Well-designed outdoor lighting does more than increase your home’s aesthetic appeal. It also brings your garden to life at night and extends the living space. However, not all garden lighting is created the same, so you need to choose the right type of light fitting for your backyard to create ambiance and meet your outdoor needs. Read on for nine tips for functional outdoor lighting.
Familiarize yourself with the different lighting types
Before you start shopping, you should know the different kinds of outdoor lighting to choose suitable lights depending on your space. The following are the main types of outdoor lighting.
- Bollard lights: Ideal for lighting driveways or paths
- Spike lights: Perfect for garden beds, especially when you want to uplight specific features or plants
- Sculptural lights: These are interesting or playful fittings. They are features themselves, such as LED balls or hurricane lamps
- Projection lights: Good for creating playful patterns and interest on ground surfaces and walls
- Spotlights: Useful for highlighting architectural features or lighting up the trunks of a tree
- String lights: Can be used to highlight the entertaining space or develop a twinkling canopy
- Strip lights: Useful for illuminating areas under barbecue grills, built-in seats or along the decks, backlight kitchen garden beds, and glare across steps
Select quality fittings
Landscape outdoor lights are vulnerable to all sorts of weather conditions. For this reason, it is crucial to buy fittings designed for outdoor use. Whether you have shaded the balcony or covered the patio, extreme weather conditions such as storms can still get to them, so purchase durable, well-made lights that can stand everyday weather elements such as heavy precipitation. For instance, you could opt for fittings made from high-quality brass. Brass is corrosion resistant and can handle ever-changing climatic conditions. It also provides an excellent base for various finishes. Brass can be electroplated or powder-coated in nickel, matte black, copper, and bronze.
Opt for LEDs
If you are looking to cut your home’s utility bills, you should consider installing LED lighting. While installing LED landscape lighting is more expensive than halogen or incandescent bulbs, they use far less energy. LEDs are also long-lasting, have minimal heat output, and require less maintenance, which means more savings. Be sure to opt for the yellow LED light for your outdoors as it is more relaxing than white, which drains the outdoor surfaces of texture and tone. Check out in-sider.com for leads to high-quality LED products designed using sustainable quality materials to meet your outdoor lighting needs.
Outdoor lighting does not only provide ambiance to your home. It is also an effective way to secure your property. You should ensure that all entry points or hazardous areas in your garden, including retaining walls, stairs, pathways, and steep slopes, are well lit. Be sure to have enough light, preferably 300 to 400 lumens, to guide paths to avoid blinding and glaring. You could also consider mounting wall lanterns on each side of your garage for added security.
Understand the IP ratings
Be sure to check the IP rating to purchase suitable outdoor lights. The Ingress Protection (IP) rating indicates how well a fitting can handle elements such as water or penetration of solid particles such as dust.
The IP rating of particular lighting often has two numbers. The initial number shows the degree of protection from solid substances such as fine soil particles and dust in a garden setting. Opt for a garden light with the highest rating of six to ensure complete protection from solids.
The second number of the IP rating shows protection against water. A fitting with a rating of six can cope with the heaviest rainfall. If the fitting is in a low area, where it is likely to be submerged during heavy rains, opt for a fixture with a rating of eight for water ingress.
Determine how much lighting you need
Before you begin your outdoor lighting shopping hunt, evaluate how much lighting your space needs. This prevents you from investing in high-wattage fittings that create harsher light without improving the safety or aesthetics of your room.
To get a rough estimate of the wattage required, you should determine the square footage of the space you want to light. Next, multiply this square footage by 1.5. For instance, an area with 150 square feet requires 225 watts.
Create a consistent feel
Determine the kind of atmosphere you want to achieve with your landscape lighting to inform your choices. Do you want to add drama, safety, depth, or excitement to your space, or are you aiming for a warm, intimate, or romantic scene? Take time to review the architecture of your room to envision the atmosphere you want to evoke. However, ensure that your lighting creates a seamless flow between the hard materials, planting, and the interior of your home. Speak to a professional contractor when unsure about the type of lighting that evokes the atmosphere you want to achieve.
Choose the right fixtures for the spot
What is the purpose of your lighting? Do you need the gate to be well lit? Or do you want to guide visitors along a path during the night? By determining the function of your lighting, you can figure out whether you should install horizontal or vertical fittings. Vertical fittings can help you identify the facial features of approaching individuals, while flat lights help you see trip hazards or obstacles on the ground.
If you want to illuminate your patio for a backyard summer BBQ or a pool area to hang out with friends and family, a set of Novtech LED Outdoor String Lights would be ideal. These commercial grade, waterproof lights will ensure years of use! What’s great about string lights is that you can move them whenever you want and they give that cozy bistro or small cafe feel that everyone loves.
No matter where you hang them, you are sure to love the soft, ambient lighting that Novtech LED Outdoor String Lights offer.
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Set up a budget
Installing your landscape lighting should not be an afterthought but a crucial part of improving your outdoor space. For this reason, allocate at least 5% of the total garden-design budget to your outdoor lighting needs. This quick home renovation can actually increase the value of your home, so proceed with care!
Your eyes require less light outdoors than they do indoors to see patterns or shadows. This means that a little goes a long way when it comes to lighting your outdoor space. Consider the above tips when lighting your outdoors to transform your garden area into a cozy oasis.