New landscape lighting for back garden


June 24, 2020

Uplighting on an agave, path light near a yucca in the foreground, and existing string lights

It only took 12 years, but we finally installed path lighting and uplighting in the backyard, and what a big difference it makes. We already had two sets of string lights for parties, which are on manual switches. But now we have ground-level lighting that highlights plants and garden art and comes on automatically at dusk.

Uplighting on a potted agave and a tall yucca, plus a path light

Now, even when we’re inside, we enjoy the soft glow of the nighttime garden through windows and doors. And outdoors we have practical path lighting as well as the drama of uplighting on bold plants like agaves and yuccas, as well as a few trees.

Uplighting on a prickly pear and wall panel behind the house

It makes all the difference in the world in the feel and utility of our garden after dark.

A wider view of uplighting along the back of the house, plus string lights and agave uplighting at the far end.

Props to my DH for installing it! We were about to hire someone, just to get it done, but then the pandemic happened, and we were loath to have anyone at our house, even outside. So he worked on it a little at a time over a couple of weekends, running low-voltage wiring in shallow trenches under gravel paths and along the edge of planting beds. Plugging in a transformer at each end of the yard (one at the upper patio, the other in the pool pump shed) worked best for our long, narrow backyard. From each side he then ran wiring up and down paths and beds.

Uplighting on a young cedar elm, plus overhead string lights

The lights I bought are from superbrightleds.com: path lights and uplights. (I chose them based on my own research; this is not a paid endorsement.) I got them in Natural White but kind of wish now I’d opted for the Warm White, which has a lower wattage and warmer hue. Still, we’re very happy with them and just wish we hadn’t waited 12 years.

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Agave ovatifolia switcheroo



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