"It was one of those March days" reflects Philip "Pip" Pirrip in Great Expectations, "when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade".1 And thus exactly the sort of dithering, indecisive, capricious,...
Atmospheric lighting for balcony and garden
Those looking to enjoy long, mild summer nights outside are not automatically dependent on suitable lighting for balcony or garden, but such can add to the atmosphere and length of the evening. In the following, we have compiled for you a list of those types of lights which are suitable for outdoor use and what you should pay attention to so that there is a harmonious and atmospheric living room feeling in the garden or on the balcony throughout the evening and night.
► The perfect lighting for the balcony or garden – some insider tips!
► LED and solar technology – new possibilities for outdoor lighting
► Battery lights, cable lights, natural light sources: what fits best in your outdoor area?
► Selected designer lights in comparison
The perfect lighting for the balcony or garden – some insider tips!
There are a wide range of solutions for illuminating outdoor areas, be that patios, balconies or gardens.
The general advantages of wall-mounted outdoor lights
Wall exterior lights can be connected to the household power supply, are permanently installed and provide reliable and targeted light. In addition they can be switched on and off with a light switch or automatically via a motion sensor.
The lighting of paths and gardens
For lighting paths and driveways, path lights or plinth lights in front of the entrance gate are particularly suitable. Less functional and more emotional illumination for garden and balcony can be achieved by setting targeted lighting accents with a few outdoor lights instead of illuminating the outside area excessively. As a further tip, in order to optimally enjoy the garden in dark, and help create a feeling of space outdoors, it is a good idea to place lights in remote corners and not only to position light sources on the garden table or in the seating area. For an ideal atmosphere the light temperature is crucial.
Warm or cold light for outdoors? What does that mean?
Manufacturers always specify the light temperature in Kelvin, the lower the Kelvin the warmer the light temperature. In the garden and on the balcony, it is advisable to use outdoor lights with rather warm white light, as these do not form hard shadows, give the environment flowing contours and thus ensure more comfort. Some outdoor lights from manufacturers such as Gloster or Fermob also offer the option to switch between several light temperatures. You can also find full detailed information in our lighting dictionary.
What should you consider when buying outdoor lights?
Three aspects should always be carefully considered: practicality, aesthetics and safety. When buying an outdoor lamp always pay attention to the IP class, something particularly important on paths, where at least IP65 is required: this means that the lamps are completely dust-proof and protected against jets of water from any angle, which is particularly important when watering flowers or in event of an unexpected downpour.
LED and solar technology – new possibilities for outdoor lighting
Thanks to LED and solar technology completely new possibilities for outdoor lighting have emerged in recent years. LEDs are particularly durable and robust light sources and can thus be permanently installed. In addition, LEDs are highly energy efficient, they convert energy optimally and thus ensure the best ratio between consumption and performance and consequently most LEDs belong to the energy efficiency class A+ or higher. The energy efficiency class is awarded according to EU guidelines and specified by the respective manufacturer of the light source or lamp.
What is an LED light?
Garden lights with LEDs are operated either via a power connection, with batteries or as solar lights. Lithium ion batteries store the energy of the outdoor LED lamps. Your outdoor area is illuminated immediately upon switching on and the lamp will not flicker even after many years of operation. LEDs have a long service life and are manufactured without mercury or other harmful substances.
What are solar lights?
Solar lights that charge in direct sunlight during the day and automatically provide atmospheric light accents in the garden or on the balcony in the evening are particularly environmentally friendly, whether as free-standing path lamps or solar-powered lanterns for the garden table, and such designer solar lights are in no way inferior to conventional lights in terms of performance, but are superior in their independence from cables and electricity bills. Depending on the solar light model, the average maximum light duration is 8 - 12 hours.
Can you leave solar lights outside in winter?
With solar lights you can illuminate any corner outside without having to use generated energy. Power cables are superfluous. If the solar lights are to be used in winter they must be frost-resistant, thus always pay attention to the manufacturer's instructions before leaving the lamps outside, for all in winter.
Battery lights, cable lights, natural light sources: what fits best in your outdoor area?
What are the advantages of battery lights?
Thanks to LED technology ever more battery-powered lights for outdoor areas have been launched by designer lighting manufacturers including Louis Poulsen, Foscarini or Gloster. Thanks to the low power consumption of LEDs, battery lights can be charged in the house and radiate light for hours outdoors in the evening and through the night without the need for the laborious installation of garden lights. Since battery lights can be easily transported and can also be used indoors, they are unbeatable in terms of flexibility and ensure a stylish ambience wherever used.
Which battery lights can be left outside over the winter?
Only those lamps whose battery can withstand frost can be left out over winter; however with all rechargeable battery lights we recommend storing them indoors over the winter months to protect them from any possible damage through frost. Lamps which can be permanently attached to the electricity supply such as the Santorini lamps or the Aplomb Outdoor can however be left hanging in winter.
Which outdoor-suitable design lamps are available?
In addition to portable battery lights, outdoor-suitable pendant lights or floor lights can also be used outdoors, which are supplied with power by cable. Here, mostly weather-resistant materials such as plastic or aluminium are combined with powerful LEDs. Designer lights for outdoor areas can of course also be perfectly combined with natural light sources. In addition to a noble fire bowl, lanterns or oil lamps in particular provide atmospheric lighting in the open air, without the light going out when the wind blows.
In addition a noble fire bowl, lanterns or oil lamps in particular provide atmospheric lighting outdoors, without the light going out immediately when there is a breeze.
Which designer lamp can I use indoors and outdoors?
In principle, all lamps suitable for outdoor use can also be used indoors. The outdoor table lamps in particular, such as the Hay Portable or the Mooon Table Lamp from Fermob, also provide beautiful light in the house and can blend in perfectly with your existing furnishings. LED lights are particularly practical as they work wirelessly and can simply be taken to the balcony or patio.
How weatherproof is your outdoor light? The IP protection class provides information!
As outdoor lights have to be much more robust and resistant to impact and moisture than lights for indoor use, materials such as stainless steel, aluminium, plastic or, as in the case of the Lantern lamp from Gloster, robust teak are regularly used. It is also important to know whether you can leave or permanently install your outdoor light overnight or in winter. The IP protection class, which is specified by the manufacturer, provides detailed information. The first number indicates how well protected your lamp is against foreign objects, i.e. how easily foreign objects such as pebbles or dust can penetrate. The second indicates how your luminaire reacts to moisture and whether it can withstand a small rain shower or larger water impact, for example, cleaning with a garden hose.
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