The main use of outdoor lights are obviously to illuminate. They are erected in dim places in order to be able to see where you are, what is around you and for safety reasons. This is mainly the criteria for outdoor lighting provided by the authorities, street lighting etc. Although, outside lights for decoration may take the same things into consideration sometimes it’s not always necessary, sometimes the lights are purely for decoration.
Use decorative exterior lights to add mood and create atmosphere to an outside space in the evenings, they are easy to install and add that WOW factor to any occasion. Highlight features, add ambience to sitting and social areas, make the most of water features and, if appropriate, advertise!
Types of Exterior Lights for Decoration:
String Lights, fairy lights, globe lights, designer lights.
String Lights are bulbs connected at regular intervals along a low voltage power wire. The bulbs and shades, if they have any, determine their types.
Fairy lights have tiny bulbs and come in an array of colours, multi-colour and a choice of either static or multi-function action. They don’t have shades, but some are distinctive by decorative flutes around the bulb neck. Fairy lights are good for both indoors and outdoors, due to their tiny size they are extremely versatile, therefore, popular. They are good for decorating trees, outlining building & features plus constructing free-standing features to name but a few.
Globe lights are constructed in the same way as fairy lights but with larger bulbs that are attractive in their own right and don’t need to be covered with a shade. Globe lights are usually for use outside unless decorating a particularly large indoor area, which would probably be for commercial use. Globe lights are often connectible so that it is easy to buy just enough for the project they are for.
Designer string lighting is available in many sizes and are determined by either an unusual shape of bulb or be shades over the bulbs. String lighting is designed to be adult or child orientated that can follow a theme or not, depicting characters, lanterns, animals, almost anything!
Static, multi-function Rope lights also known as chasing lights are a string of small bulbs encased in a transparent, flexible, waterproof tube. They have a similar effect to fairy lights but are easier to fix and manipulate for some projects such as constructing words and motif lights.
Rope Motif Lights – image or words on back-board or 3D free-standing. Motif lights can be used to display greetings such as Happy Christmas, or advertising a company name or promotion, or displaying a relevant shape or character. They are available in many lengths, colours and with multi-effects. Curtain and Net Lighting
Curtain and Net Lighting
Curtain Lighting is constructed similar to string lights but the wire holding the bulbs is dropped vertically from the top horizontal wire and back up again at regular intervals, which gives a curtain effect. They come in many different lengths, some straight across the bottom and some have a shaped finish such as a scalloped or ragged bottom line.
Net Lighting is also much the same as string lighting but instead of the bulbs being connected to one long string they are connected to a net of power wire. The nets usually have either square or diamond construction and are available in many sizes. They can be place outside over bushes, hedges or features which would be easier than using string lights and give a lovely evenly spaced effect.
Fibre Tip Light – fluffy & effective
Fibre tip lighting really is for prettiness and doesn’t really give off a lot of light to actually see by. It’s light, fluffy, flows and makes you want to touch and run your hand through it. It’s made of minute bulbs that sit at the end of, what looks like soft nylon fibres, that move about and flow with the breeze. They really are very pretty and can give some stunning effects.
Uplights – to highlight trees, patios and features
Uplights to highlight features can look fantastic and some have the capacity to illuminate very large areas. The are very good for commercial use and are often used to highlight the façade of spectacular buildings such as historical event venues where they not only show off buildings features but also light up the surrounding area making it usable during the dark hours. There are also smaller versions that have many uses, they are particularly good when placed to throw light from under a tree which can look stunning and cast wonderful wavering shadows. Uplights can be connected to mains electricity but are ideal for to make use of solar power.
Walk Over Uplights to light up patios & walkways are a totally different product but are just the same, uplighting! They are installed flush with the ground and can be walked over, highlighting the usable floor area rather than giving a vast amount of light. As well as marking out space with light they are decorative and add an ambience to and outside social area.
Backlights – to highlight features and create interesting shadows
Backlights are much the same as uplights but smaller and placed from behind features to create interesting shadows.
Downlights – to highlight walkways and social areas
Downlights are really a practical rather than decorative lighting and usually designed to fix on walls and placed to give light to walkways, although they can be used to light up larger activity areas. Many are motion sensitive so just illuminate and area long enough to be able to see the way to tread. Motion sensitive lighting needs to be positioned with thought as placed near trees, the wavering branches can cause them to turn on or flicker.
Path Lights – both decorative and practical
Path lights are usually a low-level lighting with a spreading light marking out pathways and guiding from one place to another. Path lights are available in an array of shapes, colours and sizes and usually come on spikes that can easily be pushed into the ground along side a pathway. If solar lights are used, which are ideal for this purpose, they can be installed in minutes, seconds even!