Are you considering adding some outdoor lighting to your Harlow home? Are you feeling a little overwhelmed with all the options? JJB Electrical are your experienced, local outdoor lighting electrician in Harlow. We’re here to tell your all about your options for lighting up your outdoor space. In this blog we’ll talk about the various styles of outdoor lighting, power options and why IP ratings matter. Our experienced outdoor lighting electricians in Harlow will share their expertise and help you create the perfect outdoor lighting design for your home.

Types of outdoor lighting 

When choosing the outdoor lighting for your Harlow home you will be presented with a dizzying array of options. You can select from various kinds of lighting each with a multitude of style options available to suit every taste and aesthetic choice. Our experienced outdoor lighting electricians in Harlow can advise you on which lighting would best suit your garden design.

The outdoor lights you can choose from include:

Floodlights – Floodlights are a popular choice for lighting large areas such as patios. Giving out bright, intense light they also make popular choices for security lighting. You will often find them installed by garages our side paths coupled with a motion sensor. 

Security lights – Security lights help you to protect your Harlow home, keeping you and your family safe and secure. They are often installed near entrances or alongside pathways and are coupled with motion sensors. When movement is detected, they light up and alert you that someone is on your property. They make a highly effective deterrent to intruders. Security lights are a great addition to any outdoor lighting installation.

Decking lights - Decked areas are often the focal point of a garden, an area to sit and relax. Decking lights are small lights that are installed within the decking itself, providing gentle illumination. The lights are recessed and sit flush within the decking so there is no risk of catching you foot on them. They are particularly useful in highlighting where the edges or steps of your decked area are and can prevent trips or falls.

Wall lights – Wall lights provide great drama and atmosphere within an outdoor lighting design. They mark the boundaries of your home and look particularly spectacular on the walls of your Harlow home itself. Wall lights are available in a wide range of styles and finishes, from sleek modern models to more ornate, traditional designs.

Spike lights – Spike lights are a single spotlight that is inserted via a spike into the ground. They are used to illuminate features. They can be used to highlight trees, sculptures, or planting features. They create a striking decorative effect and are generally used to create isolated spots of interest rather than broad illumination.

Solar lights – Solar lights are a great addition to any garden lighting design. Solar lights can be added anywhere where there is sufficient sunlight to power them. Because they are reliant on sunshine to power them, they are seldom used alone. Solar lights come in many designs and are often highly decorative. 

Brick lights – Brick lights are exactly what their name suggests – a light that is brick shaped and designed to replace a brick in a wall. Brick lights are often used on retaining walls alongside paths or in tiered gardens to highlight the varied levels. As they sit flush within a wall they make a great choice for lighting a driveway as there is no danger of striking one and scratching your car.

Post lights – Post or bollard lights are a popular and practical solution for lighting pathways. Post lights provide a good level of light without being overwhelming. They are available in a wide variety of designs, from modern to traditional, industrial to ornate.

Festoon lights – Festoon or fairy lights create a soft, atmospheric effect within a lighting design. They are often used on patio areas, in trees or in areas for entertaining. Available in a huge range of colours and designs, there are fairy lights to suit every taste.

Recessed ground lights - Ground lights are a great option to light pathways, steps and the edges of your patio. Set within the ground, patio slab or cement they add elegance and prevent trips. 

All of these outdoor lights can be used either alone or as part of a larger outdoor lighting design. As experienced outdoor lighting electricians in Harlow, we will be happy to help you create a design based on your favoured options. 

How to power your outdoor lighting 

There are three ways to power your outdoor lighting; from your mains electrical supply, battery powered or solar powered. There are benefits to each option and often more than one kind will be used in a garden lighting design.

  • Mains Powered – Mains powered lighting is the most popular choice for long term outdoor lighting solutions. It is the most reliable power source and can be used to power an entire garden’s worth of lights. Almost all the various outdoor lighting styles are available in a mains powered option. Mains powered outdoor lighting must be installed by a qualified outdoor lighting electrician for your safety.
  • Battery Powered – Battery powered outdoor lighting is often used in temporary lighting displays such as Christmas lights. Battery powered outdoor lights are specially designed to be weather resistant. The downside of battery powered outdoor lighting is the short lifespan of the batteries. You may find they run out at inopportune moments leaving you searching for the replacement batteries to bring your outdoor lighting design back to life. If you want to enjoy your lighting long term, a mains powered option would be better.
  • Solar Powered – Solar powered outdoor lighting are often used as a low cost, low maintenance accompaniment to a mains powered outdoor lighting design. Solar powered lights work particularly well as boundary markers, or to add extra sparkle to full beds during the summer months. They automatically switch on when their sensor detects low light levels. They are less effective in the cooler months and are seldom relied upon as the main source of illumination.

