Outdoor Lighting

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Advice on Lighting Your Garden

Garden lighting, landscape lighting, outside lighting—call it what you will, but do not discount the importance of exterior lighting. Outdoor lighting can not only make your outdoor living space more visually appealing; it can also elevate the sense of security, safety and comfort in your outdoor space. Below, we examine various kinds of LED outdoor lighting as well as general ways that LED lighting can improve your outdoor space.

How To Use Outdoor Lighting to Improve the Security of Your Home

LED garden lighting is not just for show and practicality; it can also improve visibility in a way that can make your outdoor area and your home, in general, more secure. Below are a few ways that this is made possible:

  • Floodlights will shine ample lighting over a large area of space in a way that is very bright and strong. By choosing LED floodlights over traditional incandescent lights, you can light the outdoor areas of your home without requiring a lot of energy. Keep in mind that because they are quite bright, you should install them somewhere that won’t shine into your windows or the windows of your neighbours.
  • MOTION ACTIVATED LIGHTS. Motion activated lights and PIR sensor lights can detect the presence of a person and turn on when doing so. This is one of the most common types of home security lighting, as they can shine on uninvited guests and cause them to flee. While having lights on all night can have a similar deterrent effect, it is not always practical. Beyond this, it can waste energy and drive up your electric bills in a way that motion sensitive lights do not. Though not all lights are made to be motion activated, you can often add an external sensor to them that will make them function as motion sensitive lighting.
  • TIMED SECURITY LIGHTING. In a similar vein, you can have lighting that turns on at night and turns back off when the sun begins to rise. This will deter any potential intruders in the night while shutting off to save power as soon as they are no longer needed.
  • SOFFIT LIGHTS. Though much softer than the aforementioned options, soffit lights light up the walls of your home as well as the entrance. They can shine light on areas that an intruder may try to sneak into, further deterring them from approaching the house. This way, you don’t have to worry about any shadows giving criminals opportunities.

Does Good Exterior Lighting Increase the Value of Your Home?

It is true that outdoor lighting has the potential to drive up the value of a home. Below are a few reasons that explain why that is:

  • Every homeowner values the feeling of safety and security in their home. When a potential buyer sees that the house is well lit and free of shadowy dark spots, they might feel safer choosing to live there.
  • ENHANCES THE CURB APPEAL. Many buyers state that they can decide on whether they are going to be truly interested in a home within minutes of seeing its exterior. Having exterior lighting can beautify the house for those who are driving by and looking at it. First impressions matter when buying a home, and greater curb appeal certainly helps.

Furthermore, if your home is the only one—or only one of a few—houses in the neighborhood with luxurious outdoor lighting, it may make buyers more eager to want to live there. This is because it can foster a sense of exclusivity and make the house seem special.

  • ADDED BONUS OF OUTDOOR LIVING. The romantic notion of nights spent in an illuminated backyard during the summer is quite appealing to many people. Showing buyers they can have a comfortable and well-lit outdoor living space without any work on their part may increase the value of the home in their minds.
  • A MORE WELCOMING SPACE. A well-lit outdoor area is somewhere that buyers can picture themselves relaxing privately or entertaining guests. A home where buyers can imagine themselves living is the goal when staging a house for showings, and that is no less true when it comes to outdoor lighting.

Which Outdoor Lighting Should You Use if You Live Near the Sea?

Living near the coast means living around salty, moist air. If you do not take this into account when planning your lights, you run the risk of damage.  It is best to choose corrosion-resistant lighting in order to stave off the effects of the sea while still getting adequate exterior lighting. The best materials for you to use in outdoor lighting by the sea include:

  • Aluminium
  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Galvanized Steel
  • Polycarbonate
  • Stainless Steel

Many of these materials can withstand the corrosive nature of the salty air, so you won’t have to worry about so much rust and oxidation.

What LED Colour Is Best for Exterior Lighting?

LED colour temperature refers to the “colour” of a light that is given off. These colours are represented by Kelvin units, with the higher ratings being cooler and the lower ratings being warmer.

For outdoor security lights, many people prefer cooler colour temperatures around 6000k. This is because it shines more clearly and brightly, making it a great deterrent for intruders. For accent lighting, path lighting or ambient patio lighting, warmer 3000k colour temperatures are best. They provide ample illumination while being gentle on the eyes.

In the end, it comes down to personal preference. Whichever you choose, only pick one or the other; otherwise, they will clash and be quite unappealing.

