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Outdoor lighting

Not every indoor light is meant for the outdoors and not every outdoor  light would suit your indoors. The difference between outdoor and indoor lights is not just their designs but there is so much more. It includes the amount of electricity needed for the light, the shade used and the locations they are placed in. Above all, the purpose of this outdoor lighting defines the uniqueness of outdoor lighting. They are usually warm and light, they are glossy and soft not to distract the passers-by at night but to help them find their way. While hunting for outdoor  lights for your house it is important to look for the size, colour, design and lighting to ensure your homes are bright, glowing and inviting. 

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There are various types of lights for your outdoors. There are lights specifically for your backyards,  lights that light up the space and the ambience altogether or hanging fancy decor lights for your terrace or those on the compound, around the house and on the sides of your gardens. These lights are known to brighten up the space and create a warm and welcoming environment for those who enter your home. The prime focus of landscape lighting is to illuminate your home and the landscape around including the pathway, the garage, walkways, gardens and trees. 

Let’s begin with the different types of outdoor lights also called landscape  lighting and how they contribute to your outdoor spacing. 

Wall mount lights

These are the type of lights that are fixed on the walls. It is mounted in areas that are prone to falling or having accidents like pathways or walkways or near a staircase. They are usually used in regions where there is a need for precaution or security, but can also serve decorative purposes. There are different types of wall mount lights.

  • Sconce: These lights are usually placed on horizontal walls to reflect upwards. They are found in the front regions of the house and come in various designs and patterns. These wall lighting fixtures get their support from the wall and illuminate the compounds and walls from the bottom upwards. 
  • Spotlights: These lights are used mainly for security purposes. They are used in the form of floodlighting in parking areas, driveways, and above patios to brighten large areas. This light resonates in high brightness and reaches a wide area. 

Hanging lights:

These common light collections are in high demand for homes with high ceilings. At least one of these is found in most desi homes. They hang from the ceiling, have a pendant kind of appearance or are ust a bunch of bulbs hanging from the top. These are majorly for decorative purposes and can be put in an outdoor kitchen, on the patio or sometimes even on the balcony. These hanging lights are found in the form of chandeliers, pendant  lamps and even fans. 

  • Pendant lights: These lights hang on a long post or chain bringing the lamp away from the ceiling and for some, they might be almost at a hand's reach. They come with a designed lamp shade to add to the decorative purpose. These long lights are perfect to hang over your outdoor dining table, balcony and patio too. 
  • Chandeliers: A fancier version of all kinds of hanging lights sometimes hung down a chord or chain with multiple lights attached. They add extra elegance and design to your homes compared to single  lights and are perfect as an outdoor light for terraces or dining. 
  • Fans: With the Indian summer, fans are an essential part of every outdoor seating and decor. Whether you go for a ceiling fan or the wall fan, some come with strip lighting or round light attached to the centre. They make your outdoor events a lot more fun and less sweaty during the summer. They let you enjoy backyard parties with more brightness and less tiredness. 

Landscape lighting:

These are the popular kinds of outdoor lighting. Our schools taught us the value of growing trees and their importance. Enlightening and highlighting the trees, flowers and plants in your home are the primary jobs of landscape lights. They are also called garden lights and are placed along the trails of your garden. 

  • Bollard lights: The most commonly used type of landscape lighting are bollard lights. They shed light around the space they are placed in, lighting both the path and the garden at the same time. Depending on where the garden of your home is, these lights follow around both back and front. They are perfect for the garden ends. 
  • Step lights: These are placed between steps or cuts within the wall. They reflect from within lighting up the stairs or your pathway when placed on the bottom of the compound walls. 
  • Bracket lights: These lights are usually placed on top of the compounds shining light around the area both in and outside the house. You usually find them on the pillars of the compound walls of almost every home. They have various designs in the lamp shades referring to the bracket around the warm light inside. 

String lights:

These are the classic garden party lights. They are present in every decoration and play an important role in enhancing the beauty of your garden or backyard. The fairy lights are majorly for decorative purposes and to shed a warm light on the seating areas inside the garden. They are perfect for aesthetic pictures and moments of solitude. These lights come in different shades of colour and are useful when you want to decorate your space for occasions. These string outdoor lights make date nights easier and can be used as balcony lights too. 

