Once the sun goes down, carefully planned lighting can transform any outdoor space by highlighting standout features and dialling up the drama for standout style
Even the most stunning outdoor space can look lacklustre at night without a carefully considered lighting scheme. Strategically placed lighting is not only practical but adds depth, interest and atmosphere to outdoor spaces, from entranceways, outdoor dining and seating areas to pathways, steps and pools.
The first step is to assess which exterior areas need to be well-lit for practical purposes. Then the decision needs to be made about which specific areas or objects are worthy of attention once dusk starts to fall, from trees and plants to exterior walls and decking.
A range of techniques can be utilised to inject both depth and drama. To make your space stand out, use a combination of techniques to add layers of light, from ambient to more direct task lighting.
- To highlight a specific feature, place the light shining upwards at its base.
- To create a silhouette effect: place the light behind the feature and close to a wall – this ensures that the feature casts a shadow on the wall.
- To achieve a subtle wash of light, place the light at the object’s base and between one to two metres away at an indirect angle to a wall.
- For downlighting, fix the light above eye level on a wall; alternatively, lanterns can be hung from tree branches, a trellis or a pergola roof to cast interesting shadows on the ground.
- Path lights can be arranged in different ways to illuminate entire pathways or to draw attention to steps and obstacles. In-grade path lights are installed flush in the ground to lessen the risk of tripping. Alternatively, surface lights can be placed along the side of a path, which also has the benefit of illuminating plants, shrubs and other landscaping features.
First impressions count. Make your home a well-lit haven with stunning lighting fixtures to illuminate the entrance. Great lighting emits a welcoming ambience and it’s practical too – no more fumbling for your keys after dark in a dimly-lit doorway.
Dome Wall Light
The Dome Wall Light by Belgian brand Royal Botania brings on-trend industrial styling to your front door. Made from powder-coated aluminium with a handmade clear glass shade, its 2200K colour temperature will cast a warm glow. With an IP43 rating, this light is safe to use outdoors in a semi-sheltered area.
Cloche Wall Light
Another winning design from Royal Botania, the Cloche Wall Light’s teak wood base and handmade clear glass shade injects a sense of warmth to contemporary exteriors. Its IP54 rating means that it is hardy enough to withstand rain and dust, making it the ideal choice to illuminate areas that are directly exposed to the elements.
Fashion Outdoor Wall Light
The Fashion Outdoor Wall Light by Aldo Bernardi, one of the new lighting brands recently added to the SANIPEX GROUP collection, melds modern lines with the timeless appeal of copper for a statement light that blends beautifully with the organic textures found in a natural setting. Available in three sizes, the Fashion Light is mains powered, emits a 20-watt glow and, being IP rated 1P54, can be used outdoors as it is protected against dust and rain.
Tria Outdoor Dimmable Wall Lamp
The Tria Outdoor Dimmable Wall Lamp’s striking contemporary design and soft backlit luminescence makes a subtle yet substantial statement. It’s not just about aesthetic appeal, however, with a useful dimmable feature offering the flexibility to dial the drama up or down instantaneously. Available in Teak or Graphite finishes, this stylish design by Barcelona-based Bover, another brand recently added to the SANIPEX GROUP roster, is crafted from locally sourced materials and assembled by hand to ensure exceptional quality. With an IP66 rating, the Tria Wall Lamp can be placed anywhere outdoors and will withstand even harsh weather conditions.
A well-lit pathway adds aesthetic impact and facilitates ease of navigation. Install lighting along the edges of paths and walkways to draw attention to attractive planters and landscaping features, such as shrubs and flower beds. For a more permanent solution, opt for wired in lighting; this should be fitted by a qualified electrician to ensure the installation meets the required safety standards. Alternatively, solar lanterns and torches can be used as a quick and flexible alternative that also looks great.
Beamy Path Floor Light
Royal Botania’s Beamy Path Floor Light will not only help you to safely navigate your way around after dark, its intriguing mix of contemporary and classic design principles will propel your outdoor pathway to the top of the style stakes. Made from warm teak with an antique zinc or black light shade, the Beamy Path Floor Light is an eye-catching option to illuminate your space with a warm wash of light. With an IP44 rating, it will withstand light rain and dust.
Guarded Path Light
Available in a polished brass or grey metal finish, the industrial-inspired Guarded Path Light by Original BTC is a robust yet aesthetically-pleasing option for navigational lighting. With a max wattage of 15 and an IP rating of IP54, the Guarded Path Light is an ideal solution for recessed illumination along pathways, steps and decking edges. This lighting option is also dimmable, enabling you to easily match the ambience to your mood.
Postierla Outdoor Bollard Light
Another aesthetically-pleasing design from Aldo Bernardi, the Postierla Outdoor Bollard Light in cast aged brass is inspired by traditional forms. Expertly crafted, its 15-watt luminescence emits ample light by which to navigate whilst also creating a welcoming atmosphere. The Postierla Bollard is crafted to withstand light rain and dust, having an IP rating of 44.
