Types of Exterior Lighting
Reason for the Lighting
Light up paths and walkways, outdoor cooking areas, driveways, pools or other areas to provide safety for yourself, your family, and guests, and discourage trespassers by keeping your exterior well-lit.
Use lighting effects to dramatize your favorite shrubs or plants, highlight statuary, or set a mood. Create a wash of soft light over a corner of your garden, or use dramatic uplighting to showcase a tree or an ornamental fence.
Types of Outdoor Lighting Fixtures
Spotlights and Floodlights
Floodlights and spotlights produce a strong, focused beam of light and well-suited for showcasing a particular area, such as a tree. Spotlights create a narrower, more focused beam, while floodlights cast a wider beam.
Globe lights cast small pools of soft light toward the ground. They're perfect for lighting up the edge of a patio or deck.
Low-voltage exterior lighting fixtures typically get their power from a wire that runs to a transformer plugged an electric socket. Low-voltage lights are ideal to install underneath seating and handrails to create sufficient light for safety while maintaining a softly glowing, almost magical atmosphere.
High-voltage exterior lighting is the most dangerous to work with, and they will need a separate circuit in your home's electrical system. For high-voltagle exterior lighting installation, you should hire a qualified electrician unless you are very experienced and knowledgeable in working with high voltage electricity.
Solar Powered Lights
Because solar yard lights don't require any external power source (besides the sun, of course), they offer the most flexibility in areas where it might be difficult to run wiring. Solar light fixtures do need regular exposure to the sun in order to operate properly, so avoid placing them in permanently shaded areas.
Especially for pools, hot tubs, ponds, fountains, and docks. Be sure to use only waterproof lighting fixtures designed for underwater use.
Activated by movement of a human or animal within the range of the sensor, motion-sensor lights are excellent for the front of your house &asmp; they'll light the way for unexpected company, warn off trespassers, and create added safety for you if you unexpectedly arrive home after dark and neglected to turn on any outside lights. Most motion-activated light fixtures have an adjustable motion sensor that allow you adjust both the sensitivity and the directional vector of the motion sensor, which may allow you to minimize or eliminate unwanted activation by small animals wandering through your yard.
Theme String Lighting
These are patio and deck light strings that are similar in concept to strings of Christmas lights, but usually with some theme, for example, fish, dogs, or boats. Some people might consider this type of lighting somewhat gimmicky or "cheesy," but sring lighting can be perfect for a child's birthday party, or even for an adult party oriented around a particular theme. String lights are available as large colored globe lights, lanterns, and other more sophisticated themes than merely "chili pepper lights."
Outdoor Lighting Mounting Methods
- Wall-mounted lights are attached directly to the wall of your house, or to your fence, gazebo, or other structure.
- Ground lights are placed directly on the ground.
- Hanging lights can be hung from a pole or tree limb. Lanterns are frequently placed as hanging lights.
- Post lamps are attached to poles or fixtures embedded in the ground
- Ceiling light fixtures can be installed in the ceiling of your patio or gazebo.