outdoor lighting guide

There is so much choice when it comes to outdoor lighting. Choosing can become confusing when you take into consideration things such as the style of your building, whether you need functional or decorative lighting, and even where you can install lights.

Outdoor lighting can completely alter the appearance of your building or outdoor space. It adds ambience and flow to the design of your home come the evening.

It’s important to note that you can’t just use any light fitting as an outdoor light, and safety must be considered. With this in mind, we will begin this outdoor lighting guide by looking at IP Ratings.

IP Ratings

An IP Rating or IP Code denotes how much protection the enclosure of an electrical product provides. In simple terms, how dustproof and waterproof a light is.

Each IP Rating is IP followed by two digits (Eg. IP66). The higher the digit, the better the protection. The first digit refers to the level of protection against solids. The second refers to the level of protection against liquids.

This means that an IP11 will have almost no protection against the elements. Whereas an IP66 will have a very high protection. Knowing this code will help you choose the right light, and choosing a higher IP Rated light is recommended.

Wall Lighting

Lighting the exterior walls with wall lights is perhaps the most popular way to light your outdoor space. There are plenty of surfaces to fit a light, which means you have a wide variety of options.

outdoor wall light

For a more traditional home, lantern lights and nautical styled brass lights are a great way to add to the classic style of your exterior space. This gives general illumination to porches and entryways.

Modern homes benefit from a minimalist wall light that provides up and down lighting, allowing the light itself to be a feature of the exterior design of your home.

Floor Lighting

Floor or deck lighting is a great way to add functional outdoor lighting to a variety of places. Subtle and minimalist, these lights can blend into any exterior to add functional yet atmospheric light to any space whether a porch, an entryway, or to light garden steps.

Up-lighting your walls is one way to create a visually beautiful play of light and shadow to create a pleasing ambient light. Deck lighting adds functional illumination to potentially hazardous areas like steps, decks, or sloping surfaces.  

Ceiling Lighting

You’re probably wondering why we have included ceiling lights in an outdoor lighting guide, but adding a ceiling mounted light to verandas, eaves, or porches is a great way to light a more traditional home. This is particularly useful for situations where wiring through a wall may not be possible and allows for a more decorative lighting option.

outdoor lighting

Lighting choices include stylish lanterns or nautical brass lights, or simply high IP Rated downlights, giving wonderfully functional lighting that doesn’t interfere with your exterior walls.

Garden Spikes

Garden spikes are a great way to light up features such as pathways, walls, arches, or garden. These functional lights are extremely easy to install by simply driving into soil or grass, which means they are equally as movable.

These lights are adjustable, meaning they can be directed to features, to light up walls, or directed downward to light a pathway, and are incredibly versatile.


A great way to light up a more contemporary building is with bollard lighting. Bollards can be fitted into pathways, driveways, lawns, and flowerbeds to allow for useful path lighting and for lighting up entryways. Bollards are also a fantastic way to add sophisticated lighting to entrances.

Light levels

Choosing your light level depends on many factors, such as how many lights you intend to install, whether these to be used as functional lighting, or simply to highlight your home.

It’s important to get the level right, an overly bright light on your beautifully designed patio will disrupt the ambience of your space, whereas a soft decorative light may not give you the functionality you need for an entryway.

There is a solution, however. Many outdoor lights are dimmable these days, and this means that with a dimmer to control these lights, you can adjust your lighting to your needs rather than being stuck with one level of brightness.

Light Temperature

One aspect of lighting that is often forgotten is light temperature. Choosing the wrong light temperature can be as jarring as choosing the wrong light level. Too cool a temperature can give a sterile feel to the area, whereas too warm and you run the risk of having orange lighting.

In cosy areas that will be used socially such as patios and gardens, a warmer temperature is certainly more fitting, and will add to the overall ambience, whereas a cooler temperature works functionally in patios and entryways. When it comes to contemporary wall lights, the choice is yours! This will depend on your personal tastes, and perhaps the colour of your property.

There are plenty of ways you can make the most of your outdoor space, and we hope this guide has helped you make a decision about lighting your home.

Are you feeling inspired? Take a look at our outdoor lighting range to brighten your outdoor space today.

How do you plan outdoor lighting?

Planning outdoor lighting involves several key steps. First, assess your outdoor space and its purpose, identifying areas that require illumination. Next, choose the right fixtures and bulbs for each area, considering factors like brightness and energy efficiency. Create a lighting plan with a mix of task, ambient, and accent lighting to enhance safety and aesthetics.

Can outdoor lights be too bright?

Yes, outdoor lights can be too bright. Overly intense outdoor lighting can cause light pollution, disturb wildlife, and disrupt neighbours. It's essential to strike a balance between safety and ambiance by using lower wattage bulbs, shielding fixtures, and employing motion sensors or timers to reduce excessive brightness while preserving the night's tranquillity.

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