Tinka & Tecka Solar Torch Lights
Solar torch lights are the ultimate option for low maintenance outdoor lighting – simply place the torch in direct natural light during the day to charge, then position it wherever you want to light your way at night. Simple but effective.
The Tinka and Tecka Solar Torch Lights by Les Jardins both feature sleek styling that will boost the overall aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space. Opt for the 300 Lumens Tinka for a softer glow, while the Tecka’s 500 Lumens is the best choice for a brighter light. Both models can be adjusted to vary the intensity of the light emitted.
Alfresco dining & lounging
Great lighting makes all the difference when it comes to creating the ideal atmosphere for a sit-down alfresco dinner with friends or family. Lighting that’s too bright can make a space look sterile and uninviting, while keeping a dining or seating area in the dark just isn’t practical – if your guests can’t see the food or drinks in front of them, then it’s time to invest in fresh lighting solutions!
A pendant light – or two, if you have enough space – suspended over an outdoor dining table is adds aesthetic impact whilst creating enough light to eat by. Opt for light fittings with a dimmer switch to allow you to easily control the intensity. Floor lamps, table lamps and lanterns are a simple but effective way to introduce an additional layer of illumination, the benefit being that they can be moved around as and when you need a quick lighting boost in a particular area.
GET THE BIOPHILIC LOOK
Gymkhana Floor Light Collection
Available in a range of different sizes, the Gymkhana Floor Light collection in PE wicker brings standout biophilic styling to your outdoor area. Emitting a soft warm light, positioning these lights next to groups of outdoor seating will add warmth and a chilled-out vibe that’s perfect for entertaining. With an IP54 rating, Gymkhana Floor Lights may look delicate but they’re robust enough to withstand water and dust, ensuring that they’ll keep their good looks for a long time.
Poma Wall and Hanging Lamps
The Poma wall and hanging lamps by avant-garde Spanish lighting brand Ole! Lighting adds another layer of organic appeal to biophilic-inspired outdoor spaces. The range includes the mains powered Poma wall lamp, available in Matt White/ Stone and Matt Black/ Lithium, the 750mm diametre Poma Outdoor Hanging Light and the 450mm diametre Poma Outdoor Hanging Light, which also come in a Matt White/Green colour option. Complete the look with Poma table and floor lights.
Amphora Outdoor LED Floor Lamp
The Amphora Outdoor LED Floor Lamp in light beige or brown rattan by Bover, is available in three sizes. Both durable and beautiful, the Amphora is made from aluminium and fibre for an on-trend rattan look that will withstand the vagaries of the weather, while an IP rating of 66 means that you can place the Amphora anywhere outdoors with the reassurance that it can withstand even a jet of water.
ROLL BACK TIME WITH RETRO-INSPIRED OUTDOOR LIVING
The Calypso collection’s distinctive retro-inspired aesthetic blurs the boundaries between the indoors and the outdoors. The stunning outdoor floor lamp features a striped shade and a handy integrated table; pair with the matching Calypso pendant light in three distinctive designs – Guadaloupe, Martinique and Antigua – to complete the look. Featuring high-performance materials, Calypso is extremely durable: with a rating of IP65, the collection is designed to repel dust and withstand water.
Mast Wall Light
From iconic British lighting brand Original BTC, this marine-inspired weathered bronze light may be on the small side at 78 x 84 x 139 mm, but it punches well above its weight in the style stakes. With a maximum wattage of 35 and an IP rating of IP54, try a row of Mast Wall Lights spaced evenly along an exterior or garden wall for a subtle but effective wash effect.
MAKE A STATEMENT WITH CONTEMPORARY STYLING
Gea Outdoor Pendant Lamp
Available in four subtle colours, Beige, Taupe, Grey and White, the Gea Outdoor Pendant Lamp by a-emotional light by Artruro is the work of another new designer for the SANIPEX GROUP. Crafted to cast distinctive lighting effects for a unique atmosphere, the Gea Outdoor Pendant Lamp is handcrafted in the brand’s workshop in Galacia, Spain, using bespoke techniques to form sculptural shapes – perfect to create a unique atmosphere for al fresco dining and entertaining. The light may look fragile but, with its shade being made from stainless steel with a black waterproof neoprene cable and commanding an IP rating of 64, it’s hardy enough to cope with being outdoors all year round.
Ropy Table Light & Ropy Lantern
A stylish contemporary collection by Royal Botania, the Ropy Table Light and Lantern are available in sand, green and black colourways. Made from aluminium and durable polyolefin fibre, these aesthetically appealing lights are solar-powered and, for backup, can also be charged via USB; the battery capacity for each is around five hours. With an IP65 rating, Ropy lanterns are UV, dust, and water resistant.
