lighting outdoor statue and look at the images. Most features are illuminated from the ground and the lighting creates a hot spot on the lower portion of the feature while the upper portion is either in the dark or shadowed. Also, most of the pictures are taken at dusk when the light intensity isn't showing as great. Little tricks the imitators try to use!

Illuminating garden elements is difficult and there isn't a one type or style of light for every type of feature. If we can help you in illuminating a special garden ornament for your home and garden, please contact us.