Exterior lighting is often forgotten but then what would be the point of a conservatory or big windows if all you can see at night is darkness? Light beyond the window to bring the outside in. This is especially important in the winter months- your garden shouldn’t have to suffer just because you’re spending minimal time in it.
Start right outside the windows and doors – a down light will create a lovely effect on the wall and will create a pool of light just outside the door. Then work your way around the edge of your garden with uplights to lead the eye to the main features.
Next, pick out the elements or sections of your garden you like the best – perhaps a pergola, pond or flower bed? Choose a light that will accent the features best – uplights for sculptures, a discreet spotlight for a tree or pretty plant and maybe an IP68 submerged pond light to create a nice effect within your water feature. If you have a wooden pergola, consider small 1 watt fittings inset into the frame to highlight the joins and shapes, which in turn will light a seating area beneath.
For outdoor table lighting, you have a few options. For permanent fittings, you could light around the table using wall mounted lights, such as our Wanatoobee Mastlight, which creates a nice effect but won’t really work as task lighting. As a temporary yet reusable feature for an impromptu summer barbecue (after all, you never know what weather we’re going to get!) you could create a center piece using battery or solar powered LED string lights – wind them around a small plant, or even put them into glass jars which you could tie to the spokes of your parasol. These will create more focused light onto the table so you can see what you’re eating! Or if you have a set position for your outside dining, you could invest in a pendant.
In terms of practicality and safety, you really should consider lighting any exterior steps or steep, uneven pathways with floor washers. Again this is especially important in Autumn/Winter with longer nights and the potential for icy, slippy steps. As long as your fittings are IP65 or above, you won’t need to worry about any expanding/contracting due to freezing temperatures. We’d always advise the use of PIR’s and daylight sensors for these to ensure they come on when you need them without wasting excess energy. If you have gates or a narrow entrance to your driveway, an up/down light either side of the entrance would help avoid any scrapes to your car.