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Welcome to our brand new website!

Published on 08 Jan 2021 by null

Welcome to Exterior Lights brand new website! It’s been a long time in the making and we think you’re going to love it.

We will be regularly posting content here on our blog around how to make an impact with your exterior lighting. There will be how-to guides and original ideas for you to implement yourselves!

Also, look out for great offers being posted.

Security Lighting

Published on 07 Jan 2021 by null

So where's the best place to put Security Lights?

Regrettably with shortages in police forces throughout the UK we're becoming more aware that burglaries are increasing and you may yourself have been a victim of burglary.  So, now that nights have already drawn in and it's dark around 4.30pm it's time to think about how much light you have around your home.

Homes which have outdoor security lighting are less likely to be burgled than their neighbours with no security lighting or poor ineffective lighting.

Do you know which places outside need to be lit? and if you do would you know where best to install the illumination? If not, well help is on hand see below:

Light Up Entrances

The most effective use of light is where the most vulnerable parts of your outdoor space is for example such as front doors, garages and windows, therefore placing security lighting near entrances will help prevent break-ins and alert you of any unwanted intruders. Burglars don't like to be seen especially if you also have CCTV cameras nearby the lighting too. The wider the radius of light the more space is protected therefore recessed soffit lights are ideal for porch ways and soffits especially above garage doors and will pour a wash of light downwards. Not only providing illumination but giving the impression that the property is occupied even when it isn't.


Garages, Side Entrances 

Garages, side entrances, rear of properties as well as entrances also benefit from using security lights with motion detection - PIR's (passive infra-red). Motion sensors will unnerve intruders thinking they have been spotted and this way you only light the area when you need it on from a few seconds to a few minutes - you set the sensor control. So with LED lighting being very energy efficient you save even more using PIR sensors.


 Alternatively you can use Photocells, Dusk to Dawn sensors with your security lighting and these will come on automatically once it gets dark and will go off once it is light or can be controlled to go off at a predetermined time.  


Blind Spots, Alley Ways, Gardens 

Corners of your home, alley ways and angled gardens can create hiding places for intruders and also because it is not always obvious to light these areas up even though from a health and safety perspective any area that is dark and used at night should have adequate lighting.  So gardens will benefit from garden spike lights or spread-lights in border areas around the perimeter of your garden and adjustable wall lights or up/down lights for rear walls and up/down lights on the front of walls. All can be put on remote PIR sensors.








Click here to go to the Security Lights Category on our website.  

How To: Creating a lighting plan for your garden

Published on 06 Jan 2021 by null

Maybe you’ve moved into a new house, renovating your home or building a new home and need to plan the lighting from scratch or you’ve simply decided to update the lighting around your home – you should never treat lighting as an afterthought. Creating a proper lighting plan can be very useful as it makes searching for and buying appropriate light fittings and bulbs a whole lot less stressful, whilst ensuring the lighting you have decided on will have a positive impact within your home.

For the purpose of this blog we will be concentrating on the outside of your home, therefore your exterior lighting plans. Many Garden  designers agree that the light you use has just as much of an impact as the plantation, sculptured pathways, garden furniture, ornamental structures and other aesthetic features. A poorly lit garden and outdoor space can make even the most beautifully landscaped garden feel dull and lifeless when illuminated. You may be thinking that creating a lighting plan requires a qualified electrician and an understanding of much of the technical jargon, but that isn't the case. Here at Exterior Lights UK we have provided some simple steps that you can take to create your first ever lighting plan.

Getting Started

If you’re looking at redesigning your garden and outdoor space you can begin by simply walking round with a pen and a piece of paper to write down the answers to some important questions you must ask yourself. You should ask yourself questions such as ‘what do I want to use this space for?’ For example you want to plant shrubs and new trees around the perimeter of your garden, put a patio outside your kitchen/dining area and run a pathway down the garden, or use the front of your property as a driveway with border plants around the perimeter. ‘How often will I use this space?' For example during spring to autumn or every day and it needs to be illuminated once it gets dark. 'Is the outdoor space South Facing? if so this is beneficial when considering Solar Lighting. 'Do I want the lighting to be managed?' By being managed this could simply be on a timer using a photocell or using a lighting control system to operate the lighting on a number of circuits.

