When it comes to finishing off the perfect garden, finding the right outdoor lighting can be a daunting prospect; with so many different options on the market it's hard to know where to start. In general, outdoor lighting is used to add atmosphere to a garden but it can also have a huge boost to safety and security. Accidents are less likely to happen in well lit gardens, while security light systems act as deterrents for would-be thieves.
But where to start? Well, a good way to kick things off is to determine where you'll most need illumination outside. Many people start by placing lights in or near entranceways and porches to light the transition areas between the house and the garden.
Back doors, side passages and areas of frequent use such as garages and sheds are also popular places to fit task lighting. For an inviting atmosphere, consider using lantern-style wall lights in your entranceway or flush-fitted wall lights down the side of the house or above the back door.
It's hugely important to lights areas such as paths, driveways and steps well to minimise the risk of accidents. If you're working with a large area then a floodlight with wide beams is a wise choice - just ensure that the way that you position your lights doesn't cause light to shine directly across a neighbour's property.
A row of deck lights, bedded into deck floors or posts, is perfect for illuminating a path or deck area. Adjustable deck lights are the best option for flexibility but be sure to position them carefully so that the glare isn't a problem when you're sitting outside of an evening.
In terms of the best option for security, look for lights with a passive infa red (PIR) detector. These lights are triggered by heat or movement, so a person approaching the house will set the light off, as will a car pulling into the driveway. The PIR detectors are often built in to the light itself, or if you prefer, you could set up a series of lights that are all connected to a stand-alone detector. Security lights should be mounted as high as possible in order to deter intruders from tampering with them.
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