Having the right outdoor lighting is at least as important as having the right lighting indoors. However, many forget to take outdoor lighting into account.
Before choosing outdoor lighting for your house and garden, you need to find out where you need light, and what kind of light it should be. It can be a great help to divide your outdoor space into sections and assess the need from section to section. A section may be:
- The front door
- The driveway
- Garage and shed
- The terrace
- The garden
Front door lighting
At the front door, you need good and functional lighting for orientation, for unlocking/locking the door, and seeing the steps or stairs. In addition, it is important that the light also makes you and your guests feel welcomed. An illuminated front door can also increase the feeling of security when you come home in the dark hours, as well as allowing you to see who is ringing your doorbell outside. So choose either one wall lamp mounted beside the door – or two if you want more light and symmetry. A lamp centered over the front door is also an option.
Lighting in the driveway
In the driveway, it is also important to be welcomed by good lighting which indicates the way to the house. Wall lights can be installed if you have a wall or a fence. If you have a narrow driveway you may want to use in-ground spotlights installed into the tiles – the spotlights can function as orientation lights. If it is a wider driveway, you can install pillar lights or garden lights to show the way to the house. It's a good idea to illuminate the driveway – both for your own sake, but also because it has a preventive effect.
Lighting in the garage and shed
In the garage you need a functional light in order to orient yourself, for good work lighting, and for when you are carrying things to and from the car. The same applies in the shed, which may be used as a work space, or if light is needed to park the bike, or you need to find something in the freezer. It can be a good solution to mount spotlights (which are approved for outdoor use) in the ceiling of the garage if the conditions are right. Otherwise you can mount outdoor ceiling lights or wall lights on the walls of the garage.
Light in the garden and on the terrace
We increasingly see the garden and terrace as an extra room, and decorate it with details and comfort that reflect the house's other spaces. Here, lighting is also key – practical after dark, but also to create comfort and atmosphere. You can select your lighting based on what you want illuminated when you are outside, but also based on the way you want to experience the garden from inside the house.
When the dark places in the garden and around the house are illuminated, the outdoor area appears larger and you make better use of the garden. On the terrace you can mount ground recessed spotlights in the surface of the terrace. It provides a beautiful and atmospheric lighting. If you want a more flexible lighting, you can use the Nordlux Fuse spike lamp. It can be placed in a garden bed or put into a lamp base on the terrace.
lights with sensor have both an energy-saving and a deterrent effect. Light generally has a good effect and helps ward off intruders while also providing good visibility during the dark months. With a motion sensor, a light will switch on automatically when someone approaches the area where the lamp is located and is within range of the sensor. All Nordlux outdoor lights with built-in sensors have a twilight switch, which means that the light first activates after dusk (15 lux). This means that the sensor does not switch the lamp on in the daytime when there is no need for light. It also helps to save on electricity.
Which lights are suitable for outdoor use?
Outdoor lights are classified by an IP rating that indicates how high the density is in relation to dust/debris or water. In order to withstand different weather conditions, it is recommended that outdoor lights have an IP rating between 44 and 65, but an IP 23 rating is also permitted for outdoor use. However, the location of the lamp is very important, as there are differences in how exposed it is. If the lamp is installed under eaves, it is subjected to less impact from wind and weather than if it is in an exposed position on a wall. For example, a ground recessed spotlight should have a rating of IP 67, as they are very vulnerable, whereas recessed lights installed in eaves can easily be IP 23. The location of the fixture is therefore essential to knowing which IP rating is required.
Besides the classification of the lamp, it is also important to think about what material the lamp is made of. Outdoor lights are exposed to the elements and require sturdy material such as galvanised steel and copper. In coastal areas, where there are more extreme conditions due to the presence of sand, salt water, and wind, we recommend only using lights in galvanised steel or plastic. Generally, it is also important that you regularly check your outdoor lights, so you are sure that all gaskets are sealed, that stainless steel lights are treated with acid-free oil, and that everything works as it should.
LED bulbs in outdoor lights
It is suitable to use LED bulbs in lights outdoors, as they turn on instantly and offer low power consumption. You can therefore leave them on in the dark hours, without feeling guilty about the environment and electricity bills.
Installation of outdoor lights
For safety reasons, outdoor electrical work is subject to strict regulations. Therefore it is not permitted to install or replace outdoor electrical outlets or switches, nor lights. This work must be performed by an authorised electrician.