Outdoor lights - to make your house look great
Author: Paul Marchant
Published: July 24, 2012
Almost all outdoors lights need to be durable and impervious to less-than-favourable weather. But beyond that, the diversity of available lighting is huge. Whether fixtures should blend into their surrounding environment or court attention is a key choice, and there are even solutions that do both!
Top of the list in this category are weatherproof flexi strips. These are thin strips of LED lights certified to the IP65 standard, which means they’re protected from dust and can withstand being pelted with water jets – so heavy rain will pose no problem whatsoever. Although they come in strips of 5m, each strip holding 300 LEDs, they can be snipped into 3-LED segments for full customisation.
That’s not where their versatility ends, though. These linkable strips come in six different colours, and there’s also a colour-changing LED option, with a remote control to select from more than a dozen shades. With a colour-change LED strip light setup, the outside of a building can go from subtle to striking with a press of a button.
These lights are powered by a driver unit, available separately. In the trade-off for the additional setup required, you get to enjoy the immense 30,000 hour stamina of LED lighting.
For more concentrated light output that’s more about illumination than decoration, there’s the traditional floodlight. Although often thought of as power hungry lights, low power bulbs with high frequency fittings (including LED versions) give modern floodlights excellent longevity and low running costs.
For example, the Eterna floodlight uses dual 26W 4-pin bulbs and is mounted on an adjustable bracket to offer great power and versatility. At just 112mm deep, it doesn’t take up much space either. The Eterna is made of hardwearing ABS plastic and – certified to IP44 – is resistant to the elements. To save additional money and energy, it’s also available with an integrated “Dusk to Dawn” controller. This turns the light on automatically at dusk and off at dawn for energy-saving, low maintenance use.
Another brick light in the wall
Offering another form of impact lighting but in a considerably more subtle fashion are brick & tile lights, and sign lights. As their naming might suggest, the former are small lights designed to seamlessly take the place of bricks and tiles in a wall. Like flexi strip lighting, many of these are certified to IP65 standard, offering superb weather protection.
Our Mono Low Energy Brick light uses a satin chrome border around a strong polycarbonate diffuser, offering a softened effect and much greater durability than the glass diffusers seen in most indoors lights. It takes an 18w PL-C 4pin bulb certified for up to 18,000 hours of use, and has a high frequency fitting for optimal energy efficiency. This impressive brick light is also available in an LED version.
Tile lights implement the same idea, but on a smaller scale to suit ceramic-tiled walls or floors. For example, the Milan LED Tile Light fits-in nine LED bulbs behind a polycarbonate diffuse.
Brick and tile lights are intended to fit subtly, but stylishly, into walls (or floors), but if you’re after something with a little more of a deliberate visual presence, you may want a wall or sign light. These tend to have much more of a specific style, like the Festa with its spherical diffuser – made of tough polycarbonate to make it virtually vandal-proof – or the lantern-like Luxembourg, which comes with a 15-year guarantee.
Show me the way
Sign lights are particularly useful for lighting-up building numbers or names, and they tend to skip between the subtlety of brick lights and the stylised designs of standard wall light fittings. The Marquis is a great example of classic sign lighting offering a traditional-look swan neck that curves the light’s throw back onto the affixed wall.
Stand out lighting
Of course, outside lights do not need to be fixed to walls, or screwed into the ground. Some of the most striking outdoors fitting are the floor lights designed to double as statement pieces of furniture. Among the favourites are the Lodi, with its dazzling clear glass globe shade, and the Levada, whose rattan shade wouldn’t look out of place in a stylish living room. Designed for outside use, though, these floorstanding lights use heavy duty stone bases to keep them upright in the very worst of weather conditions.
Why not take a look at our full range of outdoor lights.
Need more inspiration or information? Check out our Lighting Advice section
This article was tagged with Outdoor