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A Guide to Outdoor Lighting

27.05.2014

Do you want to light up your garden but don't know how to choose outdoor lighting? Our outdoor lighting guide includes all the information you need to purchase lights for your garden.

Outdoor lighting is the perfect way to make your garden an extension of your home. In the summer months, we all like to get outdoors and enjoy our gardens and outdoor spaces as much as possible. The right lighting can illuminate your garden and make your home exterior a warm and welcoming place, even after dark. Depending on the fittings you choose, garden lighting can create a fabulous space for entertainment as well as make your garden much safer.

Things to consider before buying outdoor lighting

Space: How big is your outdoor space? If you have a very large garden to illuminate, you might want to consider flood lights and wall lights. However, if you have a smaller space or want a more subtle effect, a few deck lights or spike lights placed around your garden strategically would create an inviting look.

Security: If security is a concern, think about installing PIR sensor lights to the front and back of your home. These will alert you when someone approaches your home as well as deterring intruders.

Safety: Consider the safest places to install lighting and light switches. Most outdoor switches should be sheltered from the rain. When buying outdoor lighting, it is also important that the fitting has the correct IP rating (IP44 or higher).

Outdoor Wall Lights

Wall lights are a great way to light up up the entrance to your home.  The front of our home is often forgotten about, but outdoor wall lights will illuminate dark porches and doorways and create a warm welcoming and safe atmosphere for visitors.  Outdoor wall lights will also help you to identify who is at your front door to make you feel safer in your home. As well as being a practical solution to lighting, wall lights add a stylish touch to your outdoor spaces. They come in a range of modern and traditional styles, with a choice of colours and finishes including black and stainless steel.

Security Lights

Security lighting is one of the most effective ways to keep intruders away from your home and make your outdoor spaces feel safer. Security lights with PIR (passive infrared) sensors will come on automatically when they detect movement around your home. Choose a security light with a wide beam and install it at least two metres from the ground. This allows for maximum effect and keeps your security lights out of reach from damage and tampering.

Decking Lights

Deck lights are the perfect way to show off outdoor spaces. They provide a subtle, decorative glow to illuminate paths, driveways and seating areas. Recessed LED lights can be fit directly into decking or paths for a flush fit that is safe to walk over. Although they won’t illuminate your entire garden, deck lights are perfect for adding ambience lighting and highlighting decorative features in the garden. Decking lights can help to create a comfortable outdoor sitting area as well as ensuring safety when walking around after dark.

Spike Lights and Post Lights

Spike lights and post lights are a versatile way to illuminate a garden. They can be placed along pathways and drives to light up the way. They can also be grouped in areas of your garden to create cosy sitting and dining areas. Spotlights will help focus attention on the best parts of your garden and can be directed to illuminate patios, water features or your favourite shrub.

Spike lights require no installation, they are simple placed into the ground and can be moved around as often as you like.

Decorative post and pedestal lights can add a unique and interesting feature to your garden, and come in modern and traditional styles.

Outdoor Solar Lights

 Solar lights are an easy way to add ambient light to outdoor spaces. They work by using daylight to change an internal battery, so they require no electrical work or wiring. Solar powered lights are environmentally friendly and the most cost effective way to light up your garden. They are perfect for adding accent light to your outdoor spaces, and they are easy to move around when you want to change your look. Our range of outdoor solar lights include post lights, deck lights and lanterns.

LED Garden Lighting 

The latest technology in home lighting, LED lights are safe, bright, long lasting and energy efficient which makes them perfect for outdoor use.  Outdoor LED lighting offers you endless opportunities to light up your garden and create a stylish alfresco atmosphere without worrying about cost. Litecraft have a range of LED lighting available for gardens and outdoor spaces, including wall lights, deck lights, security lights and spike lights. We also have a range of LED garden glow furniture which not only provides a fun place to sit, but also illuminates outdoor spaces with colourful LED lights.

What is an IP Rating?

When buying an outdoor light, it is extremely important to check the IP (Ingress Protection) rating.

IP rating determines the safety of a light fitting. The first number determines the degree of protection against contact and from solid items such as soil and dust getting inside the light. The second number determines the lights protection against liquids and moisture. This is important when it comes to outdoor lighting, as light fittings in your garden are very likely to come into contact with water. Take a look at our graphic below for more information.

IP rating safety guide for outdoor lighting

The higher the IP rating, the safer a light is. For outdoor lighting, a minimum IP rating of IP44 is required.  This means that nothing bigger than 1cm can get inside the light, and that it is protected against splashing water.

How to install outdoor lighting?

Before installing any outdoor lighting, make sure that it is suitable for outdoor use and that it that has a high enough IP rating to be waterproof and durable. Mains voltage outdoor lighting must be installed carefully, with safety in mind. Wiring must be protected from moisture and metalwork should be earthed. All outdoor lighting that involves any sort of electrical installation must comply with UK safety regulations and standards.

For these reasons, we strongly recommend using a qualified electrician to fit your outdoor lighting. An electrician will ensure that all wiring and sockets are properly installed and protected from hazards.

View our extensive range of outdoor lighting here.

 

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