Outdoor Wall Lights

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Great Outdoor Wall Lighting Ideas

As you’re putting together a new room in the house, one of the first things to take into consideration is the lighting. Lighting can play a huge role in the overall look and feel of the space, as it does more than just illuminate. The exterior of the home is no different. With external wall lighting, you can not only enhance the visibility and safety of your outdoor area but also its visual appeal.

There are many ways to include outdoor lighting in your garden area — from outdoor step lights to outdoor wall lights and even garden wall lighting. Read on to get a better understanding of exterior lighting for your home.

Why Use LED Outdoor Wall Lights?

LED lamps, in particular, make a great option for garden lighting of all kinds. LED is able to turn up to 70 percent of its energy into light. This type of bulb is much more energy efficient, for starters, and uses far less energy than traditional bulbs. Straight away, this can translate to big savings on your energy bill. Their energy efficiency also ensures that they conserve power, allowing them to last longer.

Compared to halogen bulbs that last an average of 1,000 hours, LED bulbs have a minimum rated life of 20,000 hours. In this way, you can enjoy the illumination for much longer without having to constantly change them out. Furthering their convenience is the fact that they require very little maintenance over the life of the bulbs. Instead, you can just install them and forget about them.

During the lifespan of LED bulbs, you don’t have to worry about them being too hot to the touch or being a risk of fire. Their energy efficiency means they only need a 6 watt bulb to create the same amount of light as a standard 40 watt bulb; there is less energy overall and even less of it being emitted as heat. On the other hand, halogen lights tend to lose around 90 percent of their energy in heat. They get extremely hot to the touch fairly quickly and can be dangerous if within reach of children.

Even with their reduced energy, LED lights are also capable of putting out high levels of brightness and intensity. They also come in a spectrum of light colours, leaving you plenty of options for choosing the one that best suits the mood of a space.

What Is IP Rating and What Do You Need for Garden Lighting?

An IP rating is a designation given to lights to indicate if they are waterproof or water resistant, or resistant to general effects of weather. “IP” stands for “Ingress Protection,” which indicates the amount of protection each light has against the elements. Constant changes in the temperature and moisture levels can quickly take a toll on your lights; choosing a light with the proper IP rating is very important.

The IP rating you choose should depend on the location of the lights and the weather they will be exposed to. Generally speaking, garden lighting needs a minimum rating of IP44. If you can manage it, an IP65 or IP67 rating is even better as they can lock out moisture entirely.

The liquid ingress protection is indicated by the second digit in the rating. These numbers are as follows:

  • Level 1 – gives protection against water that drips on it
  • Level 2 – gives protection against water that drips on it when it is tilted at 15 degrees
  • Level 3 – gives protection against spraying water
  • Level 4 – gives protection against water splashes
  • Level 5 – gives protection against strong jet water
  • Level 6 – gives protection against very powerful water jets
  • Level 7 – gives protection against immersion in water as deep as one meter
  • Level 8 – gives protection against immersion of more than one meter

Which LED Light Colour Is Best for Your Garden?

Lighting temperature and colour are decided by the measurement of heat in degrees Kelvin. There is a spectrum of light that falls between 1,000k and 10,000k. In between these two ends you’ll find the most common colours of lighting. Colour temperatures between 5k and 10k tend to be cooler in colour. Anything below 5k is warmer. Many people find that a 3000k warm white light colour is ideal for their needs, both indoors and outdoors.

Garden lighting needs to be a good blend of brightness and comfortability. To this end, the best type of light colour is warm white light. Warm white lights are gentle on the eyes without sacrificing their brightness levels.

What Are the Best Types of Exterior Lighting to Use Near the Sea?

To start, it’s a good plan to try and buy the highest quality fittings you can. These fittings will have stronger, more robust construction that won’t take on damage easily. On the other hand, cheaper fittings can corrode easily and leave you having to constantly shell out cash to replace them.

A quality finish also factors into durability. Having a galvanised steel finish, painted finish or brass finish will ensure water won’t cause the fitting to rust. This is especially true of salt water. Lights that are near the ocean and exposed to salt water will need a bit more maintenance than others.

To protect lights from saltwater, you can spray the fittings with a light layer of an oil-based lubricant such as WD40. This will cover them in a light film that will stop seawater from getting on the metal. You can also place petroleum jelly on the screw holes to stop them from rusting. In so doing, you can stop brown rust water from dripping and staining the lights or surface the lights are mounted on.

Having proper lighting outdoors will automatically serve as another layer of protection against intruders; a well-lit space is less inviting for those who need to sneak around in the shadows. You can make this an even stronger layer of defense by connecting lights to a motion sensor, so the lights will turn on when movement is detected.

