Outdoor lighting allows you to continue enjoying your garden once the sun has gone down, can highlight and emphasise beautiful architecture or landscape, and helps you to navigate your outdoor space safely in the dark. Read the following tips to help choose the perfect outside lights for your home:
How to choose outdoor lighting:
First of all you need to decide what you what will you use your outdoor lighting for:
Safety and Security: Line your walkways and driveway with path lights for safety and home security. While visually quelling your fears, path lights also serve as helpful guides for guests who may need assistance and guidance towards the front door. Flood lights are also commonly used for illuminating large areas of space that are usually kept in the dark. While flood lights are not usually considered decorative for outdoor lighting, they are extremely beneficial, can run on motion sensors, and are usually installed inconspicuously and out of sight.
Decorative Outdoor Lighting These garden lights can help create inviting and intimate outdoor gathering or entrance spaces. For a welcoming entrance consider outdoor lights such as hanging lanterns, while oversized chandeliers could transform a gazebo into an outdoor dining room. Outdoor wall lights and lanterns can flank entry doors or line walkways and gardens. Marking an entry or arrival, lamp posts can also be used for hanging Christmas wreaths or marking house numbers. Some fire pits will add ambient light as well as warmth, so make a lovely outdoor lighting option for late night chats around the patio.
Landscape Outdoor Lighting This type of lighting is probably the key design feature that often gets neglected when designing a garden. Landscape lighting not only highlights well designed features, but it also conceals the features that you may not want on display. Spotlights can shine directly on a plants, trees or architectural features, while walkway lighting will serenely guide you through the garden and landscape. For decks and staircases you can use recessed decking lights or uplighters that are flush to the structure, for visibility as well as for the soft cascading effect of light.
What are the power options for outdoor lights?
There are three different power options to choose from:
Solar Garden Lights
Solar lights are perfect for spaces that don’t have regular access to electricity or do not require powerful outdoor lights. They work by storing energy generated by sunlight in a battery which is activated once the sun has gone down. They are wireless, require little maintenance and are portable, but since they rely on sunlight to produce power, it’s important that these lights are placed in an area that regularly receives a large amount of sunlight.
Mains-powered lights are permanent fixture and rely on installed wiring and electrical setups. They function to the same level as interior lights, so it’s more common to use these for flood lights or other security lights. They are also used as entry lights or in other areas relying on these light fixtures as primary light sources.
Battery-Powered Garden Lighting
Like solar lights, battery-powered lights are portable and wireless. However, since they run on batteries, these will need replacing every so often. Therefore, if you intend to use them a lot, it may be worth opting for solar- or mains-powered outdoor lighting instead, as the price of replacement batteries can quickly add up.
What is LED outdoor lighting?
LED outdoor lights are a type of bulb which have a very long life, are inexpensive to run and come in a variety of colours and types. They can be found in various forms such as LED fairy lights, decking lights and security lights and they can be be mains-, solar- or battery-powered.
What additional accessories or specialty outdoor lighting may you need?
For seasonal parties or festive gatherings, there is also a wide range of outdoor party lighting including string lights to hang on your house or drape on a pergola or outdoor structure. Tiki torches are fun and add an exotic effect to any party. Additional features include self timers, motion sensors, and of course environmentally-friendly outdoor lights.