Before you begin planning and installing your exterior lighting, it’s savvy to have some tricks up your sleeve. Six tricks, to be exact…
1. Take Mother Nature into account
Your exterior lighting has to fight the elements, so make sure that you follow necessary health and safety regulations pre-installation, ensuring your home is safe while getting the most out of your new features.
If you’re using main voltage lights (240 volts), they have to be durable and waterproof. You’ll be able to recognise this by the IP (Ingress Protection) rating it has, consisting of two digits. The basic rule is: the higher the number, the more protection it offers.
The first digit refers to the extent to which the light is protected from anything getting inside it, ranging from ‘0’ (which indicates no special protection) to ‘6’ (best protection).
The second digit refers to the amount of moisture the light can defend itself against, ranging from ‘0’ (indicating no special protection) to ‘8’ (best protection).
The minimum number for an exterior light is 4, so, as a rule of thumb, ensure the exterior lights you choose have an IP rating of 44 at least. This rating needs to be higher if your lights will be situated close to water sources (such as sprinklers or fountains).
2. Professionals only, please!
When carrying out electrical work to the outside of your house in England or Wales, you’re required to use a registered installer, or to apply to your local authority’s building control department.
A professional electrician will ensure that all outdoor wiring and sockets are properly installed and protected. They will additionally be able to install extra security measures, ensuring that your fitting is as safe as possible while guaranteeing a quality installation.
3. Keep your neighbours friendly
When installing exterior lighting, you are required by law to install it in such a way as to not disturb your neighbours - a.k.a., you cannot project harsh light directly onto their property from yours.
When planning and installing your new exterior lighting, make sure that you do so thoughtfully, and contain your ideas to your property only.
4. Learn how to show off your best features
Your garden is as valuable a living space as your home is, and should be a reflection of your unique style, taste and character.
With that in mind, it’s important you pick the right complementary lighting to reflect you, and the features your garden already has. For instance, if you have tall, dramatic trees near to the walls of your house, why not illuminate them with some low accent lighting, creating atmospheric silhouettes?
Alternately, if you have small, dark windows you’d like to illuminate and make more cosy, you could softly light them with some wall mounted lanterns such as these, customised to your tastes. The choices are endless!
5. Don’t be mean, keep it green
The UK is now getting stricter and stricter in concerns to greener lighting, and you can jump on the eco-friendly bandwagon by employing solar lights in your garden.
Solar lights turn themselves off automatically during the day, and are charged by sunlight via an internal battery, ready to release that lovely glow all night. Good for the environment and your conscience, without compromising your look.
6. Meet your security needs
When installing exterior lighting, you have a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: making your house look great while adding an extra degree of security around the perimeter, too.
Consider employing one or two lightposts in your front garden, or some wall mounted lights around your door, increasing your home’s illuminative effect while making it look more welcoming and secure. It doesn’t get better than that!