How to make the outdoors more inviting with lighting
The outdoor area is often cast aside when it comes to lighting up a home. Of course, you want to see your home in its best light from the moment you pull up into the driveway. Apart from that, there are at least four important reasons to light up the outdoor areas to maximise enjoyment, comfort and appeal.
Good outdoor security lighting is not only sensible, it can also potentially lower the cost of your home insurance premiums. Many insurance companies now routinely ask you to add or document security lighting around your home. Of course, motion-sensors and automatic timers make a great addition to any outdoor lighting installation.
For a comfortable gathering no matter what time of year, the ideal light is a warmer colour temperature from low-level ambient light. Warm light makes any skin tone look more natural and creates softer shadows. This is great for entertaining, likely because it reminds us of a flickering flame or cosy, campfire cook-out. Warm lighting from wall-fixtures works wonders even on hot tropical nights and certainly for cooler, coastal climes.
- Street appeal
Are you putting the architectural features of your home in their best light? Use your finishes and colours to inspire your lighting. Textures like renders, timber and brick respond well to a ‘lantern effect’ from garden lighting from bollards or wall-mounts. Recesses and eaves are ideal spots to tuck a spot – or floodlight to highlight an object – what is sometimes called ‘sentinel lighting’.
- Comfort & safety
Path lighting is essential to see your way clear around the home or to the door (let alone bin night). And for dark and stormy nights, nothing can guide you more securely to the safe haven of your home. Posts and directional wall lights are an ideal solution.
As most architects will point out, there two basic principles at work for good outdoor lighting:
- Be more theatrical
Keep light levels lower in entertaining areas, and take advantage of focal points where you can brighten up or highlight a feature. There’s usually less need for task lighting outdoors (unless you’re minding the BBQ and need a good eye for a perfectly seared steak), so keep security spotlights and floodlights for the front or façade.
- Keep it cool with the right lighting
As you read in important reason #2 for Entertaining, a warmer tone of lights outside is more appealing for social scenes. But when it comes to façades or design statements, look for the cool white lights of LED fixtures. Not only are they long lasting and energy efficient, but they also cast a cool, clean glow when the sun goes down.
Text and words by Crompton Lighting.