Outdoor Lighting: Finding The Balance Between Practicality and Aesthetics
This blog post was updated December 2022.
When it comes to lighting, the outside of your house is often the last place to receive attention. However getting the lighting right in your outdoor spaces can make a big difference to how safe, secure and inviting the outside of your home is (& how much it will get used).
We've put together this guide to help you get the right balance between practicality and aesthetics so you can completely transform the look of your garden or outdoor space, making it a magical and inviting place to be in the evenings. Whilst at the same time creating a safe and secure area, with step lights, garden spike lights and other practical lights to illumine areas and prevent accidents.
Types of Outdoor Lighting
The first step in creating a balanced outdoor lighting design is to identify the primary purpose of your lighting. Do you want to highlight certain features of your garden, such as trees or sculptures? Do you need to provide sufficient lighting for your pathway or seating area? Or do you simply want to make your property more secure? Once you have a clear idea of your primary goals, you can start to think about how to achieve them.
One way to balance practicality and aesthetics is to use a mix of different types of lighting. Ambient lighting, for example, can provide overall illumination and create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Task lighting, on the other hand, is more focused and can be used to highlight specific features or provide practical illumination for activities such as grilling or reading. Accent lighting, meanwhile, can be used to draw attention to particular elements of your garden, such as plants or sculptures. By using a combination of these different types of lighting, you can create a well-balanced and effective outdoor lighting design.
Security lighting is a subarea of task lighting, used to help protect the home and usually requires a motion sensor. Decorative lighting is quite self-explanatory as it offers something beautiful to look at and adds to the aesthetic of your outdoor area.
Correct Positioning Of Outdoor Lights
Another important factor to consider is the positioning of your lights. Proper positioning can help to maximize the effectiveness of your lighting, while also creating a visually appealing design. For example, placing lights at the base of trees can help to highlight their shape and texture, while also providing practical illumination for paths and walkways. Similarly, placing lights along steps or railings can help to make them more visible and prevent accidents.
Choosing the Right Globes
It’s also important to think about the type of bulbs you use in your outdoor lighting. LED bulbs are a popular choice for outdoor lighting, as they are energy-efficient and long-lasting. They are also available in a wide range of colours and styles, so you can easily find bulbs that suit your personal taste and the overall design of your garden. However, it’s important to remember that LED bulbs can be harsh and unflattering, so you may want to use them in combination with other types of bulbs, such as halogen or incandescent, to create a more balanced and natural-looking lighting effect.
Providing ample exterior power sources for outdoor lighting prior to new home construction or renovation will insure the installation of your outdoor lighting is a lot more cost effective later. All new exterior lighting products today are available in or for energy saving LED or compact fluorescent, so having your garden illuminated and highlighted is very inexpensive. Exterior self powering solar lights are also an option where only very soft lighting is required, however you need to be aware that the solar panel and batteries in these fittings only have a limited life and will need to be replaced regularly. In addition, as they are independent and not connected to your home or power they can be easily stolen which also needs to be considered if you do not have a fenced garden.
Dimmers, Timers and Effects
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different lighting techniques and effects. For example, using uplights can create a dramatic and interesting effect, while LED dimmers and timers can help you to control the intensity and duration of your lighting. With a little creativity and experimentation, you can create a unique and effective outdoor lighting design that perfectly balances practicality and aesthetics.
Exterior lighting styles
When it comes to the design and style of your exterior lighting, the sky is the limit! Whether you need subtle deck lights or path lighting, want to bring the indoors out with a floor lamp or want a traditional lantern-style globe as an exterior wall light next to your external entrances, there is lots to choose from and creating a mood and theme is easy.
Exterior lighting shouldn't be an afterthought. Do it right with our great range of exterior lights.