Mark Booth, Managing Director at Gira UK Ltd, explains how outdoor lighting can ensure added safety and security for the home and all the family, as well as beautifying the garden and patio, making it a key area for lighting specialists.
A well-lit exterior not only increases functionality but also adds value to a home, and will enhance its kerb appeal. The right outdoor lighting can direct visitors to the front door, highlight the architecture, make life easier and safer when navigating in the dark and deter burglars.
Taking a practical approach to outdoor lighting will help you to support customers with their buying decisions. Encourage them to consider how they usually access and move around their home, and to note which spots they frequently use at night. This could include the porch, patio, garage, swimming pool, steps, back door and the main entrance. Bringing illumination to these key areas will improve safety for the household reducing the risks of slips, trips and falls.
The next element is to consider outdoor spaces, such as garden gates, fencing, patio doors and dark areas of the front or back garden or courtyard to ensure maximum security. When these areas are left dark or shadowy, they can serve as the perfect hiding place for burglars, so make sure that these areas are covered in an outdoor lighting plan. It is also worth illuminating the front of your house to showcase architectural features and boost street lighting.
Once decisions have been made about which areas need lighting, customers may need some guidance when it comes to choosing a suitable lighting style. There are plenty of outdoor lighting ideas which can be mixed and matched to spruce up a space as well as meeting the trend for personalised style to suit the individual’s taste and the style of their house and garden. Wall sconces, festoon lights, lanterns and table lamps will help to boost the visual appeal of an outdoor space and can be used as spotlights to highlight specific details such as wall artwork or landscape features. As they provide concentrated beams, they can also come in handy to banish any tricky dark spots around the property. Floodlights with a larger beam spread are a good choice for the driveway or other dark sections such as the front lawn. They will also help to enhance home security. For example, motion-activated floodlights will come on when they sense movement, protecting homes against intruders.
Establishing how the homeowner would like to control their outdoor lights is another key area as this market continues to develop. The options include manual control via a switch, automatic control with the help of a motion sensor or an integrated astro function or digital control via an app. End users who are keen on manual control for their outdoor lighting can choose from various weatherproof outdoor switches. These are resistant to heat, dust and water and are often portable so they are ideal for use outside.
Automating outdoor lighting will give homeowners hassle-free operation and will also help them to save energy. Options include motion-triggered lights, astro lights or lights with integrated timers. For example, with the help of a motion detector, like the Gira motion detector Cube, you can ensure efficient and reliable lighting as it only gets turned on after detecting ambient brightness and the thermal motion of passers-by. The advantage of using motion sensor lights outside the home is that they will help end users save money as the lights won’t be left on at all times and this careful use of power will also help to reduce carbon emissions. Alternatively, it’s possible to automate outdoor lighting by using fixed time settings for turning them on. It’s easy to follow the seasons, as the lights can be set to adapt to sunrise and sunset with the help of the astro function.
Finally, it is also possible to control smart outdoor lighting direct from a smartphone with the help of an app. Intelligent lighting control via an app gives homeowners flexibility with their lighting so that they can choose which lights to switch on and off, and when they want this to happen. With all these options available, it is vital to help consumers get clarity about why they want outdoor lighting in the first place and to decide which are the best options for their lifestyle. For example, automated garden lighting, can immediately make them feel safer as there are no longer any hiding places for uninvited guests. Motion and presence detectors are particularly effective and more energy-efficient than permanent lighting, as they will automatically switch on lighting when human movement is detected. Their sudden brightness draws greater attention to any potential problems and can deter burglars. On the other hand, permanent lighting solutions like switch-controlled table lamps and decorative lights can help create an inviting and beautiful ambience for home entertaining with family and friends.