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Outdoor Lighting Fixtures – How to Choose the Right One for Your Garden

The right outdoor lighting can convert your standard garden into an oasis, a perfect place to entertain guests, relax, spend quality time with loved ones, or enjoy meals.

It’s an excellent way to extend your living area by making your outdoors usable even after dark, allowing you to enjoy your space more.

With the best outdoor lighting fixtures, you can highlight your backyard décor, including flower gardens, fountains, pergolas, patios, and more. 


Choosing the Right Outdoor Lighting Fixtures for your garden

Choosing the Right Outdoor Lighting Fixtures for your garden

Well-lit properties are more attractive to prospective buyers, and the best lighting can boost your property’s resale value.

Using outdoor lighting, you can light paths, driveways, and walkways, reducing the risk of you and your visitors slipping and falling.

A well-illuminated garden deters thieves and enhances security and safety. Considering the multiple outdoor lighting options available today, picking the best can be challenging.

This article shows you how to choose the right outdoor lighting fixtures for your garden. 

Pick high-quality low voltage lighting

Low Voltage Lighting utilizes transformers to lower the line voltage, allowing homeowners to receive a similar light amount as line voltage lighting with minimal energy consumption.

Low voltage lights are ideal for areas where you need light directed in difficult-to-reach places or out of the way. These lights are highly energy-efficient, reducing the energy you need to illuminate your outdoors and lowering energy costs.

They also generate less heat, meaning they don't become as hot. This makes them safe for use near plants while significantly reducing the fire risk.

You can install low voltage outdoor lights anywhere in your garden. They’re safe around outdoor water features and help create safe pathways.

Low voltage lights are long-lasting, meaning a higher return on investment. They’re an excellent way to create a safer and more relaxing atmosphere.

Focus on the IP rating

Outdoor lighting fixtures are constantly exposed to harsh weather, increasing the risk of damage, especially since their waterproof and weatherproof ability doesn’t meet the required standards.

Understanding each light’s IP (Ingress Protection) rating can help you determine the lights' performance regarding water and dust resistance. The first digit rates a fixture’s protection ability from solid objects, while the second grades the waterproof level.

Lighting installed on floors must have high ratings because it'll sustain an increased impact from solids and water. Consider fixtures with an IP44 rating or more when looking for outdoor lighting.

An IP65 rating offers the highest protection level against outdoor elements. With the help of a lighting expert's advice, you can find lights with the perfect IP ratings.

Consider the Outdoor Lighting Fixtures' Size

Size is a crucial factor to consider when looking for outdoor lighting fixtures. While the presence they command should be attractive and notable when viewed from a distance, they shouldn’t overpower the rest of your garden’s focal points.

Different parts of your outdoor space require varying lighting fixture sizes. If you choose undersize fixtures, they'll get lost observing your home from a distance.

A reliable lighting expert can help you select the perfect fixture sizes for your entryway, garage, fence and post, driveway, patio, and other areas you want to illuminate.

Learn the Different Types of Outdoor Lighting

Different Types of Outdoor Lighting Fixtures

Picking the right outdoor lighting fixtures can be challenging, mainly when you don't know what to look for. Familiarizing yourself with the various lighting options makes choosing lights that align with your needs easier.

Common outdoor lighting fixtures you can consider include:

  • Spotlights: These lights illuminate plants, statues, patios, walls, and other things you can direct them to. They can range in the area they cover and the brightness
  • Up/downlights: This lighting option is an excellent way to make wall patterns, add life to statues, and decorate your garden
  • Floodlights: These outdoor landscape lights are perfect for brightening vast areas. They have a broad coverage and high brightness range
  • In-ground lights: This lighting alternative is an easier way to create a dramatic effect in your outdoors. Since the lights are usually in the ground, only the light they produce is visible. In-ground lights are great for driveways, pathways, steps, and staircases
  • Hanging lights: These lights are ornamental and can be used to illuminate patios, entryways, covered decks, and garden structures, including gazebos
  • Wall lights: This lighting option is suitable for garden or house walls and can be used on columns beside front doors, trees, and covered porches. Their versatility allows you to install them anywhere in your outdoor space

Consider the Style that will Fit Your Garden

The best lighting fixture style should ensure a balanced visual appeal to your outdoors. Blend your property's theme with the lighting fixtures you pick.

Traditional outdoor lights have ornate styles with sophisticated details, like curved flourishes and hooks. Your craftsman or colonial home will do great with conventional lighting fixtures. 

Contemporary lighting stimulates a modern home's minimalist and streamlined aesthetics. They usually consist of geometric touches to enhance consistency in their clean appearance.

Transitional lighting tends to be between conventional and traditional lighting. They're neither as ornate nor simple as traditional and contemporary lighting options.

Select by Location

Knowing where to position your lights will determine the kind of outdoor lighting fixture you require. General garden lights are the perfect choice when looking to illuminate shrubs, trees, flower beds, pathways, or make ornamental installations.

Functional or decorative garden lights are ideal for boosting your garden's aesthetics and come in various styles. Depending on the areas you want light, including decks, patios, driveways, and pathways, you can find lights specifically designed for each area.

Here are deck lighting ideas to brighten up your outdoor space. 

Consider Power Source

Solar Outdoor Lighting

The power source is a crucial element when selecting outdoor lighting fixtures. The primary power sources to consider include:

  • Mains-powered lighting: This option is ideal for installing lights near your property. They should be powered directly from your house's mains energy supply and be professionally installed.
  • Battery-powered lighting: These lights are quite portable and ideal for temporary use. They’re not suitable for lighting vast areas and are great for occasional decorative applications.
  • Solar lights: These lights are energy-efficient and affordable. They work by keeping the sun’s energy in specially-designed batteries activated at night. They're a perfect choice if you want low-maintenance lights.

    (Check out our review of the best solar lights for 2023.)

Elevate Your Outdoors by Adding Outdoor Lighting Fixtures

Landscape lighting is a perfect way to highlight your home’s unique features, boost curb appeal and extend your living area. Consider implementing these tips to choose the right outdoor lighting fixtures for your garden.

About the Author Ann Katelyn

I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.

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