A Guide To Outdoor Lighting

Now that lockdown restrictions are finally easing in England, we just need the weather to take a turn for the better and summer will have arrived. 

After spending the last 18 months cooped up and isolated many of us will be looking forward to family BBQs, birthday parties and relaxing evenings in the garden and with that in mind, what better way to inject a bit of luxury and ambience into the outdoors than with beautiful lighting?

As well as creating ambience, outdoor lighting is also incredibly practical; illuminating your path to the front door, allowing you to see who’s calling at night and helping to deter burglars.

Here are six outdoor lighting ideas to turn your garden into a versatile space long after the sun has gone down.

1.   String lights

Also known as ‘festoon lights’, string lights are the ultimate outdoor lighting idea if you want to turn your garden into a sociable space. Stretched across seating areas or hung from fences, they add scattered light and a quirky festival feeling.

2.   Bulkheads

Bulkheads are the best option if you want bright lighting in a specific area of your garden. Maybe it’s an outdoor dining area or just a space near the back door. Whatever the case, a few bulkheads can be added to the exterior walls of your home to complement more subtle lighting elsewhere.

3.   Uplights or downlights

Another option on your exterior walls is uplighting or downlighting. In short, this is lighting directed vertically rather than outwards. While it won’t add as much illumination as a bulkhead, for example, it can work wonders in highlighting the texture of your walls to add another dimension to your garden’s design.

4.   Floor uplights

An alternative way of using uplighting, rather than adding it to walls, is to have lights integrated into the floor. This works wonders on the perimeter of decking or even patio areas, to keep them well-lit and add a subtle border to a specific space within your garden.

5.   Walkway lights

Maybe you don’t want your garden to be too bright? If this is the case, you can simply light up pathways with solar lights. By lining walkways, people will be able to see where they’re walking, without affecting the relaxed atmosphere of your garden.

This can also be used on steps or slopes where guests might not notice the change in height. Subtle spotlights built into your steps, for instance, will help people avoid accidents and add another attractive lighting feature to your garden.

6.   Security lights

Let’s not forget the importance of functional lighting within your garden. As well as being switched on and off, lights can be fitted with sensors, so they come on when anyone is in your garden. This security lighting acts as a deterrent for burglars, who know they can be seen. It also gives you peace of mind, knowing when anyone is in your garden.

However, that doesn’t mean you have to use a garish floodlight. Sensors can be fitted to stylish lanterns or any kind of outdoor lighting, so you can combine appearance with function.

Installing Outdoor Lighting

If you plan on having any light fittings installed and electrical work carried out outside of your home in England and Wales, then you will have to comply with Part P of the Building Regulations. It requires that the light fitting is carried out by an electrician who is registered with a competent person scheme or that you notify the Building Control department of your local council if you aim to have any electrical work done in your garden.

The electrician must make sure that the electrical work outside of your home meets Part P and also, in some circumstances, that it is energy efficient.

It’s important that any socket, lighting fixture and appliances used outdoors has proper RCD protection. Residual Current Devices will help protect you in case of a fault or accident, as they will instantly cut the power should anything occur. You should never leave cables or leads loose around the garden, as they are at risk of getting damaged with lawn mower and hedge trimmer. Remember to fix cables against buildings, off the ground and in plain sight.

TB Electrix; Expert installation of outdoor lighting

Whether it’s simple wall lighting or integrated uplights, the team at TB Electrix can make sure your outdoor lighting looks great and works perfectly. Our team of electrical experts based in Cannock are on hand to help homeowners across Staffordshire and the West Midlands get the perfect outdoor lighting. To arrange a no-obligation estimate, call us on 01543 330905.

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