We tend to carefully consider the indoor lighting in our homes but outdoor lighting deserves just as much attention. From motion sensor security lighting to decorative lamps for outdoor entertaining, we help shine a light on outdoor lighting.
If you’re using mains voltage for your outdoor lights, ensure they are waterproof and durable. The IP rating, which indicates the degree to which the light is protected against anything getting inside it (the first digit) and how much moisture it can withstand (the second digit), should be at least 44. This should increase if it is likely to be exposed to heavy rain or garden water sources such as sprinkler systems. Of course, if you are looking for a water feature light, such as an uplighter for a pond, it will need to be the highest rating - 68. Because outdoor lighting by its very nature is more vulnerable to the elements, it’s a good idea to get a professional electrician to make sure all wiring and sockets are properly installed.
Well-thought-out entrance lights will guide you to your front door in the dark, welcome visitors, and help you to identify callers at the front door. Porch lights should match the style of your front door and the overall style of the house and should be at least 60W. If there’s little street lighting or your home is set back from the street, you may need to go as high as 100W. As well as porch lights you may want to add path lights and even one or two uplighters in a front garden area.
Motion sensor security lights are only activated at night by movement and are a good security measure. You can direct them at doors, windows or paths - anywhere you feel could pose a security threat - but ensure they are at least two metres above the ground to prevent them from being tampered with.
If you frequently eat outside, patio lights will enable you to use your entertaining space all evening too. Choose from recessed spotlights in the roof of your veranda, to wall-mounted lamps, to decorative coloured glass lamps hanging from the ceiling, or a mixture of all three. Just make sure your lighting scheme serves its primary purpose of illuminating your furniture and providing enough light by which to eat/drink/generally see your guests and family!
Decorative lighting helps to create a wonderful atmosphere in your outdoor entertaining space. White or coloured fairy lights and light curtains add sparkle and cheer - just make sure that you use lights specifically designed for outdoor use. You can also use lights to highlight particular features in your garden - an uplighter that illuminates a spectacular tree, for example, or lighting surrounding a sparkling water feature.