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outdoor lighting

How To Design Your Outdoor Lighting

Whether decorative or functional, lights can be great for enhancing the aesthetics of any outdoor space.

We specialise in external lighting and know that the thought of the process can be daunting for those of you who are beginners.

Planning and taking the right steps are the two key ingredients to finding the right external lights.

Use the planning stage to evaluate your outdoor space carefully and consider the features you would like to light.

outdoor lighting

1. Identify The Key Features For Your Outdoor Lighting

When it comes to outdoor lighting, the key features that you choose will help to bring your vision to life.

You must first identify the elements that you would like to bring to attention and vice versa.

Once you have selected the features that you would like, think about how you can use different lighting techniques to create compelling effects that are most suited to them.

Here are some of the key features to use in your outdoor lighting:

  • The entrance
  • Trees
  • Flower beds
  • Sculptures
  • Pathways
  • Fences
  • Stairs
  • Benches
  • Water features

outdoor lighting

2. Design Your Outdoor Lighting

Now that you have an idea of the features you would like to bring to attention, it is time to illuminate every individual one in the best possible way.

This is where the design comes into play, and it is all about using the most suitable lighting techniques to create the most appealing effects that can enhance your features.

The effects that you create will impact the overall ambience of your outdoor lighting, so it is important to use the most appropriate technique for each one of the features.

Here are 5 techniques that are frequently used in outdoor lighting:

Spotlighting – Create powerful effects by directing the light source towards an object or an area.

Backlighting – Always placed behind an object or an area to create a soft-aura lighting effect around a feature.

Uplighting – Draw attention to an object by aiming light from a low fixed location.

Downlighting – Works similar to uplighting, but the light source will shine towards the object from the top.

Path lighting – Illuminates walkways and stairs to help increase visibility for safe accessibility at night.

outdoor lighting

3. Consider The Colour Temperature of Your Outdoor Lights

Before you choose the light fixtures and start using different techniques to create effects for your features, it is important to think about the colour temperature of the lights.

The colour temperatures that you choose can really impact the mood that is created.

Colour temperature is used to define how warm or cool a light source is, or to put it simply how yellow or white the source is.

The right colour temperature is a matter of choice but in general, warm temperatures create a relaxed atmosphere because they appear softer and more comfortable.

Cool temperatures are the opposite of warm temperatures, so they appear brighter and feel a lot colder.

colour temperature

4. Choose The Right IP Ratings For Your Outdoor Lighting

Your outdoor lighting is exposed to extreme weather conditions, water damage, dust and debris to name a few.

As a result, outdoor lights require a higher IP than those you can use indoors, but what exactly is IP?

IP stands for ingress protection and is used to identify the scale of protection against solids and liquids in electrical enclosures.

IP ratings will include two numbers. The first number indicates the level of protection against solid objects, and the second digit indicates how water-resistant the light source is.

The higher the IP, the better protection your light source has from all the possible threats.

ip rating

5. Choose Your Outdoor Lighting Fixtures

When looking at light fixtures, there are a few elements to consider such as size, colour, style and illumination.

In any outdoor lighting, most of the fixtures are decorative, so select them with your features in mind.

Pick colours that complement the style scheme of your property’s outdoor space.

But, remember that some areas need more illumination than others, including your stairs and walkways.

If you need to rewire the garden and add external power supplies, get in touch with us to find out what is really involved in rewiring and how we can help.

Here are a few outdoor light fixtures that work well together:

Use Solar Energy Lights: External lights that operate on solar energy are not only cheap to purchase, but they are easy to use, and you can save so much energy. They eliminate any wiring costs and high energy bills too.

Solar lights will get activated at night by the energy they have stored in their battery from the sun. You can place and move them anywhere you like.

They can last a long time but will never be as bright and intense as electrical fixtures. But, they come in various sizes and styles, so you can use them to light anything you want.

Consider LED lights: They are energy-efficient, highly durable and can last for a long time. They come in many colours from which you can choose to best illuminate the outdoor area.

They will give you the freedom to adjust the shade and brightness of your lights too. They are the perfect fixtures for those who enjoy changing the mood of their space frequently.

Spotlights: Great for creating drama and tension. They can make just about any feature or area stand out from the rest. Spotlights that are used in outdoor lighting can range in brightness and come in various sizes, which makes them a great addition to any garden.

Where you place them will impact the overall atmosphere of your garden, so think about the location and the direction of the lights carefully when designing your lights.

String Lights: Fantastic for decorating your trees. They can easily be passed through branches and leaves to make a tree visible at night.

light fixtures

6. Final Tip

Your outdoor lighting at night will impact nature in more ways than one. Lighting can affect the sleep and growth cycles, as well as the behaviour of both plants and animals.

Unlike your indoor lighting, you can use lower wattage lamps to illuminate the outdoor space, which can help to reduce your light pollution and overall environmental impact.

light fixtures