Help & advice: Buying guide to outdoor lighting
Buying guide to outdoor lighting
Make your garden an exciting space for entertaining with outdoor lighting - and boost safety and security around your property at the same time. Get out there and have fun with the Homebase range of outdoor lighting.
Get outdoor lighting right and your garden will be a gorgeous, glowing extra living room long after the sun goes down. Different parts of your outdoor space will need different types of lighting. Focused, brighter task lighting - which makes specific activities easier - is for entrances, paths and decking. You don't want to be tripping up in the dark with a tray of cocktails in your hand. More subtle accent lighting - which creates mood and atmosphere - is for the lovelier parts of the garden you're happy for guests to see!
Where do you most need light outside? Placing lights in or near entrance ways and porches gives you and your visitors essential illumination. You could also light back doors, side passages, and areas used frequently such as garages and sheds.
Lantern-style wall lights in entrance ways give your home an inviting feel. Flush-fitted wall lights are a neat option for the side of the house or above the back door.
For convenience, position switches for your lighting close to the areas it's being used for. Put front door light switches in the entrance hallway and rear or side light switches by the back door.
Use lights for safety in the obvious spots - paths, driveways, steps and seating areas. For large areas, a floodlight solves your problem in one fell swoop. Rows of deck lights will mark out a path or decking section.
If you opt for a floodlight, choose one with wide beams. For maximum effect fit floodlights at least 2m off the ground. Avoid high wattages - the light will be too powerful and could annoy the neighbours...
Bed deck lights into deck floors and posts and you'll enjoy really good focused light. But position carefully on decks so you don't get glare. Adjustable deck lights offer you extra flexibility.
Create mood and drama in your garden with accent lighting - it showcases individual features you're proud of. It also draws attention away from the ugly bits like bins and compost heaps!
Spotlights are superb uplighters or downlighters and give great focus to a favourite plant, tree or sculpture. Place near the base of your feature or under foliage for an intense, focused beam. Or mount two spotlights either side of the feature for a soft, flattering effect.
Spotlights on fences and trellis generate intimate pools of light. And placed near water they'll create spectacular reflections. Having a romantic dinner or evening drinks with friends? The atmospheric, flickering radiance from candle-lit hanging lanterns creates an intimate, warm mood. Hang lanterns from a wall hook, tree branch or stand on a flat surface on a patio or terrace.
What could be prettier than threads of coloured lights strung across patios and trellis or through trees and shrubs? They're ideal for parties and entertaining. And simple to use: just plug into an indoor power point. Specialist sets are also available for parasols and gazebos.
Deter intruders by fitting a security light with passive infrared (PIR). These lights come on automatically when activated by heat or movement. A burglar approaching your house or a car pulling into the drive will trigger the PIR system and they'll be caught in a very unwelcome pool of bright light.
Light fittings can incorporate a built-in PIR detector, or a stand-alone detector can be fitted to a number of lights surrounding your home. Mount your detector at least 2m from the ground to stop intruders tampering with it.
Look for a manual override facility too. This allows you to switch on the system for a constant source of light.
Using energy-efficient lighting in the garden can be up to 80% cheaper to run.
Solar lighting is environmentally friendly and doesn't need electricity. Specially designed batteries store up energy from the sun during the day and automatically switch on at dusk to provide soft light for several hours.
Ensure lights are positioned in a sunny spot where a low level of ambient light will be welcome in the evening.
- Look for IP44 rating on our packaging.
- Ensure lighting is weatherproof, waterproof and safe for the purpose you're using it for.
- Never leave burning candles unattended. Ensure children and pets are supervised at all times around lighted candles.
- If you've bought lighting that isn't low-voltage, have it installed by a qualified electrician in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
Save money on electricity by using low-energy bulbs with your security lights.
Lights take various sizes and types of bulb. Typical fittings include: Bayonet Cap (BC), Small Bayonet Cap (SBC), Edison Screw (ES or E27) and Small Edison Screw (SES or E14).
We stock the right bulb for every light we sell and the bulb type you need is clearly written on the packaging of all lighting products. Before you buy, check the packaging first as many light fittings now come with bulbs.