Advice and Ideas on Outdoor Lighting to Use Near the Sea

When you live by the sea, choosing the right exterior lights such as outside wall lights becomes a little trickier than for those living further inland. Coastal light fixtures are exposed to more salt water, wind and rain than other locations, leaving them vulnerable to corrosion.

Below, we will talk about weather resistant outdoor lighting and how to choose the best coastal lighting for your specific home.


Why You Should Use Special Outdoor Lighting Near the Coast 

Any outdoor lighting is at a disadvantage against damage simply by the nature of being outside in the elements. On the coast, you have to worry about sun, wind and rain beating down on your fixtures like anywhere else. Unlike other locations, however, your lights also have to contend with salt exposure.

Salt in coastal areas is essentially airborne, so it can spread and cover larger areas of space through the wind alone. This leaves your coastal fixtures at a greater risk.

Coastal salt is particularly damaging to light fixtures due to its hygroscopic composition. This simply means light fixtures are able to attract water more easily, which can cause unnecessary damage to your outdoor lights.

Therefore, the best lights for near the sea are going to be salt waterproof illumination. This can come in many forms, such as brass step lights, wall lights and pathway lighting, which can ensure extra protection against these conditions. This way, you can avoid the expensive hassle of constantly replacing damaged fixtures.


How To Choose the Best Lights for Near the Beach

Ultimately, the style of your balcony lighting or other outdoor coastal lighting will come down to your personal preferences. Even so, you will need to start with material that is corrosion resistant, and work from there. Below are some of the best materials you can use for your coastal lights:


  • BRASS – LED brass outside wall lights are a surefire way to keep your fixtures protected from salt damage. High grade brass that has plenty of bronze elements is a great choice for coastal fixtures.
  • STAINLESS STEEL – Stainless steel works well in coastal settings, so long as it is of a higher quality. This might cost you a little extra, but it will be worth it in the long run. You should also use stainless steel screws to prevent rust from running into the lights, which can be difficult to remove.
  • GALVANISED STEEL – This material is thought to be among the best options for coastal lighting. It is strong and resistant especially to salt exposure, so you can rely on it to withstand the elements by your home.

You can take the protection of your lights one step further by painting the lights with a clear yacht varnish, regardless of the material. This will guard the body of the lights for years to come against salt and other coastal elements they’ll be exposed to.

Beach house with modern outside wall lighting

How To Maintain Outdoor Lighting by the Coast

Whether you’ve chosen a brass outdoor wall light or other material, there will be a measure of maintenance that will be required. Maintaining the lights will ensure that you are getting the most out of your light fixtures. It will also help you avoid constantly replacing your coastal lights. Below, you’ll find some tips on maintenance for your outdoor lights:


  • Regularly wash down the lights using fresh water.
  • Spray a lubricant to the lights, such as WD-40 or something similar. This will provide the lights with a protective coating while keeping out moisture. This should be done pretty regularly.
  • Place Vaseline or other similar petroleum jelly in any exposed screw holes. This will protect the screws themselves from the elements. Avoid using abrasive or mechanical cleaning products, as this may damage the galvanisation or any other coatings on the fixture.
  • Choose a light that has the appropriate IP rating to ensure it is water tight and won’t take on damage from sand. This is especially important for brass ground lights, brass step lights or any other type of LED ground lights.


What IP Rating Should Lights be That Are Used Near The Sea?

Ingress Protection ratings, often shortened to simply IP ratings, are a measure of a light’s ability to protect itself from moisture and water damage. It consists of two digits, with the first referring to resistance to debris, and the second referring to resistance to water. IP ratings are important to note when shopping for any light, but they are especially important for coastal lighting.

Below, you can learn about what each digit means:

First Digit – Solids


0  –  No protection from solids or debris.

1  –  Protection from entry by objects that are larger than 50 millimeters.

2  –  Protection from entry by objects that are larger than 12.5 millimeters.

3  –  Protection from entry by objects that are larger than 2.5 millimeters.

4  –  Protection from entry by objects that are larger than 1 millimeter.

5  –  Dust protected; protects against entry of most sizes of dust.

6  –  Dust tight; protects against entry of all dust particles.


Second Digit – Moisture

0  –  No protection against water or moisture.

1  –  Protection against water that drips vertically.

2  –  Protection against water that drips vertically when at an angle of 15 degrees.

3  –  Protection against sprayed water when at an angle of 60 degrees.

4  –  Protection against splashing water from any direction.

5  –  Protection against water that is sprayed in light jets from any direction.

6  –  Protection against water that is sprayed in powerful jets of water from any direction.