Lights should be positioned somewhere that will shine on common entrance points or footpaths around the home. Wherever you place them, be sure that they will shine in the right location that you want to keep an eye on. Choosing smart lights will allow you to turn them on and off at a distance. If you have a security camera set up, this will allow you to keep a better eye on your home in the dark when you’re not at home.

Furthermore, guests may feel safer at your home if it is well lit when they try to approach it at night. Safety lighting will also make it easier to navigate the areas around and in front of your home to limit stumbles.

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing your outdoor lighting:

  • FUNCTION OR DECORATION. First, consider if you want to use the lights to beautify the house or to instead provide proper illumination. Good choices of decorative lights are usually modern sconces, lanterns and LED strips. Practical lighting tends to include floodlights and security lights.
  • LIGHT LEVEL. Outdoors, having brighter lights is beneficial. It makes the area feel safer and more comfortable to navigate. At the same time, if you enjoy an outdoor living space at night, you don’t want the illumination to be blinding. Choosing a warm white hue is a good compromise; it is easy on the eyes while still being bright enough to see by.
  • IP RATINGS. Because the light is outdoors, it is naturally going to come into contact with moisture and the elements. Check the IP rating for water resistance at least with waterproof being even better. Choosing IP65 rated step lighting is a good idea, for example, as people will naturally track water and mud on their shoes up the steps.
  • CREATE ZONES. You can begin by visualising how you’d like your outdoor living space to look at night and planning around that. Consider what areas you plan to relax and spend time in and what areas you’ll simply be walking through at night. You can also use an LED outdoor wall light on a garden wall to highlight shrubs, bushes and statues.
  • FRAME THE DOORWAYS. An exterior wall lamp on either side of the doors is a good way to add decoration to the space while also bringing some functionality. An LED porch light is one of those simple additions that make a big difference.
  • USE DIRECTIONAL LIGHTING. An LED outside wall lantern can shine light in one specific area. This is good for illuminating sitting areas and garden shrubs alike. LED lights already naturally shine directional illumination.

When planning your outdoor lighting, focus on the home first. This could be up and down outside lights or just lamps on either side of the doorway, but since the home is the main feature, the rest should be constructed around it. You can also use an outdoor wall sconce or two to create a layered effect and create a more dramatic appearance.

It is recommended that you don’t place lights in a straight line, as this makes the space look quite boring and one-dimensional. In the same vein, keep things visually interesting by lighting up these areas that are out of sight or small. Ignoring them will limit your chances to choose lighting that stands out.

Garden lighting and its placement will depend on many different factors, including lighting techniques. Some of the techniques to consider include:

  • In grade lighting installed in the surface, usually at the base of a wall
  • Path lighting installed on footpaths illuminates the entire thing
  • Accent lighting angles up or down creating a narrow beam of light
  • Moonlighting consists of larger fixtures that sit high and shine a light down from above
  • Downlights are bright and usually fixed in a trellis, eave or hardscape
  • Washing lights shine a light on walls or shrubs
  • Silhouette lighting stands behind a certain garden feature to accent their shape

Below are a few ideas for beautifying the entrance with an LED porch light to make it more welcoming and inviting:

  • FLANKING THE DOOR. Identical light fittings on either side of the porch or the door will add some nice symmetry to the look. You can also choose lights that are asymmetrical to dress up the visuals a bit.
  • UPLIGHTERS SHINING LIGHT FROM THE BOTTOM UP. These are particularly nice for lighting walls, shrubs and statues you may have around the doorway. Disguising the source of the light can give an ambient feel as well.
  • Having a single spotlight shining on the details for your porch can make it stand out well. This could also serve as a part of your garden security lighting.
  • HANGING LANTERNS. Choosing a hanging lantern will offer a traditional and timeless feel to your entryway. If you have a high ceiling on the porch, the light should be bigger.
  • LIGHTING UP SHRUBS. Plants warm up any environment they’re in. With lights shining on the shrubs and other plants, you can create a warmer and more inviting look in an instant.
  • STRING LIGHTS. Make your entryway look cosy with string or fairy lights hung flat against the ceiling.

Because lights obviously run on electricity, there is a risk of fire or electrocution if you don’t know what you’re doing. To play it safe, it’s worth it to hire a professional electrician to install them for you.

Garden lighting and other exterior lighting can enhance not just the visual appeal but also the safety and comfort of the spaces around your home. There are many options to choose from, including spotlights, sconces and pendant lights, each of them bringing unique uses and merits. Whatever light you choose and for whatever purpose, opt for a well-built fitting with an adequate IP rating.

In this article, we discussed the benefits of LED outdoor lights. We also looked at ways for you to incorporate them into your outdoor living space to get you started.

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