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Whether you’re looking to illuminate your front porch to improve the curb appeal of your property or are looking for the perfect way to bring your garden cocktail parties to life, exterior lighting is something that requires a lot of consideration. In addition to its aesthetic properties, there is also a safety component to factor in, given that a lack of proper illumination (particularly in our notoriously dark winters) can be the cause of accidents and injuries.

Here are some of the most important aspects to think about when it comes to outdoor lighting.

1 – Prioritise the front of your property

For safety reasons, the entrance of your property should always be properly illuminated, allowing people to make their way from the road to your door without stumbling over. Wall lanterns are a particularly elegant feature to have on your porch, and are a splendid complement to properties designed with a traditional flair.

2 – Be cautious about illuminating features

If you have a focal point of your garden, such as a statue or water fountain, you may feel inclined to design the lighting around it. While it’s important that you do illuminate features such as these, make sure you don’t focus too heavily on them. If your feature is the only thing illuminated in your garden, it can look rather bizarre, so space your lighting out evenly and don’t forget to illuminate the dark corners as well as the special features, perhaps with dimmer or warmer lights.

3 – Use underwater lighting for pools

While keeping your pool well illuminated is essential, you may also want to consider underwater lighting to create a truly elegant ambiance. Underwater lighting can help to build a majestic atmosphere as the sun fades to dusk – particularly appealing if you enjoy hosting pool parties during the summer.

4 – Use a timer

Set up a timer so that your outdoor lights come on as soon as the sunlight begins to fade. The timing will need to be adjusted depending on what season of the year it is, but some timers already have this as a built-in feature. This is essential for safety, as you don’t want to be coming home to pitch blackness, especially not after having a few glasses of wine with your dinner, which could result in an accident!

5 – Variety is crucial

Floodlights are very popular, as they would appear to be the ones providing the most safety. However, they aren’t particularly good for building atmosphere. Implement a wide variety of lighting fixtures, such as wall lanterns, underwater lighting, recessed lighting and bollards; to maximise the appeal of your outdoor atmosphere.

6 – Beware of foliage

When planning your lighting fixtures, be aware of where your foliage lies – or where it might grow in future!. Especially if you aren’t inclined to keep your plant life in strict check throughout the year, it’s worth remembering that plants will grow and could potentially get in the way of your lighting.

7 – Avoid glare

Be conscious of where you’re putting your lighting fixtures and endeavour to avoid glare. One of the easiest ways to prevent glare is to use shielded fixtures. Lani Furbank, writing for Enlightened Lights, states:

“Eliminating lighting glare will prevent distractions and allow the eye to focus on the whole picture, rather than a bright blemish. Lighting glare can be easily fixed by using frosted lenses or shrouds, and by considering the angle of the light.”