Controlling your outdoor lighting 

You can control your outdoor lighting in various ways, dependant on what works best for you and your household. Your outdoor lighting electrician will talk you through the various options and help you decide which would work best at your Harlow home.

The options are:

  • Internal light switch – For most Harlow households an internal light switch is the preferred method for controlling their outdoor lighting. Having the switch placed in a convenient location in your home means you can light up the garden before you step outside, allowing you to sit and enjoy the effect whilst staying cosy inside.
  • External light switch – An external light switch is often used to control outdoor lighting from a garden building such as a garden office or summerhouse. It may be used in conjunction with one inside the home too. The external switch means you can switch on the outdoor lighting without venturing back to the house in the dark, allowing you to stay out and enjoy the evening.
  • Smart switch – Smart switch controlled outdoor lighting is becoming an increasingly popular choice for Harlow households. A smart switch enabled light can be controlled remotely by an app or smart device such as an Alexa. They can be scheduled to come on automatically to enhance security when you are away from home.
  • Timer – Timer controls work brilliantly for outdoor lighting that you only need on for a set period of time such as a porch light. You set the times of operation and then you can forget about them. No need to venture back downstairs in the dead of night because you have forgotten to switch them off!
  • Motion sensor – Motion sensor or PIR (passive infra-red) sensor lights are a great option for security lighting or lighting in a functional area such as a driveway. They switch on automatically when needed and turn off after a set period, making them an economical choice.
  • Dust to dawn sensor – Solar powered outdoor lights are controlled by a dusk to dawn sensor, but other outdoor lights can utilise this clever feature too. Dusk to dawn lights are often used at the front of a home to light a pathway to the front door or the driveway.

Do I need IP rated outdoor lighting?

IP rated outdoor lighting is an absolute must for your Harlow home. Lighting that is not designed for outdoor use can leave you at risk of electrical fire or shock and should never be used in your garden. IP rated outdoor lighting is designed withstand the varied delights of British weather, from wind rain and snow. Lighting that does not have a sufficient IP rating will quickly succumb to the elements and will break down.

There are several different IP ratings available, each designed for a specific application. In general, most outdoor lighting that will be installed in an exposed position (which is almost all of it!) will have an IP rating of either 65 or 68. IP68 rated lights have excellent protection against dust and water ingress and can even be used in garden pond designs and IP65 lights can cope with even the heaviest rain. Your outdoor lighting electrician will ensure that the lighting you select has the appropriate IP rating for the area that it will be placed.

Outdoor lighting design in Harlow

There are many similarities between outdoor lighting and indoor lighting design. Careful planning is needed for to be successful. Choosing an experienced and qualified outdoor lighting electrician will guarantee the best results. They will understand how to balance your wants and needs and will consider how different lighting will affect your experience.

When creating an outdoor lighting design they will consider:

  • Access: It is important to think about how you will move around your garden. Well-lit pathways will help to prevent any accidents. Steps should be illuminated to prevent falls. You can create beautiful, safe pathways with the addition of post lights, wall lights or recessed lighting.
  • Function: Outdoor lighting can be multifunctional when planned with care. Lighting can make your home look great but also make it harder for any intruders to access your Harlow property. By installing lighting carefully you can increase both your gardens security and its visual appeal. 
  • Layering your Lighting: Layered lighting is the cornerstone of successful lighting design. Interest and warmth can be created with garden lighting set at different levels and variable brightness levels. Festoon and fairy lights added to your patio will create an intimate atmosphere, whilst bright task lighting will help you to see the food and drinks you are preparing.
  • Key Features: Do you have any dramatic or particularly impressive plants or features in your garden? If so, you can create immediate drama by lighting them up with a spotlight. Choose just one or two key pieces as too many could overwhelm the overall affect. 

Don’t worry if this all seems like a lot to consider, your outdoor lighting electrician will walk you through the entire process and help you make the best choices.

Outdoor lighting electrician in Harlow

Whether you want to install a simple security light or are planning a full lighting design at your Harlow home, JJB Electrical are on hand to lend you our expertise. Our experienced outdoor lighting electricians in Harlow are all fully qualified and NAPIT registered so you can rest assured that our work will be of the highest quality. 

If you are planning an outdoor lighting project at your home, contact JJB Electrical today. Our friendly team will be happy to help.