Outdoor Lighting & Garden Lights
Outdoor lighting is perfectly safe provided you follow some basic steps. All fittings must be suitably IP rated for its function. For example, submersible pond lights are IP68 rated whilst a garden lamp post should be a minimum of IP44 rated, so choosing the correct lights for the application is important.
Stunning effects can be achieved with some thought and careful consideration. A patio or deck area can be transformed by adding decking or walkover lights to create a wonderful atmosphere. The garden area can be highlighted using path lights or spotlights to pick out features or plants. Outside lights can be fitted to a wall for safety and security.
Outdoor electrical installations should only be undertaken by a qualified electrician. DIY electrics are a potential source of injury or worse in gardens where the installation is at the mercy of the elements. In England you need your electrician to provide a Part P certificate to comply with building regulations. Solar powered lights are now a realistic alternative in many cases and do not need to be wired in.
Garden Lighting Design
Remember that the fitting itself is only a means to an end – providing a weatherproof or waterproof housing which will contain the right lamp in the right position to do its job, and protect it against impact and the elements. So choosing the right type of fitting comes next. That is the stage at which you can choose whatever suits your taste and the requirement to blend with plants or materials.
Outside Lights and Function
First you need to define your needs by function. Most exterior house lights are predominantly decorative and is used to highlight features such as trees, shrubs, water features and so on. You may also need to consider illuminating paths and steps for safety or aesthetic reasons and to guide visitors to your front door. Outdoor wall lights for general illumination and security around the house, patio lighting for alfresco dining and to enable you to see what you are cooking at the barbecue and so on. This will also help you to define what you may want to connect to separate switches or circuits.
Positioning Your External Lighting
Good external lighting depends upon correct positioning and selecting the correct type of fitting for the effect you are trying to achieve. You should consider type, material, wattage, light coverage and beam angle. They should be hidden or camouflaged to blend in with the surrounding garden and plants wherever possible. If you are making a design statement then they should be more prominent and visible. For example, step lighting, patio walkover and deck lighting.
Remember, creative garden lighting is about effects. A stunning evening and night time garden can be achieved with some thought and careful consideration.
For a complete guide to selecting and looking after your outdoor lighting, please follow the link.
If you require any further help or advice on selecting outdoor lighting, garden lights or have any other lighting enquiry, please call 0151 650 2138 or send us a message using the contact us form for friendly, honest and down to earth information.