Outdoor lighting can be used to create an atmosphere and ambience when entertaining, extending long summer evenings or short winter nights, whilst also providing a sense of security and safety to darker outdoor areas. Thus adding both décor and security to your home.
There is a platitude of options when it comes to choosing exterior lights, so let us help you to find the right lighting solution for your exterior areas.
Where do you require exterior lighting?
The first step is to determine where you want to install your lighting. Is it a broad outdoor area that will require a bright light to illuminate the full area, or do you want to illuminate the feature wall down the side of your house?
Why do you require exterior lighting?
Secondly, determine why you require exterior lighting. Your reasons may be that you want to add security to your garage by lighting the entrance when motion is detected, light up your beautiful garden or pathways, or that you simply want to entertain on your deck until after dark.
Do you want solar or powered lighting?
Next is to determine if you want solar or powered lighting. Powered lights will require an electrician to install your lights, whereas solar can be installed by yourself and is charged by the sun.
Types of exterior lights
Once you have determined where you are placing your exterior lighting, why you need it and if you want these to be solar or powered, you should be able to select your ideal light(s) from the list of categories below.
Ideal for safety, illuminating dark areas of your home or when motion detection is required
Ideal for lighting large spaces or features around your outdoors
Ideal for ambiance and are generally a decorative light
Ideal for areas where constant light is needed, bulkheads are practical and robust
Key features to consider
Once you have picked your category and have narrowed down the type of lighting you require, you can pick the most suitable light for your needs based on several features. Below are some key features to consider.
How long is your lighting under warranty and are the conditions suitable. • IP Rating – Ingress Protection rating of a bulb or light fixture declares the level of protection it has against dirt and water • Light Colour Temperature – Colour temperature is a way to describe the light appearance provided by a light bulb
Lumens measure how much light you are getting from a bulb. More lumens mean it's a brighter light; fewer lumens mean it's a dimmer light
Motion detection is an electrical device that utilizes a sensor to detect nearby motion. Once it detects motion the light will turn on • Modern or Traditional Lighting – Your preference, taste, and style
The size of the lighting, again your preference • Timers – A timer will determine when the light turns on and off without your assistance
How to light up your outdoor entertainment area?
Lighting is an effective way to add ambiance and decor to your outdoor entertaining areas. Whether you want to continue your evening long after the sun goes down, add an effect with coloured lights, or add décor to your table settings, there is a lighting solution for the occasion.
Lanterns: Lanterns are a great option to add ambiance and décor to your outdoor areas. They are perfect to add to your outdoor table settings or they can be hung from trees, or the roof of your outdoor area.
String and Festoon Lights: String lights can transform your outdoor area, creating a warm and inviting environment. Drape them over surfaces, hang them from the roof, or wrap them around trees.
Spotlights: Spotlights are perfect for highlighting outdoor features, such as entrances, sculptures or trees.
How to install landscaping lighting? (Including how to light trees)
Landscape lighting can add value to your outdoor areas by highlighting features and creating a warm, inviting atmosphere. You can use landscape lighting to illuminate pathways or garden edges, highlight trees or outdoor sculptures, and add overall brightness to the outdoors of your home. Most landscape lighting is DIY and simple to install by yourself at home.
Step 1: Planning. Before you start, decide what you would like to achieve with your landscape lighting. Are you creating a soft mood or are you wanting to highlight an outdoor feature? Do you want to create a boundary along your pathways or outline your deck?
Step 2: Choose whether you would like to use solar or low voltage power. For low voltage lights, you will need to use an outdoor plug to power the lights, whereas solar lights are charged by the sun.
Step 3: Shopping. Purchase your landscape lights based on your needs, style, and budget.
Step 4: Installation. Low Voltage will need to be plugged into an IP rated, outdoor plug. Solar lights have a solar panel connected to the light that is required to be placed in sufficient sunlight throughout the day to ensure efficient charging.
Step 5: Placement. To highlight an outdoor feature, tree, or shrub, simply direct the lighting towards the feature. You can place multiple lights around the feature at a distance, pointing towards the same area. When lighting a boundary or pathway, landscape lights can be placed along the side of the garden boundary or pathway in even spaces. Face the light along the pathway or boundary.