Outdoor Lighting for Beginners: How to Illuminate Your Outdoor Space
You wouldn’t just paint half a room or only decorate one part of your house. However, this is exactly what you’re doing when you neglect the design of your outdoor spaces. Often, we’re so preoccupied with interior design that we forget about our gardens, but this space is actually vital for a house’s curb appeal, security and overall ambience.
So, how do you tackle this issue in the most effective way? If you want to address safety and design together, then the best thing you can do is install outdoor lighting. With so many lighting solutions and styles out there, such as solar-powered lights, festoon string lights and low-voltage options, you’ll be able to find outdoor lighting that perfectly suits your needs.
Why Use Outdoor Lighting?
If you’ve not really thought much about outdoor lighting before, you may be wondering what the point is. Why bother learning about the different types and uses of outdoor lights? Why can’t you just use any old lights and be done with it?
The fact is that different types of outdoor lighting can be used for different purposes, whether they’re decorative or practical. Before we talk about the many lighting options you can choose from, let’s look at the main reasons why you should be using outdoor lighting.
Reason 1: It illuminates outdoor hazards
When it gets dark, your garden can become a hotbed of accidents waiting to happen. For example, many people have outdoor steps or raised patio areas that can become tripping hazards if not illuminated properly, and if you have a water feature like a pond, this can magnify the risk even further. This is why it’s extremely important that you use outdoor lights for task lighting in your garden. Task lighting means illuminating an area for a specific task or purpose, such as climbing stairs in the dark.
Reason 2: It’s a security feature
Leaving the outside of your house dark may attract burglars. Installing outdoor lighting that automatically turns on at night can help you deter burglars by making it look like your house is always occupied, or if you have motion sensor lighting, this will alert you when someone approaches your property.
Reason 3: It creates a welcoming atmosphere
In addition to offering these safety features, outdoor lighting also serves a decorative purpose. Outdoor lighting, and especially string lights and festoon light bulbs, can create a warm, welcoming glow that will enhance any outdoor seating area, making this space more inviting for your guests. This function is known as ambient lighting, which means general lighting that dominates and diffuses evenly throughout a room or space.
Reason 4: It can highlight unique features
If you have features you want to highlight in your gardens, such as a flower arrangement, fountain or interesting architectural design on the outside of your home, you can achieve this with outdoor accent lighting. Spotlights are perfect for singling out a particular feature, but be aware that certain areas may have stricter regulations on light pollution, meaning that you should point these lights downward to comply with these rules.
Reason 5: It can add value to your home
Well-placed outdoor lighting can improve the appearance of your home and thus greatly increase its curb appeal. This is particularly useful if you’re planning to sell your home in the near future, as curb appeal can attract potential buyers or even increase the value of your home.
Which Lighting Solution Should You Choose?
Now that you know more about why outdoor lighting is essential, you’ll want to know exactly how you can achieve these benefits. Firstly, to get the most out of your outdoor lighting, you should consider what you’re looking for. Are you hoping to maximise your home security, or are you focused on improving the style and ambience of your garden? Then, once you know what you want, you can find a lighting solution to achieve all you’ve been hoping for and more. Here are a few examples:
Festoon string lights for all occasions
For outdoor events and gatherings, there’s no better choice than outside festoon lights for your lighting needs. Festoon light bulbs strongly evoke a sense of glamour and celebration, which makes them perfect for birthday parties, late-night garden parties or even wedding receptions. These lights can also be found in a variety of colours and styles, which means that you’ll always be able to find the right festoon string lights for any occasion.
However, you don’t need to host an event to install festoon lighting. With their warm and inviting glow, these festoon light bulbs can decorate your outside seating areas throughout the year, providing the best ambient lighting for this space. All you’ll need to do is select anchor points in your garden, which could be on the outside of your home, on trees or on large pieces of furniture, and then drape your festoon lights between these points to illuminate a section of your garden. In the evening, these lights will add charm and elegance to your outside space.
Although outside festoon lights are usually used for ambient lighting, they can also provide task lighting. In fact, since modern festoon light bulbs are often LEDs, these lights are highly durable and weather resistant, making them a practical lighting choice as well as a decorative option. You could even hang these outdoor LED festoon lights along the sides of a walkway or staircase, providing a safety feature that’s also stylish and atmospheric.
Further applications for Festoon lighting
Outdoor events, like
weddings, festivals, and concerts, can benefit from festoon lighting's
Festoon lights can be utilised to create a cosy and welcoming ambiance in hotels, restaurants, and cafes.
Retail: Festoon lights can be used to create a distinctive and eye-catching display in retail spaces like boutique shops and markets.
Outdoor dining: Festoon lighting can be utilised to make outdoor dining spaces, like restaurant patios, feel cosy and intimate.
Commercial structures: Festoon lights can be utilised to give the exterior of commercial structures, including stores and office buildings, a beautiful touch.
Festoon lights can be utilised to improve public areas like parks, plazas, and pedestrian pathways so that they are more welcoming and eye-catching to visitors. Weddings: Both indoor and outdoor weddings can employ festoon lighting to produce a beautiful and enchanting mood.
Low-voltage lighting solutions
For your garden, you may prefer low-voltage lighting due to its safety benefits, weather resistance and long lifespan. With this lighting option, you need a transformer to convert the 120-volt current in your outlet to 12 volts, and this is then carried to your light fixtures through a low-voltage cable. Generally, dimmer and softer outdoor lighting is actually preferred over harsh lighting, especially in gardens, so why not save some energy by choosing 12-volt lighting?
If you’d like to be even more eco-friendly (or just reduce your energy bills), you may be interested in solar-powered lighting for your outside spaces. With these lights, you won’t need to worry about wires and cables as they’re simply powered by the sun, and they’ll even switch on automatically as it gets dark. This makes solar-powered lights a great low-maintenance option. Just like low-voltage lighting, these lights aren’t extremely bright, but this may be better for creating a cosy atmosphere in your garden.
Motion sensor lights for security
Outdoor lighting that doesn’t need to be switched on or off is desirable for many people, and if you’re one of them, then perhaps you’d enjoy motion sensor lights. As suggested by the name, motion sensor lights switch on when they sense motion nearby, so they’ll only illuminate spaces that are currently being used. These lights are often used as a security feature because they’ll alert you to any suspicious activity near your home.
Final Things to Consider
When setting up outdoor lighting, there are some other aspects you’ll need to consider in addition to your lighting needs and the types of lighting available. First of all, you’ll need to assess your outside space to determine which kinds of lighting would be the most appropriate. If you have plenty of promising anchor points or even a pergola, then outdoor LED festoon lights would be perfect for you since you’ve got the space to hang them up. If your space is more limited, then you could opt for some small solar-powered lights that don’t require any cables or wires.
Furthermore, you need to consider where you place your lights. If you’d like to install some cables underground to hide them and avoid tripping hazards, make sure you don’t place them in an area where you’re likely to dig in the future. For example, if you install these wires in or around a flowerbed, you could end up accidentally cutting them with your gardening equipment.
Finally, you should make sure that any outdoor lights you purchase are waterproof and durable. LEDs are superior when it comes to outdoor lighting solutions; they’re safe, long-lasting and much less likely to break than older technologies. You can also find LED lighting in a variety of styles, including LED strips, bulbs and festoon string lights.
If you want to browse a wide selection of outdoor LED lights, take a look to find the perfect lighting solutions for your outdoor space. With the right lighting, you can transform your home and garden, increasing both curb appeal and security.