There’s definitely a trick to outdoor lighting. Done right it can light up your house and garden beautifully when the sun goes down. Done wrong it can be nothing but an unnecessary and expensive eyesore that keeps you or your neighbours awake. Knowing the right decisions to make with outdoor lighting will yield results you can be proud of. It takes a subtle mix of matching plants, lights and spaces. You might even enjoy your garden more at night time than during the day. Here are five tips to make sure you get the best out of outdoor lighting.
- Transformers and outdoor circuits. Choosing a starting point for your circuit is an important consideration when creating your plan. The further away a light is from a transformer (and the more lights in between), the dimmer it will be. Don’t overload a circuit with lights, try to keep it to a maximum of 100 watts on each line. Your transformer should be more than adequate to match your needs. Talk to your electrician first, but it’s better to buy one with more output than you need so you can add more later.
- Less is more. Outdoor lighting is subtle art, used to illuminate paths, highlight trees and plants and for letting you know where a building is. It’s no use lighting up your backyard like a sports game. Use the right lights for the right job; there’s a different outdoor light for almost any feature you care to light up. Use underwater lights for ponds and fountains, small path lights for paths and tree-mounted spotlights (not too bright) for that hint of moonlight.
- Be safe and aesthetically pleasing. Don’t simply run a lead from your lounge outside to a 4-way adapter and plug in four lamps. Outdoor lighting is designed just for that – outdoors. Electricity does not do well outdoors unless properly channelled, so make sure you’re wiring up your outdoor lighting by the book. Call on an electrician to help you out if need be.
- Energy saving. Outside lights may seem like an extra expense reserved for the luxurious among us, but the cost can be minimal. Investigate different types of lighting.Solar power is a great resource for outdoor lighting. There are many cheap outdoor lamps with their own solar panels that charge during the day. This will cost you nothing but the initial cost of purchase. Of course, they will need to be placed in a sunny place. LED outdoor lighting uses much less energy than traditional light bulbs, plus they are more hardy, needing fewer replacements. Think about the layout of your garden and what areas require light and where shadows will fall. Making a plan of your garden will let you know exactly what’s needed to get the best out of your garden after-hours. Of course, the best way to save money is by not leaving your lights on all the time. You will only need outdoor lighting on the odd occasion, so keep it special and leave them off most of the time.
- Long term considerations. Your outdoor lighting will need to handle all types of weather and seasons. When installing your lighting be sure you have a good idea of what changes your garden goes through, what plants will grow rapidly over the next few months, and what effect the lighting will have in each season. Your lighting becomes part of your garden, so treat it as such.
Outdoor lights give your property that extra little something after dark. They give your parties a certain class and provide an unmatched ambiance when you’re alone at night. It’s worth thinking about and an electrical services company can help you out with the right choices for your home.
At Platinum Electrical, we specialise in electrical repairs, maintenance and installations across Sydney, Melbourne and more. For more information or to get a quote, visit