With summer slowly creeping up on us all, have you taken the time to consider how you’re going to brighten up your outdoor space? With so many factors to bear in mind, we’re here to break down the best ways to illuminate your garden. We will also advise you on easy-to-make mistakes so you can (hopefully) avoid the most common lighting issues.
Summer is officially around the corner. With the weather improving day by day (usually), and the days getting longer, it’s finally time to rediscover your garden. Head out and brush off your outdoor furniture, invite your friends over, and truly make the most of the warmer evenings.
Before you start a routine of al fresco dining and cosy G&T nights with your partner though, it’s essential that you transform your garden. This doesn’t have to be costly, or difficult. In fact, adding a few lights to your outdoor space can give the area a complete refresh.
Here at WLED, we have curated a list of mistakes to avoid so you can own a garden that others can only dream of.
1. Plan Ahead This Summer
Before you make any purchases or changes, you must plan ahead. You need to take a step back and really think about how you want your garden to look. Once you have this in mind, you then need to look at where needs lighting and where can do without. Do you have features of your home you want to highlight? Do you have steps? Is there a patio where you enjoy your al fresco dinners? With all of this in mind, you can then get a better idea of how to illuminate your garden.
If you’re someone who spends their summer entertaining others, you need to consider how the lighting will impact those around you also. While it’s great to think about the looks of your home, practicality plays a large part too.
There are few greater pleasures in life than sitting outdoors with an ice-cold beverage in hand. But, after a few too many of these, finding your way gets somewhat difficult – to say the least. This is why you definitely want to ensure your steps are well lit, perhaps with a strip of LED Tape. Why not consider Post Lights to allow your guests to find their way with ease? These simple additions will make the space look great, but will also add a safety measure too.
2. English Summers Can Get Wet!
Living in the UK has its’ downfalls, including the inconsistency of the weather in the summer. One day there isn’t a cloud in sight, then the next? It will rain all day. This is why you need to purchase Outdoor Lights with a protective IP rating – just to be on the safe side.
‘IP’ stands for ‘Ingress Protection’. These two letters are then followed by two digits denoting how well shielded a light is against foreign objects and water. Digit one represents the protection level against objects and runs on a scale of 0 – 6. Zero shows no protection, and 6 means it is dust tight.
Digit two is particularly important to British gardens. This signifies how watertight a light fitting is. This has a larger scale of 0 – 8, with zero showing no protection and 8 meaning the light is suitable for immersion in water.
The best IP rating for outdoor lighting can depend on many factors. If you have a canopy or some form of cover, the IP becomes less relevant. However, when fully exposed, a minimum of IPX5 or above is recommended.
3. Consider Colour Temperature
Create the most ambient light by considering Correlated Colour Temperature, or CCT when mapping out your garden. Cool white (6000K) can give an unnatural look to your home, making plants and greenery appear sickly. This is because it emits a bluish tone that will certainly not compliment your flowerbeds.
Warm white (3000K) is typically used in outdoor spaces. It is a much more natural colour with soothing and relaxing properties. In fact, it mimics the comforting glow of a campfire. This will create a comfortable outdoor environment – perfect for hosting summer parties.
To take your lighting up a notch, browse our range of light fittings that can be accompanied with an RGBW bulb. They will bring the party and liven up your al fresco evenings. Producing an excitingly fun range of colours, you even have the option to control the light using a handy remote. With mode options such as flash, fade, smooth and strobe, you can start a disco in your very own garden. For cosier nights, you can dim the light and create ambient mood lighting using the softer RGB or white colours.
You will often find that our range of Outdoor Festoon Lights are all provided with integrated LEDs. These all produce warm white light to create a cosy look in any space. You can create a magical atmosphere, especially with help from products such as the 20 X Celebration Clear Festoon Lights.
4. Positioning Takes Priority
Not only is layering LEDs important for the indoors, but it is also an easy way to give your garden a professional edge. Without layering the different types of light, the garden may appear dull, putting a dampener on your summer soirée.
Ambient, task and accent lighting all play a massive role in changing the way you use your outdoor space. For example, it is great to have a source of ambient lighting that illuminates all directions to help you see when the sun has gone down.
Then, to highlight special features of your garden, perhaps a sculpture or beloved tree, use accent lighting. This can be with festoons, or even Ground Lights.
By creating depth, drama and shadows, you will highlight the best angles of your outdoors. By optimising your lighting design, you can selectively draw the eye to certain areas and create a lighting hierarchy.
5. Never Ignore Safety
We’re sure your front garden is fully protected by using the correct lighting, and if not, read our blog explaining how outdoor lighting can secure your property. Have you considered the back garden though? By adding preventative measures, you can improve the safety of you and your loved ones. This doesn’t have to take away from the enchanting paradise you have created though.
Adding extra illumination will deter criminals regardless. Even if they do decide to approach, the light will only help your CCTV become more visible. For entrance points to your garden, such as a gate, why not add a handy PIR Wall Light? For the fence, you can mount a festive set of festoons which will still keep your garden looking gorgeous.
You can’t put a price on safety, so rest easy this summer knowing your outdoors are 100% protected.
For more tips and lighting advice, give our friendly team of advisors a call on 0116 321 4120, or send us an email to [email protected] They will be able to help you plan your external wonderland and suggest products to suit you and your requirements.