Illumination Ideas for Raised Garden Beds
Lighting is typically integrated into landscapes to highlight specific areas of interest, illuminate outdoor seating areas, or for safety purposes. However, the lighting of your raised garden bed vegetable garden space is often overlooked. There are several reasons to use garden bed lighting, ranging from simple solar lights for garden beds to installing conduit lights. Read on to learn about lighting options for raised garden beds.
Reasons to Illuminate Garden Beds
Illuminating raised garden beds, especially vegetable beds, can serve both atmospheric and practical purposes. Avid gardeners often find it challenging to find time to tend to their gardens, either because they work late or because daytime temperatures are too high during the summer.
Installing lights on raised bed edges solves the issue of time. It allows gardeners to access their vegetable or elevated flower beds after the sun has set, without the need for bulky flashlights or headlamps.
Outdoor lighting inside or around raised garden beds also enables gardeners to inspect nighttime pests such as slugs or beetles or check for hiding spots for cats.
Five Types of Garden Bed Lighting
There isn't a one-size-fits-all lighting solution. Your choice depends on your ultimate goals, but there are essentially five different lighting concepts to consider.
Task lighting for the aforementioned reasons. Allows gardeners more time in the garden after sunset.
Path lighting to illuminate the pathway leading to raised garden beds, preventing tripping over hoses or trampling precious dahlias.
Uplighting mounted on tall trees, fences, or structures, casting lovely moon-kissed glows onto the garden below.
Upward lighting that illuminates the garden but can also be used to significantly highlight areas of interest in the garden or details in your home. These are excellent choices for lighting raised garden beds near your home or other structures.
Lastly, motion sensor lights that keep burglars or any other intruders at bay while allowing gardeners to perform nighttime tasks with illumination. They can also instantly light up marauding deer or other small animals.
Outdoor Lighting Information
Solar lights are the simplest lighting option and one of the best choices for mature gardens. With solar lights, there's no need to dig up any areas of the garden for wiring. Solar lights are also quite affordable.
However, depending on your climate, solar lights may have a short lifespan and provide dim illumination.
If you're willing to spend a bit more money and don't mind digging tunnels in your landscape, then wiring sleeves or conduits are your best bet. This option is ideal for homeowners who are just starting the beautification process as there will be no valuable plants, turf, or sidewalks to disturb. Pre-planning is necessary to install conduits under raised garden beds or pathways.
You may need to consult professionals before installing conduits. Contact the utility companies in your area before starting excavation to have the underground systems inspected. You may also need to inquire with local municipal authorities for information regarding property boundaries and whether permits are required.
The Final Word on Lighting for Raised Garden Beds
You don't always need an electrician. Big-box stores and similar retailers often sell lights that homeowners can easily install, depending on how much illumination you desire, the type of lights, existing power, etc. There are plenty of outdoor options available. Do your research and/or consult a landscape designer to make the most of your outdoor lighting needs.