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External Lighting Tips
24 February 2017
Jon Holloway, Founder of Garden Trading with over 22 years of experience in designing and developing Lighting, shares his advice on how to make the most of exterior lighting.
The method of lighting your property will depend on the style of your home, as an approach that will complement a period style property won’t necessarily work to the best advantage of a modern-style property. Period properties often have a gorgeous texture of stone or brick which is ideal to highlight as a feature by using either up or downlighters. It might seem odd, but mount your lights higher than seems normal as this creates a lovely wash over the textures of the building and celebrates the period features. When picking your style of light, look for a seamless colour that will complement your building – for instance, a galvanized finish complements any texture and weathers into a subtle lead colour that suits any tone. Our new Southbank Lights are crafted from Polymer Concrete and look stunning on a period property, our Belvedere Lights are perfect for grand Georgian style houses or framing a large front door. Our Devonport Lights have a distinctly nautical feel that look particularly stunning with a flint/brick combination property but would equally complement any home.
If you are lighting a more contemporary home, you should look at subtle lights with a simplicity of design to complement a modern and clean external appearance. A simple radius shape is very calming, so I would suggest our aluminium based Chatham Range which provides a selection of affordable but classic designs. I particularly recommend the bulk head lights, providing plenty of lighting without overwhelming the simplicity of a modern design. If your house is set back from the street, it is also worth considering installing a light with an in-built PIR sensor, such as our Aldgate Lamp, to provide added security and ease during dark winter evenings!
It is very important to only install lighting that is safe to be used in outdoor conditions. All external lighting must be at least IP44 rated, which essentially means that it is protected against the intrusion of water. At Garden Trading, our full range of outdoor lighting is rated IP44 or above, offering even greater protection from the weather. As well as the IP rating, you should always keep in mind your environment, if you live in a very exposed property in severe conditions such as on the coast, you should opt for lights that are of a solid design e.g. a bulk head, rather than one with arms which can be more fragile in heavy winds. Our Devonport Lights are rated IP65 and are the most suitable for withstanding coastal conditions, although all our Galvanized Lights will weather beautifully too.
If your property has a feature, lighting can be a great way to celebrate this. A spotlight is the most simple but effective way of achieving an effect, setting it away from the building to highlight the focus feature. A common mistake is to set a light on or near a feature, but some distance will create a much more subtle but impressive impact. Our new Farlow Light is ideal for this, and complete with an LED Bulb will really stand the test of time. If your feature is particularly large or you have multiple points of interest on your home, don’t be afraid to use two or three spotlights, placing them carefully to create the desired impact.
While certain lighting designs will always remain a classic, there are undoubtedly new trends coming to the surface in 2017. The marine style is gathering a lot of pace, taking inspiration from the lighting used on ships, oil rigs and marinas. Our Devonport Lights complement this trend completely, as does our long-standing popular St Ives range. There is a definite move away from metal being the sole material, with more natural materials starting to shine. Our Southbank Lights are crafted from Polymer Concrete, which gives a lovely smooth appearance and we anticipate the collection being very popular this Spring. There is also a new step towards darker colours of black and dark-greys, so I have introduced some of our more popular feature lights such as our Grosvenor and Belvedere in a new black shade.