The weather is getting warmer and summer is around the corner, so outdoor spaces will become more popular again very soon. Outdoor lighting can help to make the most of these areas. 
 
Here are some things to think about to make sure your outdoor lighting is safe and effective. 
 
Safety 
Firstly, make sure fittings are designed for outdoor use and locations are safe and unlikely to flood. Any light you fit outdoors should have an IP (Ingress Protection) rating of at least IP44. 
 
All outdoor sockets must be protected with a residual current device (RCD) to switch off electricity if a cable is cut. Cables must also be suitable for outdoor uses. 
 
 
Outdoor cables should be buried so they won’t be damaged by garden tools. 
Effects 
Even though you want your light fittings to look during the day, they also need to deliver the lighting effect you want after dark. If possible, test your lights before installing them. 
 
There are quite a few different lighting possible effects to choose from, including: 
• Uplighting to highlight boundaries and make the space look larger. 
• Downlighting to draw attention to features like seating and tables., 
• Shadowing to create interesting and dramatic effects on large plants or ornaments. 
• Cross lighting to soften the effect, with lights either side of a feature. 
• Moonlighting above or in a tree that uses the leaves to break up the light. 
• Light washing at the foot of a wall to help illuminate the surrounding space. 
 
Light levels 
It’s possible to have too much of a good thing. Take care to avoid light pollution by carefully considering how many lights are needed, where they should go, and what kinds of lights to use. 
 
LEDs are a good choice for outside lighting. They use much less energy to deliver the same light levels, making them more environmentally friendly and cost-effective. They will last a long time too and can run continuously for up to ten times longer than the old halogen bulbs. 
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