Outdoor lights can have multiple uses, working as security lights, illuminating pathways and doorways, and enabling greater use of outdoor living spaces.
When selecting fixtures for use outdoors, there are extra considerations, such as the IP rating required. The IP (‘ingress protection’) rating of a fixture determines how well it is sealed against dirt, dust, moisture or anything else which may damage the operation or make it unsafe. Lights being used outdoors will require a higher IP rating given their exposure to the elements, particularly rain.
Other considerations are the placement of the fixture – for example do you need wall lights next to a door or garage for security, low level lights along a pathway, or recessed lights into a garden patio or deck, or around a pool area? Is there a mains power supply available or do the lights need to be battery operated, rechargeable or solar powered?
Outdoor wall lights are popular for placement next to an entry door. These lights are functional but can also be decorative, such as an up and down light which directs light upwards and downwards from the fitting. There are a wide variety of designs available, from Victorian style hanging lanterns to basic spotlights in materials ranging from steel to concrete.
Security lights may also be wall-mounted, often operating on a motion sensor which triggers the light when there is movement within a set range of the light. These may also be known as PIR lights. They work with a timer, so that the light will turn back off after a certain amount of time. Security lights can be mounted at entry doors, including the garage, to act as a deterrent and alert.
Solar lights are a simple option for providing light around outdoor living areas, especially areas which may be further from the house with no existing power supply. They are portable, are easy to install with no plug and no wiring, and may provide light from dusk to dawn depending on the charge they hold. Solar lights are often low level and are available in multiple sizes, from small enough to be placed into a planter or the ground to larger bollards or post lights.
For parties and outdoor entertaining, festive festoon lights on a rope or string require no installation. Designs with vintage look Edison style LED bulbs are some of the most popular and can be hung from trees, pergolas or fencing.