Outdoor and LED garden lighting are as varied and diverse as interior lighting. Below, we will look at some of the most common types of exterior lights available:

  • SPIKE LIGHTS. Spike lights are lights that have bulbs mounted on top of a short post or spike. The spike is pushed into the soil wherever you like. These lights can be solar-powered, battery-powered or attached to mains, so there is plenty of freedom of choice when deciding how and where to install them. Many people like to use them to light footpaths, the edges of driveways and near seating areas.
  • BOLLARD LIGHTS. Other common ground lights you will see are bollard lights. These lights take on the appearance of a mini street light and look especially attractive in larger outdoor spaces such as gardens. They usually emit light at a 360-degree angle, which is why they are so good for roomy areas. Others do shine in a beam, so you can use them to light up a specific area.
  • Spotlights can be mounted at a higher position on a tree or wall and angled downward to shine on a path. They can also be placed on the ground and point up at walls or features. They offer a wide beam of illumination that is ideal for lighting up a big space. Spotlights are used to light up driveways, pathways and lawns when positioned from above, and walls, bushes and trees when placed at ground level.
  • OUTDOOR WALL LIGHTS. Wall lights differ from the aforementioned spotlights in the way that they serve to decorate as much as they illuminate. You will find some battery-powered or solar-powered garden wall lights, but most wall lights are mains.
  • DECK AND PORCH LIGHTING. These lightings are similar to in-ground lights in that both of them are embedded into the surface. Deck and porch lighting tends to be shorter since they need to be mounted in wood instead of in the soil.
  • If you need a large amount of light that brightly washes over a large area of space, floodlights are a good choice. They can be used as patio lighting or lighting for other such seating areas as well as paths and fences.
  • LED SOFFIT LIGHTING. Soffit lighting is a type of light that is installed into or on the surface of the soffits of a home. Doing so can outline the shape of a home in a decorative way while also shining a gentle glow down onto the sides of the home.

The porch lighting you choose can affect whether the home feels inviting or it doesn’t. The best kind of porch lighting depends on several things, including:

  • The layout of the porch
  • The size of the area
  • Whether it is enclosed or open air
  • The type of effect you want to go for

Below are some tips for beautifully and effectively lighting a porch:

  • Be sure there is balance. You’ll want a porch that is bright enough to approach safely without being glaring and harsh on the eyes at night. Typical porch lights should have around 200 lumens to accomplish this.
  • Layer the light when possible with ceiling lights, wall lights and pendant lights.
  • Choose a lighting design that meshes well with the exterior and even interior style of your home.
  • Consider the amount of natural light available to the porch during dawn and dusk and add lights accordingly.
  • Choose appropriate IP rated lights. Porches that have a roof and offer protection from the elements can get by with damp-rated IP44 lights. On the other hand, open styles of porches need an IP65 light that is rated for protection against more moisture.
  • Use wall lights to create an atmospheric space on your porch.
  • Consider adding a statement pendant to beautify the entrance to your home.
  • Decorate using seasonal lighting to change up the way your entryway looks throughout the year and give it a fresh appearance.
  • Think about illuminating the steps both for safety and for aesthetic reasons.
  • Install uplighters to highlight any potted plants or architectural features and give the porch some flair.

Because of the famously dreary weather in much of the UK, many homeowners may be wondering if using solar lights in the garden is even worth it. Fortunately, solar lights do not require direct sunlight to work.

While sunny days do indeed charge the lights up and make them shine brighter for longer, the lights can still be charged on cloudy or even snowy days. At any rate, they might not shine brightly enough for homeowners to choose solar lights over traditional exterior lights that run on battery or mains power.

Below are some dos and don’ts of using exterior lighting in the garden:


  • Use many layers of light to ensure that the brightness is evenly distributed. This means ground lighting, soffit lighting, garden wall lighting and spotlights. Mix them up as much as you can.
  • Use LED lights. LED outdoor lighting is much more energy efficient than traditional lights. This is important if you plan to keep your lights on throughout the night. Otherwise, you could expect a pretty hefty electric bill to come of it.
  • Choose pathway lights that shine downward or at a 360-degree angle.
  • Pick warmer colour temperatures so the lights aren’t harsh on your eyes.
  • Consider security when planning your lights.


  • Choose the brightest light available. For outdoor living spaces and patio lighting, softer lighting that is gentle on the eyes but still gets the job done is preferable.
  • Cover wires. Be sure that you bury the wires completely beneath the ground if the lights use mains power instead of just covering them with mulch. This way, you won’t accidentally mow over them, nor will you have to worry about them being uncovered on windy or rainy days.
  • Forget staircase lighting. Lighting steps on the paths in your gardens will make them more comfortable to navigate while also increasing their safety.
  • Place the lights in a straight line, this isn’t as visually appealing as it might seem in your head.

As opposed to traditional halogen lamps that last only 1,000 hours on average, you can expect an LED light to hold up for around 20,000 hours. This will significantly decrease how often you need to purchase new lights, saving you plenty of time, money and effort.

Exterior lighting can make a huge difference when it comes to your garden and outdoor space. They can boost the appeal of your home, the comfort of the outdoor living areas and even the security of the space. Above, we discussed various types of outdoor LED lighting as well as how to best incorporate them into your garden area.

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