Even the smallest garden can be a great pride of its owner and a significant asset to a property. It is not always about space as much as about creativity and proper care.
Outdoor lights may not seem like the essential thing to bear in mind in this case, but they really are something that can make or break the whole impression. With the right garden lights, you can make a small area look bigger and create a cosy, enjoyable place to spend time with your family, friends, or even on your own.

How can you achieve it? How to choose the right lighting for outdoors? Keep reading to find out.

Which Outdoor Lights to Choose?

Decking Lights

Decking lights are a must-have if you have a deck, porch, patio, or any other outdoor sitting area that you probably would like to enjoy on warm summer evenings, even after the sunset. Decking lights come in such a variety of types that can serve various purposes: creating a relaxing atmosphere, illuminating steps to make walking around at night safer, or just setting the right mood in the whole garden.

Garden Spike Lights

Garden spike lights are widely appreciated because they are extremely easy to install whenever and as many times as you like. All you need to do is put the spike into the ground, so you can change the lighting in your garden the way you want. Light the space up a little bit when you’re hosting a party, or show off your flowers next time you have guests. And when you don’t need them, the lights can be easily stored.

Fairy Lights

This is one of the most decorative options that can create a magical, ambient atmosphere everywhere. Hang fairy lights above the outdoor table, on the rails around your sitting area, or illuminate your plant pots or trees. Indeed, your garden will always look nice with fairy lights.

Flood Lights

Flood lights are designed to brighten up bigger spaces, so if your garden is really tiny, you may only need one flood light to illuminate the whole area for a party or intimate family gathering.

Strip Lights

If your garden has any unwanted dark spots, but you don’t have too much space for standing or even hanging lights, strip lighting may be the answer. It doesn’t only create a better atmosphere, but it can also be seen as a security measure.

Wall Lights

Wall lights are the perfect choice for every outdoor sitting area if you don’t want to limit yourself to decking lights illuminating you from below. Plus, depending on what you choose, wall lights can make great decorations for your porch or patio.

What to Consider When Choosing Garden Lights?

Brightness and power

To find the perfect temperature and power of lights, you may need to experiment a little bit with different light bulbs, but it will be worth it. However, if you don’t need light for any tasks that require precision, you should opt for bulbs with fewer lumens and warmer light temperature. Around 500 lumens should be enough for a regular patio, and 1600 lumens for the whole garden up to 50 square metres. It will help you create a cosy, relaxing ambience.

Purpose and location

It’s vital to identify focal points of your garden and determine the exact location of all lights. Only then will you be able to choose the most suitable types. Some of them can be more about the style, while others should be entirely functional. Make a plan and buy accordingly.

Style

Lights are very often elements of decorations, and this aspect shouldn’t be neglected in the case of outdoor lighting. Make sure that your chosen lamps, bulbs, and other fixtures match the style of your home decor and your preferences.

Additional features

Technology is constantly providing us with new solutions, among which you are sure to find something useful for yourself. For example, in case of lights illuminating the path or steps only, it may be a good idea to install a motion sensor for them to turn on only when there’s a need. You can also find lights that will work only at nights, or dimmable switches to put you fully in control of the ambience.

IP Rating

IP rating tells you how resistant the lights are to any outside particles, including liquids. Everybody knows that electricity and water shouldn’t go together, so when it comes to outdoor lights, you should opt for higher IP ratings, those of at least 4, to ensure that they will be 100% safe, even when it rains.

Environmental impact

This should be an important factor to take into account, considering that eco-friendly solutions can save you a lot of money in the long run, even if you will be forced to pay a little more at the beginning (which is not always the case).

So try to at least consider such options as solar lights, or some of the following bulb types: halogen incandescent, LED, and CFL. Solar lights are the most cost-efficient and environmentally neutral option, but LEDs or halogens are excellent choices as well if you need a little bit more power than solars can provide.

Conclusion

Don’t rush into any decisions and plan your every move. Then, the most important thing for you to do is trust yourself, especially when it comes to how your house will look and function, and that includes both indoor and outdoor lighting. Of course, it’s vital to be able to listen to the advice of professionals who may know what will save you time, money, or worry, but you are the only one who knows what your needs and preferences are. So yes, consult with specialists and do your research, but make sure the final decision is 100% yours.

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Interior designer with a special interest in lighting and how it shapes our perception of a space. Ever since I was a little girl, I loved to rearrange and reimagine virtually every room I’ve gone into, often to the great despair of my family members. I continued to pursue this inclination into adulthood, which has led me to obtain a Master’s Degree in Interior Design from the University of Brighton. Currently, I work as a freelance design consultant, helping new homeowners create a warm and welcoming atmosphere with a special emphasis on the right use of lighting. As a writer for the Simple Lighting blog, I hope to use my field experience to help countless people brighten their homes and utilize their living space in the best way possible.

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