Sure, exterior and interior lighting have a similar, general purpose: to illuminate your home and create atmosphere. However, you’ll quickly come to realise - on beginning to plan and install one or the other (or both!) - that they’re actually different kettles of fish in many ways. Here’s just some of the discrepancies between them.
1. Following the rules
As with most things, there are rules to be adhered to before proceeding with installing your exterior lighting, which differ to those that precede installing interior.
If you are carrying out electrical work and fixtures to the outside of your house in England or Wales you’re required to use a registered installer, or apply to your local authority’s building control department. In addition, your lighting now has to be as energy efficient as possible, and further has to be installed in such a way as to not disturb your neighbours (see consideration no. 2).
Conversely, installing interior lighting follows a simpler process (unless you are changing the electrical plan of your house to accommodate it, in which case similar safety/installation rules apply). Your decisions can be more freely made, so let those creative juices flow!
2. The people around you
Where interior lighting effects nobody but the residents of your household, exterior lighting has the potential to impact on your neighbours.
Excessive or misdirected light doesn’t only contribute negatively to the environment and your bank balance, it could trespass into your neighbour’s properties, so be mindful when installing exterior lighting to ensure your choices are contained largely to your property and the area surrounding it.
3. Which effects are most effective?
Nothing adds drama to a property quite like lighting, and we believe that whatever effect you’re going for - severe, cosy, romantic or more - lighting can help create it.
However, some lighting effects have more gravity when employed outside, conversely, some lighting effects have more gravity when employed inside. Accent lighting, for instance, is largely a job for exterior lighting - casting shadows on trees and garden ornaments to create dramatic silhouettes and shadows. Ambient lighting, on the other hand, works equally just as well indoors as it does outdoors - outdoors, created with small bulbs and warm, glowing lanterns, and indoors created by the soft, glittering hues of chandeliers and mottled glass lamps, as examples.
Maximise the use of your space by adapting your lighting to its surroundings. A sure way to create a lasting impression.
4. Functions and placement
Where interior lighting is employed to add dimension and character to a room, exterior lighting can additionally have a practical function - to heighten your safety and security.
Think carefully, thus, about all the potential places you could install your exterior lighting before doing so - even if safety is not one of your chief concerns, there are likely several opportunities you can address that need anyway via savvy placement, and get the look you’re going for while increasing your security. Not something to smirk at!