When choosing exterior lighting for your property, it’s important to consider how changing seasons throughout the year will impact your lighting requirements.
In spring, for example, blustery winds and rain can batter outdoor lighting, while in summer you can experience long hours of heat. Meanwhile, in autumn and winter, long dark nights mean your exterior lighting gets a real work-out.
With this in mind, you should certainly explore how your chosen fixtures will withstand the elements, and how too they will satisfy your lighting goals such as providing a winning ambiance when guests come calling, or ensuring visibility and safety while travelling down driveways and pathways.
We’ll talk you through some simple tips and tricks to create a spectacular outdoor lighting scheme that will last you all year round…
Setting a scene
Lighting design is all about layering, and this is true both inside and once you step out of your front door too. When planning your outdoor lighting scheme, you should always try to incorporate these three basic elements – ambient, task, and accent lighting.
Many of us love entertaining guests outside in the evening, whiling away the hours al fresco long after the sun disappears. From around bonfire season onward, when darkness gathers early and fast, it’s time to think about ambient artificial lighting.
Ambient lighting can be achieved in a number of ways to suit the design of your space. Think deck lights, pendant lights or wall lights. Whichever you opt for, ambient lighting is key to creating the right setting to help you relax and get cosy at the end of a long day.
Ideal for lighting decks, terraces or patios, our funky Cube LED Deck Light fits the bill. Each one is handcrafted to order in our Derbyshire workshop and made from hand cut float glass which produces a unique shimmering effect when illuminated.
Next, think about your task lighting. As the name suggests, this lighting is positioned to help you achieve a certain task, whether that’s illuminating the icy pathway to your front steps, or helping you to retrieve your front door keys from inside a cavernous handbag.
We love our Eco City 350 LED Path Light. Designed to shine light down a path or road, these tasteful wooden luminaries will blend seamlessly into your outdoor lighting design. What’s more, their LED bulbs use far less energy than other types of bulbs, and the luminaires are designed for low maintenance and great longevity.
While accent lighting is often overlooked, it’s no less important than the previous two elements. In winter months, accent lighting takes centre stage. That’s because accent lighting makes merry in the darkness, from Christmas lights to illuminating points of interest such as statues and fountains. It can lead the eyes away from foliage that’s out of season in winter, towards plants that are more perennial.
We recommend our Quadrum LED Spike Spot Light which has a unidirectional square head mounted on a stainless steel spike. This allows for total creative control making it ideal for accent lighting in bushes, trees and plants.
Brush up on your Ingress Protection (IP) ratings
Next up, it’s time to pick your fixtures. It’s crucial to pick a fixture with the correct IP rating to protect it from the notorious unpredictability of British weather. The IP rating you’re looking for will depend on where the luminaire is installed and what it will be used for.
If you’re looking for standard garden lights such as path lights, wall lights and spot lights you should aim for a minimum rating of IP44.
IP44-rated outdoor lights can withstand rain and splashing water and are safe to use outdoors. Meanwhile, IP54 outdoor lights carry the same protection for water ingress, however their enclosures have further resistance to the ingress of dust particles (solid bodies larger than 1mm).
Deck and patio lights require a higher level of protection if they’re often exposed to direct streams of water when being cleaned. An IP rating of around IP65 or higher will allow you to jet wash your path or patio worry-free.
Would you like to speak with a member of our team about your garden lighting objectives? You can reach us on + 44 (0)330 223 3940 or firstname.lastname@example.org.