7  –  Protection against complete immersion as deep as one meter.

8  –  Protection against complete immersion deeper than one meter.

Those who live close to the coast need lights with an IP rating of IP65 or higher to ensure its safety and long lasting life.

Lighting IP ratings Chart

What is Colour Temperature And What is Best For Lighting a Coastal Location?

Colour temperature is a way to talk about light and its levels of visual warmth or coolness. The temperature of a light is measured on a scale of Kelvin units ranging from 1,000 to 10,000. The closer you get to the bottom of the spectrum, the warmer the lights are. Conversely, the upper half of the spectrum is where you’ll find cooler colour temperatures.

When it comes to beachside light fixtures and coastal area lamps, the recommended colour temperature varies depending on the applications of the light. Warm white light ranging between 2700k and 3500k tends to be good for accent and ambient lighting outdoors due to the relaxing, atmospheric mood it creates.

If you want to use your coastal lamps for architectural feature lighting, entertainment areas and dining areas, natural white light between 4000k and 5000k is ideal. This is a great colour temperature for emphasizing the green pigments in plants and flowers, while also providing a crisper look at smaller details in architecture.

Finally, if you intend to use your exterior lights as a security measure, 5000k to 6000k colour temperatures are best. These colour temperatures prioritize safety and visibility first and foremost, as cool lighting tends to look brighter.

LED colour temperature guide

What Types of Lighting Controls Can You Use?

Outdoor lighting can be controlled in several different ways, giving you customization options that work best for you. Take a look at some of the ways you can control coastal light fixtures below:


  • MANUAL SWITCHES – Whether you use outdoor switch panels to control multiple fixtures or single wall switches, these are among the easiest and most common ways to turn your sea resistant lights on and off.


  • TIMERS – By setting marine grade outside lights on a timer, you can program them to turn on and off at certain times. Through these, you can schedule specific hours you want the lights to run, making them more eco-friendly. This sort of automation enhances the security of the area by giving the impression that you are home even when you aren’t.


  • MOTION SENSORS – Motion sensors on your marine grade lighting will turn them on and off whenever movement is detected nearby. This is another energy-efficient and environmentally friendly option.


  • PHOTOCELLS – Photocell controls operate based on the natural light levels around them. They will naturally turn on at dusk and turn back off at dawn. Usually, you can adjust the light threshold to determine how dark or how light it must be before the state of illumination changes.


  • REMOTE CONTROL LIGHTING – Using wireless remote controls, you can turn the lights on and off from a distance. This is a convenient choice for those who like to manually control the lights.


  • SMART LIGHTING – Smart lighting controls your weatherproof lights in a few different ways. One way is to use an app on your phone to customize schedules, turn lights on and off and even customize the lights themselves.


You can also connect outside wall lights and other exterior lights to your smart home system. Control them with your voice to give yourself hands-free operation.


Why LEDs Are the Best for Coastal Lighting Installations

When it comes to durable outdoor lighting, LED bulbs are every bit as important as weather resistant outdoor lighting on the coast. There are many unique benefits to LED outdoor lighting that traditional halogen bulbs don’t offer, including:


  • ENERGY EFFICIENCY – LED bulbs in coastal lighting fixtures will use 80 percent less energy than halogen bulbs, making them less of a drain on your electricity.


  • ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY – Due to the limited energy consumption, you can lessen your carbon footprint.


  • LONG LIFE – LED bulbs are rated to last tens of thousands of hours, which is exponentially more than the 1,000 hours or so halogen bulbs offer. Longer lifespans mean you won’t have to replace the bulbs nearly as often.


  • COST-SAVING – With less electricity used and a less often need for replacements, LED bulbs can save you money both in your purchases and electricity costs.


  • CUSTOMIZATION – With so many colour temperatures and lumen combinations, you can control the look of your illumination down to the finest details.


Do’s and Don’ts When Using Outdoor Wall Lights in a Coastal Location

Here, you’ll find some tips for getting the best lights for near the beach.




DO use non corrosive lights. It is important to choose corrosion resistant materials for your fixtures, such as a brass outdoor wall light or brass step lights. You can also choose marine grade stainless steel or other corrosion-resistant metal alloys.


– DO use the right rating. Some lights are specifically manufactured for use in coastal areas. Check for any indication of this as well as the IP ratings to ensure you are using water-tight lights.


– DO clean and maintain lights regularly. Due to the near-constant exposure to moisture and salt, coastal lighting may need closer attention than other lighting. Clean them often to remove any salt deposits that may have built up.


– DO position the lights in a smart way. Angle the lights away from any direct exposure to salt water to protect the fixtures for longer.