LED strip lights

The most famous type of decorative light that finds its way through all parts of the house. These are perfect to stick around the bottoms or tops of the garden fences to add some light to the pathway. You can adjust the colours based on the mood or the occasion for some extra effect. They can trace the pathways in your garden, or those around your house too. 

Now that you are aware of the different types of outdoor lighting for your home decor, here are some things to consider when getting the bulbs for these decorative lights. 

The most popular and well-known type of light is the LED one. They are the standard lights for both indoor and outdoor lighting. However, many homes have shifted towards using halogen outdoor lighting for a more exquisite effect. Then there are the highly inefficient bulbs that consume all your energy, the incandescent bulbs. On the other hand, high-intensity discharge bulbs are bright and can cover a large region like through thick trees and large compound walls. It is important to get lights with the right lumens so that they do their job right. For example, a flood light must have at least 1,600 lumens while security lights must produce 1,300 lumens for maximum visibility. 

Once you’ve chosen what kind of light you wish to hang or mount across the exteriors of your home, the next feature to consider is energy efficiency. With the electricity bill hitting bars, using the most cost-efficient lights would make your life a lot easier. LEDs are less energy consumption when compared to other lights or you can go all solar to cut down on the bills. 

The next thing to consider is the colours of the lights in your garden. While many people prefer white, using a warm yellow colour maintains the temperature in the dark and embraces the environment as well. They give a natural glow to your living creatures, and the night seems less creepy. Putting colourful lights at night unless you’re hosting an event or there is an occasion would seem too unnatural and extravagant for nothing. They can also be distracting and consume a lot of energy. 

Talking about heat generation, lights which consume more energy tend to heat up more as well. This can be extremely hazardous and injurious to people living or walking around. With overheating, the bulbs tend to burst and can cause serious damage or even start a fire. Ensure to get bubs that are weather resistant and won't stain or fade with the changing seasons. The weather-resistant bulbs will make sure to withstand the rain, humid and scorching sun and save you a lot of maintenance fees. 

The latest technology has presented us with smart light bulbs that can be managed on command or through your mobile devices. There are also light sensors that work with a mind of their own and turn on at dusk and off at dawn. They also have features that turn on when they sense a person moving towards the light. These bulbs are great for the step lights or those in the gardens at night. Most smart bulbs work with voice-activated digital assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant making our jobs a lot easier. You no longer have to walk to the end of the hall to turn on the compound lights, it is at your fingertips. 

Why is outdoor lighting important?

Garden lighting or outdoor lighting is not just about adding lights to your compounds, balcony or terrace, it plays a major role in the exterior design of your house. It is important that you plan and design them before the construction of your homes for smooth electrical finishing. With proper outdoor lighting, you can give your home a glow at night and have the pretty exterior decor in the mornings. With decorative garden lighting, you are always prepared for any occasion and can have a bright environment too. 

Design your garden lights

Yes, you can DIY your own outdoor lights and make a plan that is both feasible and within your budget. You can begin by outlining where you want your lights and how you want them to be placed on or beside or under your walls, ceilings, stairs or pathways. With a sketch of your yard, garden, pool, bench, trees and other exterior objects, it becomes easier to plan what lights you want where and how you want them to be placed. 

You can choose portable LED lights that function without wires. They come in various sizes and shapes, with smart technology and other convenient features. You can also carry them around in case of an emergency when you can’t find your torch. 

For the terrace, porch and garage region, you could go a little fancy with chandeliers or sconces or hanging lights. Adding some stylish textures to your outdoors lets it neutralises the indoor lighting decorations and complements the architecture of the house. 

Using the moonlight lamp posts in the middle of the gardens is a great way to complement the natural essence of the garden. These round lamps mimic the moon and send warm vibes across your compound. 

If you wish to become more nature friendly, you can opt for dark-sky-friendly lights. The lights are pointed towards the ground and have a minimal blue light. They make it easier to see the skies and reduce light pollution. They make it easier to see the night sky while highlighting the stars hanging in there. 

With all this information, and a scroll through IKEA’s outdoor lighting collections, you can design the perfect exterior lighting design and find the right one for your home. Proper lighting illuminates not just the path to and around your home, it highlights your home and its architecture. With cool outdoor lighting, you no longer have to be afraid of the dark and can enjoy nature at all times. Outdoor lighting enhances the cool features of the exteriors of your home and makes them more presentable including your patio, terrace, balcony and garage.