The Tofee rechargeable table light
The clean lines of the Tofee rechargeable table light by design-led outdoor furniture and accessories brand Talenti will amplify any contemporary look. Available in a white or graphite finish, the Tofee emits a soft 5V wash of light and has a tiltable head for added flexibility – position on the floor next to a plant with the light shining upwards for dramatic shadows, or on a table with the light shining down for a softer glow. Tofee can be charged via USB, has batteries for backup and boats an IP68 rating, making it perfect for all outdoor settings and weather conditions.
The Cleo Alu Portable Floor Light
The sleek modern design of the Cleo Alu Floor Light by Talenti is guaranteed to uplift your outdoor area. This sculptural piece comes in white or graphite, is portable and features convenient touch controls. Being mains and battery-operated means that you can position it almost anywhere and move it around as and when required. What’s more, the Cleo Alu has an IP65 rating, is extremely durable and weather resistant so you can leave it outdoors all year round.
The perfect centrepiece for your outdoor space, a fire pit is an effective lighting option that works hard to create a welcoming and comforting atmosphere, with the moving shadows cast by the flickering firelight adding depth and a sense of mystery.
The Cosi range
Function meets style with the stylish Cosi fire and heat collection. Combining cutting-edge design with innovation, the range offers small burners that can be moved around easily from floor to tabletop to more substantial solutions designed to draw the eye.
The Cosiscoop Original Gas Fireplace is made from steel and glass, and features a convenient integrated handle to make it easy to carry around. Available in olive, black and stainless steel, the Cosiscoop emits a flickering glow that adds atmosphere and lends a comforting ambience to your outdoor area. The design is also available in a warm teak finish.
The Cosiscoop Basket Gas Fireplace With Stand shares the Cosiscoop Original’s good looks. Featuring contemporary styling with its distinctive metal basket casing, the model can be purchased with a stand to raise it from the ground. Available in a matt black metal finish with a glass fireguard surround.
The sleek lines, white metal frame and solid teak wood top of The Cosiloft Table With Firepit will add innovative styling to any modern outdoor seating area. Perfect to extend the life of entertaining outdoors once the temperatures drop, the Cosiloft Table also has the option of a separate glass surround that fits flush with the edges of the firepit for extra safety.
The Morsø collection
The epitome of authentic Scandi style, the wood-burning Morsø Fire Pot by legendary Danish brand Morsø not only looks good but is an investment that will stand the test of time. Created by the highly respected Danish industrial designer Klaus Rath, the Morsø stands as a tribute to the beauty of simplicity and expert craftsmanship. Made from steel plate sheet iron with a practical ‘windscreen’ incorporated into the design, the open Fire Pot can be used for warmth when the temperatures drop, as a grill for backyard cookouts or simply as a standout design piece for the garden or patio.
Also by the Morsø brand, the Bel Bio-ethanol Portable Fireplace in cast iron, glass and brushed stainless steel is a beautiful living fire lighting solution. Named after the historical Celtic fire god Bel, traditionally associated with the festival of Beltane where bonfires were lit to celebrate the start of summer, the Bel Portable Fireplace adds a welcoming and stylish note to your space. The product’s story may be rooted in heritage but its design takes an innovative, future-looking approach by using bio-ethenol – a form of renewable energy produced from agricultural feedstocks – as a fuel source.
Luminescent lights, furniture and planters
When is a light not just a light? When it’s also a planter, a bench, a bar, a ball or a sculpture. Transform your outdoor area after dark into a laid-back Ibiza-inspired chill-out zone. Vondom’s collection offers a range of fun and attention-grabbing objects that give off a soft and appealing glow whilst also serving a practical purpose.
Adan & Peacock Planters
These funky planters by Vondom will undoubtedly take centre stage. A truly contemporary take on traditional outdoor statuary, the Adan and Peacock Planters feature internal RGBW LED Technology lighting so you can choose from a rainbow of colours. Both come with a remote control to allow you to quickly change the outdoor ambience, are weather and water resistant and, being made from polyethylene resin, incredibly durable.
The Bubbles Lamp
The Bubbles Lamp by Vondom is a fun yet stylish addition to the pool area – line them up along the pool edge to create a series of rippling reflections on the water. Available in two sizes, 300 mm or 600mm diameter, in a matt ice white finish, the Bubbles Lamp is made of durable and recyclable polyethylene resin. It is also resistant to dust and debris and can withstand being splashed with water.
Vondom’s luminescent furniture takes outdoor lounging to a whole new level with its modular bench products in different sizes. Sculptural in shape and form, these pieces bring a futuristic twist to the great outdoors. Made from polyethylene resin, the range can be configured in different ways to suit your space and for different occasions. The furniture can be used indoors and outdoors as it is both weather and water-resistant.
IP ratings are used to define levels of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from
foreign bodies, tools, dirt, moisture and water. This international classification system, when considering
outdoor/indoor lighting, largely refers to how waterproof a set of lights, or lighting accessory is.