Your outdoor lighting can bring your outdoor space to life. Whether you’re using it for security, landscaping or to create an atmospheric entertaining area, outdoor lighting can transform how you see your pathway and garden areas.
In this guide, we’ll provide you with all of the information you need to create the perfect outdoor lighting design for your home.
What type of lighting do I need for an outdoor space?
The initial starting point when considering outdoor lighting is to establish its primary design goal. Is the purpose of your outdoor lighting to identify key entertaining areas, highlight surfaces that don’t usually stand out, or simply to create a clear walkway for yourself and visitors?
Depending on your specific needs you will require different types of lighting. These types of outdoor lighting include:
Task lighting is used to help users perform a specific task, so for outside lighting, it is used to highlight pathways and entrances. Outdoor task lighting can be achieved using a range of lighting including path lights, decking lighting and outdoor step lights.
However, it is important to note that if your lighting will be exposed to natural elements (like rain), you will need to install a wet-rated fixture and ensure the lighting is identified as outdoor lighting. This will make sure your lighting lasts as long as possible and can handle the impacts of the elements.
Ambient, or general lighting will provide your exterior with overall outdoor lighting. This type of lighting should typically provide a comfortable level of lighting, and allow people to see and walk around your outdoor space safely.
As a result, a light bulb with a lower lumen output will be sufficient. Anything brighter and your outdoor lighting can give off too much of a glare, which will make it more difficult to move around your outside space.
Accent lighting could be used to add drama and interest to your outdoor area. When it comes to this type of lighting, you should take time to establish the focal features you want to highlight in your garden. Features such as walkways, doors, planting areas, and architectural details are all ways to use accent lighting effectively.
Accent lighting is usually provided using spotlights and uplighting to create an added sense of drama.
As well as considering the type of lighting you require, you’ll also need to consider the brightness of your bulbs, too. Whilst a low lumen level is best for most exterior lighting so they aren’t blindingly bright, when it comes to security lighting, a high lumen level will be best.
What lighting fixtures should I use for my outdoor space?
Along with deciding what type of lighting you will use for your outdoor space, you’ll also need to decide what lighting fixtures you choose to use. When it comes to outdoor light fixtures, there are various designs you can choose from. Some of them include:
Path lights, also known as ground or post lighting, are the most common type of outdoor lighting in the UK. Their design compromises of a single bulb and a cap with a diffuser which is used to frame out specific features in your outdoor space.
Whether this be to define a planting area or outline a path towards your doorway, path lights can be practical whilst remaining decorative.
Outdoor wall lights are robust yet attractive, and are more commonly used for decorative purposes to provide ambient or accent lighting, rather than concentrated task lighting.
Whilst they are commonly seen in the form of porch lights, they can also be mounted onto almost any vertical wall.
Deck and Step lighting
Finally, step and decking lighting are an increasingly popular choice for gardens and outdoor areas. These light fixtures are fitted directly into a garden’s decking or hardscape, and are used as accent lighting or to provide a safe walkway up decking steps.
Deck lights are also a great choice for outdoor up lighting as they can define architectural features on your home and light up spaces for entertaining.
Do I need outdoor lighting for security?
Though outdoor security lighting isn’t necessary for your home to have, many homeowners feel comfortable with some form of lighting installed in their outside space.
If you’re designing the layout of your outdoor lighting with security in mind, you may want to focus particularly on the front door, driveway, garage, as well as any other entry points on the exterior of the house.
To ensure maximum security, motion sensor lights are a great solution as they are triggered by movement. Not only will this illuminate the area surrounding the entrance to your home, but it will also alert you to any outdoor movement whilst inside your home.
Do outdoor lights need mains electricity to work?
Depending on the individual requirements of your outdoor lighting will decide whether it will need mains electricity. Obviously, mains electricity is the most reliable power source as it will allow your outdoor lighting to brighten your space for as long as you need it to.
However, using mains electricity will come with wires which not only can ruin the look of your outdoor space but can cause issues when it comes to installation too.
Alternatively, you do have the option of solar powered outdoor lighting too. These lights use energy from natural sunlight in order to light the bulb. Unlike mains powered lighting, solar lighting doesn’t require any wiring, making it quick and easy to install. As well, advances in solar technology now mean that outdoor solar lighting can shine nearly as brightly as mains powered lighting.
The only feature to consider is that to work as effectively as possible, solar powered lighting must be placed in the areas that have a high exposure to sunlight. So, it is important to plan the positioning of your solar lighting before making any permanent decisions.
Buy outdoor lighting with Lightbulbs Direct
When planned correctly, outdoor lighting can revitalise the exterior of your home and add maximum kerb appeal.
If you’d like to explore our range of outdoor lighting, you can visit our page here.