Outdoor lighting is an important addition to any house. Not only does make life easier when you’re trying to put the bins out in the dark, or get your keys into the lock, it also acts as a deterrent to people who might be looking to break in. Outdoor lighting can be operated by a switch if you want to control it, or it can run on a sensor for convenience.

There are many styles of external light, whether you’re looking for a traditional light to match the fabric of your home, a contemporary addition to add a bit of contrast, or a concealed security light that wont impact upon the look of your home.

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Tips on choosing outdoor lighting

  1. Make sure the light you choose is suitable for outdoor use – even if you’re putting it in a sheltered spot. The minimum IP rating you should look for in a garden light is IPX3 (normally IP43), which protects against rain or spraying water at a 60° angle from vertical. Choose an IPX4 (normally IP44) rating for exposed areas. Decking or patio lights are often jet-cleaned, which requires an IPX5 rating or above.
  2. For security lights choose between dusk-to-dawn lights that come on automatically when it gets dark and switch off again when the sky lightens at dawn, and/or PIR lights that are triggered by body heat so only turn on if someone approaches your home. These exterior lights could be your best option as they should surprise and scare off intruders and also use less electricity.
  3. Use a professional, registered electrician to get the job done safely.
  4. Before installing your outdoor lights, switch off your power supply at the fuse box (consumer unit) before doing any electrical work.
  5. For an easy install choose solar powered lights that don’t require wiring in.
  6. Use ‘task’ or functional lighting for entrances, paths, patios, garages and sheds. To create mood and highlight decorative parts of the garden such as plants, trees, ponds or sculpture, go for accent lighting
  7. Use outdoor lighting to create an atmospheric extra ‘living room’ to enjoy after the sun goes down.
outdoor lighting elstead sheldon verdigris brass wall light engineering with light

 Sheldon verdigris brass wall light, from £162, Peter Reid Lighting

outdoor lighting belvedere light garden trading

This elegant Belvedere light is perfect for a porch or a patio wall and is compatible with a motion sensor. H35xW21xD10cm, £125, Garden Trading

outdoor lighting oval flush bulkhead broughtons

For a simple, classic design, consider this solid brass oval flush bulkhead light from Broughtons, H22.5xW15cm, £67

outdoor lighting lacy lampshade cox & cox

Cox & Cox’s Lacy lampshade with its rose border includes a battery-powered soft glow bulb, so can be hung anywhere in the garden. H20xDia.24cm with a 48cm drop, £25

outdoor lighting ship's outdoor jim lawrence

Jim Lawrence’s ship’s outdoor light is available ceiling or wall mounted (as shown) and can be fitted with low-energy LED bulbs. H24xW12.5xD17.2cm, it’s hand cast in solid brass, £176.

outdoor lighting vintage festoon lights solar centre

Light the way to a party with these solar Vintage Festoon lights from the Solar Centre. Each set has 10 warm white LED bulbs. H10xD6cm with 910cm of cable, £29.99

outdoor lighting kichler tournai grand wall lantern moonlight designs

Tournai Grand wall lantern in bronze from Moonlight Designs is handmade from cast aluminium, H96xW35.5xD53cm, £702

outdoor lighting sutton wall light john lewis

This Sutton outdoor wall light from John Lewis, £40, has a Victorian styling

Outdoor lighting David Hunt winchester black stone blackstone lighting

David Hunt Winchester outdoor light, £199.50, Blackstone Lighting

outdoor lighting doncaster wall light jim lawrence

The Doncaster LED outdoor wall light, £162 from Jim Lawrence, is a small light, suited to the smallest of outdoor spaces. With an overall depth of just 5.4cm it would work in the narrowest space, such as a side passage