Outdoor Lighting Buying Guide
Create an outdoor ambience
Make sure evenings with friends and family are suitably illuminated. Whether you have a back garden or a balcony, outdoor lighting holds the key to creating an idyllic outdoor retreat.
Great lighting is not just fundamental to your home’s interior, it is the easiest way to transform your outdoor spaces too. Allowing you to extend your evenings, create an inviting ambience and zone your outdoor spaces - good garden lighting is invaluable.
Outdoor lighting looks and functions best when it complements the architectural design of a building, subtly providing light where it’s needed most, without glare. Whether wall lights, pendants or bollard lights - we recommend looking for diffused or downward directed lighting, which will provide a glare-free glow.
We take you through some of the things to consider when investing in outdoor lighting for your garden.
The technical bit
The very first thing to look out for when choosing outdoor lighting is the IP rating. Ingress Protection ratings measure the degree of protection a light has against both particles and water. Generally speaking, the higher the IP rating, the more protected your light is and lights that are to be used outdoors need a high IP rating for safe use.
The IP rating is split into two parts – the first digit relates to the ingress of particles and ranges from 0 (no protection) to 6 (dust tight). The second digit refers to the ingress of moisture and ranges from 0 (no protection) to 8 (protection from complete submersion under pressure).
Look out for ratings of IP44 or above for splash-proof outdoor lighting, and IP65+ for the best protection against water. Some IP20 rated lights can be suitable for short-term use outdoors, but don’t forget to bring them inside if it rains and at the end of the day.
Also remember - when installing outdoor lighting, all wiring must be protected, and all metalwork earthed. Plus, where possible, switches must be located indoors. We recommend seeking out the advice of a certified electrician when installing your outdoor lighting.
Our top tip: layer your lighting
If you approach lighting your outdoor spaces in a similar way as you would your indoor spaces - you can’t go wrong. As in your interiors, we recommend layering three types of light in your garden: ambient, task and decorative. This will ensure you get the perfect ambience, with directed light where you need it most.
Consider what the needs of your outdoor space are. Do you need to light up a long pathway, simply provide a glow for outdoor dining, or both? Take time to work out what outdoor lighting you need before you invest.
A great way to provide your outdoor area with an even, comfortable glow - outdoor ambient lighting is usually created with a pendant, floor lamp or wall light. These kinds of lights illuminate a wide area without glare and are perfect for lighting up gathering spaces, dining areas and lounge spots.
Task lighting provides directed light for a specific purpose and is one of the largest choice categories for outdoor lighting. Task lighting will help you light up an outdoor pathway to make sure any potential hazards are visible or provide an island of light around your doorway – making sure it’s always easy to find your keys.
As well as creating an overall ambience, wall lights help to highlight focal points on your home and provide illumination to doorway nooks. Choose from pared-back shapes such as the Louis Poulsen Flindt Wall Light, or invest in a more decorative wall light such as the PH Outdoor Wall Light to bring a sense of modernist style to your outdoors.
The most flexible and adaptable form of outdoor task lighting, however is the portable table lamp. Cordless, rechargeable, LED lighting that can be placed where you need it most, portable table lamps offer light without limits. Just don't forget to check the IP rating on your chosen design!
Introduce a pop of colour to your garden with the Petite Friture Quasar Portable Table Lamp or extend your al fresco picnic by hanging the Audo Copenhagen Carries LED Table Lamp in the nearest tree – the choice is up to you. For more information on portable table lamps, discover our top 12 designs here.
Both ambient and task lights can be decorative – this kind of lighting is all about style and creating visual interest. Once you have the basics covered, you can think about where to focus on decorative lighting to provide that ‘wow’ factor. Your decorative lighting choices should be driven by your personal style and don’t be scared to go bold!
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We hope you found this guide useful. If you need further help, please get in touch by calling 0114 243 3000, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via Live Chat.
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