Lighting up your home’s outdoor spaces helps extend your outdoor hours well after the sun has gone down. We ask Melissa Davidson from leading lighting supplier, The Lighting Warehouse, for some tips and advice regarding investing in outdoor lights.
Outdoor lighting can dramatically improve the appeal of your home on a number of levels. It adds curb appeal and improves aesthetics. It also goes a long way in improving the safety and security of your home’s outdoor spaces. Says Melissa Davidson from leading lighting supplier, The Lighting Warehouse: “The correct outdoor lighting needs to be aesthetically pleasing, but it also has to be functional.” She offers the following advice on what to look for when investing in outdoor lighting for your home:
Different types of outdoor lights
There are many outdoor areas that can be illuminated, and the location of the light will, to a large extent, dictate what the best type of light to use will be. Outdoor lights can generally be divided into four broad categories, namely:
- 1. Wall lights: Theselights are ideal for patios, verandas, entryways, walls and garages. As their name implies – they can be mounted on any vertical wall. They are one of the most popular types of outdoor lights, and they are available in a wide range of different styles, including lanterns, wall bracket lights, bulkheads and brick lights.
You can browse the wide range of wall lights from The Lighting Warehouse here:
- Landscape lights: Best used for nightscaping to highlight garden landscapes and special outdoor features, landscape lights serve more of an aesthetic purpose than a functional one. The types of lights include path, spot, ground and spike lights. There are also energy efficient LED and solar options with the ground or walkover lights.
You can view the wide range of landscape lights available at The Lighting Warehouse here:
Garden and spike lights: https://lightingwarehouse.co.za/product-category/outdoor/ground-and-spike-lights/
- Posts, bollards and spheres: Perfect for walkways, paths, around the pool, or entrance to your property. Post lights come in two varieties – they are either mounted on top of a garden or boundary wall, whilst other post lights are freestanding and available in single-, double- and triple-light options. Post lights are ideal for providing general ambient lighting to a wide area. Bollards are shorter posts that normally come in two sizes (generally 450mm and 900mm), which makes them better suited for lighting up areas such as walkways and pathways. Illuminating spheres can be added on top of posts and walls, or they can be mounted on 1m, 1.5m or 2m poles.
You can browse the wide range of post lighting, bollards and spheres available at The Lighting Warehouse here:
- Security and flood lights: Lighting your outdoor areas can make your home’s exterior safer to navigate at night, and more secure with regards to deterring any unwanted criminals. They are best used to illuminate walkways, garages, alleys, driveways and entrances. The types of lights that are best suited for providing security lighting include floodlights and motion sensor lights that are triggered by movement. For maximum energy savings, you can invest in solar-powered floodlights from The Lighting Warehouse.
You can see the wide range of floodlights available at The Lighting Warehouse here: https://lightingwarehouse.co.za/product-category/outdoor/flood-lights/
Planning and layering
The play of light and dark is what makes a space extraordinary when it is dark, so it is important to spend time planning on defining which features will be the best to highlight for the optimum nightscape. “These features might not be standout features in the daytime, but by creating contrast and shadows using the forms and plants in your garden, they can become focal points at night. Playing with these elements creates intrigue and drama, and it will generate a welcoming atmosphere that will entice you to linger longer. When deciding on what to light up, you can categorise the different areas by what function they will serve – is it ambient lighting that the area needs for added atmosphere, or more functional lighting for entertainment areas or for security,” explains Melissa.
Then you need to decide what would be the best type of light to use to highlight that particular focal point. “Post or wall lights are an excellent source of ambient lighting, while bollards and recessed walkover lights are great for driveways and pathways. Garden spikes provide an ideal way of nightscaping beautiful flora of hardscaping element in your garden, such as a beautiful tree, water feature or particular plant. And lastly, if you are looking to improve your home’s security, then of course, LED flood lights -including solar- are a great solution,” advises Melissa.
She says it is always wise to consider layering your lighting design: “It is highly advisable to create separate circuits for different zones. This way, you can use zoned lights with timers or day/night or motion sensors, which will only turn the lights on when they are required, or enable them to be turned down if necessary.” She adds that you should take care about where you position and aim the lights, and use fixtures that have reflectors and shielding to concentrate the light where you want it.
Consider energy efficient options
When choosing globes for your outdoor lighting, LED globes are by far the best option for a wide variety of outdoor lighting applications. Melissa explains what makes them so perfect for outdoor applications: “They are the most energy efficient globes currently on the market, they have an incredibly long lifespan, and they produce a very high quality light with minimum electricity. They also don’t burn as hot as normal globes, which means that they won’t burn or damage any surrounding flora. The all-in-one or integrated LED fittings are an incredibly popular option, as they boast built-in LED lights and hence, you are never required to change a globe, and the LED light source should last for a minimum of 25 000hrs!”
She notes that solar lights are the best energy-saving option for outdoor lighting: “Solar lights are ideal for outdoor lighting applications. Drawing photovoltaic energy directly from the sun, they rely on the day’s sunshine to operate, via rechargeable batteries and remote solar panels. They also don’t need to be hard-wired in, so they are super quick and easy to install, and can be installed anywhere you choose, as long as they are in a location where there is sun.”