Likewise you may wish to upgrade your outdoor space because the current lighting scheme you have is either very old and not energy efficient or it simply isn't working for you. For example, you may find that the old garden pathway has crumbled and is overgrown with grass and weeds and you want to replace the old pathway with nice sandstone paving slabs and either remove the grass with shingle or replace the lawn with artificial grass or give the lawn an overhaul with lawn treatment. Then Spreadlights would be a great choice as they produce great downlight for the pathway and can be spiked into the lawn or loose shingle which goes into soil.  Just by walking around these areas you will start to think about getting new insights and inspirations. Or at the very least replace the old light bulbs with energy efficient ones.

Creating the Plan you need to know more about LUMENS.  if you like lots of detail you could lose yourself for hours in the tech blurb from light bulb manufacturers, our quick guide to lumens may help also there’s also lots about lumens on Wiki which gives an independent view. However, when you are using light outdoors, you need to be safe and have sufficient illumination so you can see where you are walking and to keep your outside space looking secure against intruders and to provide illumination to garden features, plants, trees, driveways, decking areas and pergolas etc. It’s easy to point where you’d like to place your lights, but to get a clear idea and an understanding of why you’re putting a light there, and if it’s necessary, then you need to draw out a plan of your outdoor space and then it will make sense where to place a light based on what you want to light and where the light needs to be located.. It’s a good idea to use graph paper here as it helps if the drawing is somewhat to scale, although there’s no real harm if it’s not. Start by marking out the shape of the area with a pencil and ruler, including existing shrubs, trees and features etc that can’t be re-arranged. You can then add any new additional or replacement plantation, pathways, decking, pergolas, and other features.

Now, using arrows mark which way you would like the light to be facing – for example, if it’s the trees you will want to uplight then it needs to be close to the base of the tree as necessary to provide a wash of light up into the trunk and branches.

Using the answers that you wrote down during your initial walk around, you can mark where you’d like to place each light source and what sort of light it will be.  Take into account if you live in a conservation area and particularly bat colony's where light pollution could be a problem. That being the case the lower lumen lamp fittings would be better.  Remember outdoors you are only competing with darkness unlike indoors where you have other light sources to compare with.  Therefore your eye will adjust to low levels of light outdoors quite easily.  To create a wall wash effect for your home a wall light that points downwards and also points up would be an up/downlight. These compliment your home and will not only make it look more secure outside but using a warm colour temperature lamp (bulb) will make it look very cosy and appealing when you come home. 

Next you’ll need to consider how much light will be generated by the light fitting. Each outside area will be a different size and shape but again try to keep the colour temperature the same and in most cases stay with the warmer colour temperature spectrum.  Tall trees and security floodlit areas will need more light, which means either a higher lumen output lamp (bulb) and wider spacings or multiple fittings with lower lumen output lamps (bulbs). A quick guide for working out how much light you’ll need is length times width of the area you would like to illuminate and as a rough guide for garden spike lights, Spreadlights or bollard driveway light the average spacing is 2 - 3 metres. 

Consulting an electrician is a great idea, they’ll tell you how easy it would be to achieve an outdoor circuit to add to your home.  All outdoor lighting should be on it's own circuit and ring fenced from your home lighting. So that should anything get into the outdoor circuit/s it will not affect your home lighting. If you have the chance to add additional circuits for lighting do this before agreeing on all of the cabling requirements with your electrician. 

Sometimes lighting is an after thought after all of the landscaping has been done. Sadly it’s at this point most people wish they’d considered lighting before changing their outdoor space. So don’t worry speak to sales@exteriorlights.co.uk. There’s always ways to improve most lighting schemes and if anyone can help it’s us at Exterior Lights UK.

Once you’re happy with the plan you’ve made, discuss it with us and your electrician and between us we can provide your outdoor space with illumination that will be the envy of your neighbourhood.

It makes life a lot easier when you’re browsing through a store already knowing exactly what you need! If you’re still on a quest for inspiration, contact us, respond to this blog or sign up for our newsletter. 

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