Outdoor lighting and indoor lighting are two different stories. There are different technicalities and ambiance lighting rules to remember.
We’ve compiled a list of the best tips for outdoor lighting that will transform your porch and garden. This list includes both outdoor lighting ideas to create a cozy atmosphere and tips that will give you a greater sense of security.
1. Save Money with LED Lighting
This is our number one tip on any list and we stand by it.
New LED lighting might cost you just a few extra bucks in the beginning but you will earn it back. LEDs last much longer than other lighting types which means you won’t have to buy new bulbs every few months.
Another advantage of outdoor LED lighting is that you can get brighter lighting with a lower energy consumption. This is especially useful for lights that need to illuminate a large space and remain on the entire night.
2. Assessing Your Outdoor Lighting
Decide which areas in your front and backyard need lighting by scanning the outdoor space from different rooms inside the house. Which areas are too dark and which areas only need minimal lighting?
Then, for comparison, walk through your outdoor space at night. Are there any dark hidden areas or pathways that could do with solar pathway lights?
3. Know Which Lighting Type to Use in Which Area
For the best outdoor lighting results, you will need to know what the function is of each lighting fixture. Is it to create an ambiance, for a specific task or to highlight a feature in your garden?
For example, path lighting and solar flood lights perform specific tasks so they need to be practical, durable and dependable. Choose functional cost effective models like an LED dusk to dawn outdoor light.
Choosing a spotlight for a garden feature like a statue or pond lighting, on the other hand, should be more focused on the visual effects. How visible is the light fixture itself and what kind of atmosphere does it create?
For ambiance lighting opt for lighting that is adjustable. This lets you play around with the lighting to create different moods.
Also, think about the size and design of the outdoor lighting fixtures.
How does the size of the light compare to space and other objects nearby? Do you need to cover a wider area or should the lighting focus on one spot?
What is the general aesthetic of your outdoor space? For example, Would mid-century modern lighting fit best or are you more into natural materials like bamboo?
4. Use Solar Powered LEDs for Path Lighting and Flood Lights
Another way to lower your energy bill is to place solar LED path lighting and solar powered flood lights around your house.
Solar path lighting is extremely easy to install. Since it’s a wireless outdoor lighting system you can place them practically anywhere in your garden.
Solar path lights are also very popular. You will have no problem finding a design that fits your aesthetic.
Place enough solar path lighting that you will be able to see uneven ground clearly. Lights that are closer to the ground are preferable because you’ll be able to see the path well without flooding the other areas with the light, too.
Regular flood lights tend to be more costly because of the amount of electricity needed. By using solar powered flood lights, you are able to achieve more brightness with lower energy consumption.
Combining solar power with LED technology will save you even more each month. The already lowered cost will become non-existent when your flood lights can run on solar energy.
Place solar powered motion detector lights in hidden areas around your house and by the doors for added home security.
5. Place Motion Sensors by Doors and Hidden Areas
Lighting with motion sensors works very well for added security. Motion sensor lighting is also more energy efficient than lighting that emits light throughout the night.
Strategically place motion sensor flood lights by entryways and hidden areas like an alleyway or blind corner.
If you think that flood lights are too bright for by your door then use both a motion sensor mounted light and a regular LED porch light. This combination gives you extra light when you or someone else is by the door but remains subtle the rest of the time.
If you’ve installed security cameras then motion sensor lighting will make your security more effective. The light gives your camera a better visual and surprises unwanted guests.
6. Use Lighting with a Dimmer for Entertaining Areas
An outdoor dining area or lounge chairs don’t need a bright white light. Instead, choose to light with warmer tones to create a cozy atmosphere.
Try to incorporate a dimmer for your garden lighting ideas. This way you can control the outdoor lighting to suit the activity.
For example, hang LED chandelier bulbs from a porch fixture for do-it-yourself porch lighting. Or, surround your outdoor dining table with dimming outdoor lighting like LED torches.
For more ambient outdoor lighting you can place an LED strip light on table edges or along your exterior walls at the height of a skirting board. For more romantic lighting string along outdoor hanging lights in trees.
7. Experiment with Smart Outdoor Lighting Automation
If you are interested in smart housing and high tech lighting then consider experimenting with an automated lighting control system. If you have a large outdoor space that you use frequently then it might be worth the investment.
An automated lighting control system will adjust itself to the situation with minimal effort from you, once everything is installed to your preferences. However, installing a smart outdoor lighting system will require more extensive planning in the beginning.
Alternatively, you can install outdoor lighting that works with a remote control. This gives you more outdoor lighting control without going fully high tech.
So remember these outdoor lighting tips for your next backyard project and you’ll be on the right track.