The Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Lighting

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The Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Lighting

Whether you want to create a perfect al-fresco atmosphere or increase your night time security, outdoor lighting is a helpful feature of any home. But do you know your bulkhead from your floodlight? Where should your lights be placed? Read on to learn more!

What are my options?

Depending on the look that you’re going for, there are a lot of different options for lighting your outdoor space.


A bulkhead is fixed to exterior walls or ceilings and is a great choice for navigating your outdoor spaces at night.

They generally aren’t as attractive as other options, but are a great choice for outdoor lighting that won’t upset your neighbours. They are not designed to flood your garden with light, but rather provide sufficient light for the immediate area.

They can be operated by switch or by sensor depending on your needs.


If you want to light a greater area (normally for security reasons), a floodlight is a great choice. They’re perfect for illuminating your whole garden or driveway, larger industrial units, lighting up car parks, and more.

Walkover lights

City centre bridge with walkover lights

A boring name for lights that can create a beautiful effect, walkover lights are lights that can handle the weight of people walking or even cars. They can turn your regular path into a magical walkway, level up your water feature, or simply make it easier to see your drive.

String lights

Probably the most recognisable garden decorations, string lights come in a wide variety of shapes and colours. Whether you hang small lights in the trees or globe lights hanging from your pergola, they’re an effective way to create atmosphere in your space.

Wall lights

Stylish home exterior with an up and down wall light

Whether you’re looking for a classic or modern style, wall lights are a fantastic solution for lighting entrances and pathways. They can be fitted with sensors to only turn on when they detect movement, so you don’t have to worry about the local cats setting them off at night.

Wall lights don’t illuminate a wide area, as their beams are generally only angled up or down the wall (or both), but they’re a great choice for adding style or lighting a specific spot.

Where should they be placed?

While it mainly depends on personal preference, some lights should be specifically placed to get the most out of them.

To illuminate a door with a wall light put the light 1.6m from ground level and 0.15m away from the door (if you only have 1 light, put it on the side with the handle)

Floodlights should be placed as high up on the wall as possible, ideally along the roofline, so they can reach further and avoid being tampered with.


  • To make a pergola or seating area comfy and inviting, you can add string lights
  • Wall lights that point upwards can highlight hanging baskets, house numbers, or entryways
  • Use walkover lights or a spotlight to show off plants that you’re particularly fond of
  • Line decking with lights to make it safer and useful for longer into the night