– DON’T use low quality materials. Choosing lights that are not resistant to corrosion will hurt you in the long run. Be sure you are using the best materials for the job in order to get the most out of the lights.


– DON’T neglect maintenance. Be sure you take the time to regularly check the fixtures and clean them off when needed. Neglecting to do so will put the lights at higher risk of degradation sooner.


– DON’T oversaturate with light. Be mindful of light pollution so you don’t disrupt the natural seaside ambiance.


Design Ideas for Lighting Your Coastal Home at Night 

There are many ways you can light up your coastal home to your liking using various methods. One of the most popular ways to do so is through pathway illumination. You can light paths from the beach, down docks and piers and up to the house using bollard lights and brass ground lights.

The landscape by the sea is especially beautiful with its unique plant life and trees. Using fixtures such as uplights, you can highlight these natural landscapes. You can also draw the eye to any man-made additions such as fountains and sculptures.

Your deck and patio facing the sea need to be well-lit to be enjoyed to the maximum effect. Recessed lighting along the edges of patios and decks help to zone out the lights. Wall mounted fixtures such as stylish LED brass outside wall lights work well here to provide ambient light in seating areas.

If you have any interesting architectural features on your home’s exterior, you can use up and down wall lights or wall grazing lights to show them off. Pillars, columns, alcoves and textured walls can benefit heavily from these.


Ideas for Coastal Lighting


  1. LWA371 3 Watt Brass Finish Outdoor LED Wall Light

LWA371 3 watt brass finish modern outside lights

Elevate the appearance of your porch or other entryways with the LWA371 3 Watt Brass Finish Outdoor LED Wall Light. This elegant light features a protective brass finish that contrasts nicely against the acrylic diffuser. From this diffuser shines a moderately bright 300 lumens of 3000k warm white light in the general area. It has an IP65 rating to protect it from most dust and moisture.



  1. LWA369 3 Watt Brass Finish Outdoor LED Wall Light

LWA369 3 watt brass external wall lights

Light up your garden, patio or anywhere else outside the home with the LWA369 3 Watt Brass Finish Outdoor LED Wall Light. This light features a cylindrical shape with a bulb at the bottom. The 300 lumens of 3000k warm white light shine down on the wall beneath it for a wall washing effect. It features a reliable IP65 rating as well as a durable brass finish, both of which protect it from the damage of the sea.



  1. LWA372 6 Watt Brass Finish Up and Down Outdoor LED Wall Light

LWA372 6 watt brass up and down modern outdoor wall sconce

Create a visually stunning outdoor living area with the LWA372 6 Watt Brass Finish Up and Down Outdoor LED Wall Light. This light is cylindrical in shape and features an acrylic diffuser both on the top and bottom. From here, 600 lumens of 3000k warm white light is emitted, offering up a nice, warm glow. The light is finished in hard-wearing brass and comes equipped with an IP65 rating for added protection.



  1. LWA370 6 Watt Brass Up and Down Outdoor Wall Light

LWA370 brass up and down outdoor garden wall lights

Illuminate your home’s exterior with the beauty and durability of the LWA370 6 Watt Brass Up and Down Outdoor porch Wall Light. Featuring a cylindrical shape with a bulb at either end, the 600 lumens of 3000k warm white light washes the walls both above and below it. It measures 130 millimeters in height by 44 millimeters in width, making it easy to install beside doorways. This light has an IP65 rating and is finished in a durable brass coating.



  1. ODL047 1 Watt Round Brass Finish LED Ground or Decking Light

ODL047 1 watt brass LED recessed ground lights

The ODL047 1 Watt Round Brass Finish LED Ground or Decking Light is an ultra modern brass ground light well suited for decks and pathways all the same. This light features a durable body with a polished brass finish that works with the IP65 rating to prevent corrosion. It features 70 watts of 3000k warm white illumination that shines at a 30-degree beam angle. Its small size of 38 millimeters in diameter makes this contemporary, square-shaped light easy to install anywhere.



  1. ODL047A 1 Watt Square Brass Finish LED Ground or Decking Light

ODL047A brass square 1 watt Outside ground lights

With the ODL047A 1 Watt Square Brass Finish LED Ground or Decking Light, you can create beautiful, well-lit pathways and patio areas without fear of corrosion. This small light has a polished brass finish and is given an IP67 rating that protects the fixture against salt damage. The fixture outputs 70 lumens of 3000k warm white light to create a soft glow along any path. The product measures 38 millimeters by 38 millimeters and is easy to install anywhere. The circular shape looks great in any placement.

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