Outdoor Lighting Buyer’s Guide

Energy-Efficient Landscape Lighting - Green Illumination for Your Home

Outdoor lighting is important to every home. You can use them to light up gates, patios, pathways, flowerbeds, and decks. Apart from making your yard look beautiful at night, outdoor lighting also boosts the level of security in your home. Whether you choose wall lights or spotlights for your decking, your outdoor lighting should be decorative and functional. From floodlights to solar lamps, you’ll have a variety of lighting systems to choose from.

What’s Outdoor Lighting?

Outdoor lighting is the light you use outside the house. The lights are useful if you want to enjoy sitting on the deck or in the garden at night. Many people use them for decorative purposes at night. No matter the type of outdoor lights you choose, remember they must meet the standards set by the regulating authorities. Find out from your local authorities what standards your outdoor lightning should meet.

Generally, an outdoor light needs to have an IP rating of no less than IP 23 to protect it from water and dust. That said, you should aim for an IP rating of no less than IP 65. This will provide adequate protection against water jets from all directions and from dust.

Here are some types of lights you can use outdoors.

Wall lights

Wall lights are excellent if you want to showcase your deck or any area close to a wall. You can mount them on your perimeter walls or even on the outside walls of your house. You can either use spotlights or deflectors to provide indirect light.

The idea is to balance the lights and the architecture to provide perfect harmony. The lights also need to be functional. That is, you should place them strategically, not randomly.

You can also use wall lights to light the paths, such as walkways running around the wall. You can also use them to light paths leading to side doors.

Decorative Lights

People install decorative lights specifically to promote their homes. Depending on where and how you install them, they are excellent at adding aesthetic value to your home. You can use them to show off your pathways, gardens, deck, architecture, flowers, etc.

Table Lamps

If you have a dining set in your garden, an outdoor table lamp is a great way of providing a cool atmosphere around it. You can put some lights under the outdoor furniture, under the gazebo, or around the table. Choose the correct bulbs to provide gentle and soft light. You should lay the power cables to these lights underground for safety purposes. You can also have them built into the decking on the outer walls.

Bulkhead Lights

Bulkhead lights are more or less like wall lights. The only difference is the lights have bulkheads surrounding them. This causes them to produce diffused light, which is different from the light produced by standard wall lamps. You can install bulkhead lights in areas where you don’t want direct light. You can use them over your doors or light your driveway/walkway.


Floodlights are great for security purposes. If you need direct and powerful light anywhere in your yard, they would be the best option. There is a different rating for the bulbs, and they come in several designs. To save on your energy costs, choose the LED lights. They are energy-efficient and powerful.

Pendant Lights

If you like pendant lights, it’s wise to consider fixing a structure overhead. The structure needs to be sturdy to effectively support the bulb. Pendant lights are great if you have a gazebo, pergola, verandah, or canopy. If you want direct lighting, hang the light directly on outdoor structures.

Ceiling Lights

Outdoor ceiling lights are a great way of lighting your outdoor space. You fix ceiling lights on structures the same way you’d fix pendant lights. You can fix several lights depending on how big the area you want to light is. You can also choose different colors if you want to use the lights for decorative purposes.

Four Tips for Buying Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting floods the market, and this makes it difficult to choose the best among them. However, with these four tips, you should be able to pick the best lights for your outdoors.

1. Consider Your Needs

Outdoor bulbs have to serve a purpose. If you just want to light a path, then solar lights, post lights, or spotlights can be great options. As you choose the lights, try to balance between functionality and design. For example, if you just want to light your path, there would be no need to light up the side of your house or the street.

2. Choose the Right Bulbs

Some bulbs are more powerful than others. These bulbs consume a lot of energy and can affect your monthly electric bills. It’s wise to choose bulbs that are just powerful enough for their tasks. For security purposes, you need very powerful bulbs, such as floodlights. Remember that bulbs with higher IP ratings are better for both dust and water protection.

3. Place Bulbs in Strategic Positions

You should put bulbs only in the places where you need light at night. This way, you’ll save a lot of money. Similarly, you need to adjust the lights properly to focus the light on the intended areas. Too much light serves no purpose.

4. Choose Durable Materials

Lighting fixtures are a great investment in your home. They should be able to serve you for many years so you can enjoy the return on your investment. Choose aluminum or stainless steel structures and frames if you want your lighting fixtures to last longer.


As you can see, there are lots of factors to consider when buying outdoor lights. The outdoor lights consume a lot of power if you are to keep them on throughout the night. That’s why you need to choose the right bulb for each purpose. Today, many people use LED lights because they don’t consume much energy. If you find it difficult to choose a bulb on your own, you can consult or hire an expert to help you.

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