The Evolution of Outdoor Lighting

Posted by Naken Interiors Design Trends 02/07/2020 0 Comment(s)

The focus and passion we put into our gardens and outdoor spaces is significant and gardening has been consistently within the top 5 hobbies in the UK for decades. Not only do we enjoy the process of working in our gardens, but there is also a real sense of pride in our outdoor spaces. Using outdoor lighting to accentuate and highlight our work is the perfect way to frame the garden and create atmosphere. 

We have come a long way, since outdoor lighting design was limited to fire torches, as with the advent of fuels and then subsequently electricity, materials, and manufacturing techniques. Lighting design is now limited only by our imagination. Previously the limiting aspect of flame-based lighting did also see evolution of design and the decorative nature of candle holders and outdoor torches did improve over time. For example, evolving design and materials such as using decorative brass holders and decorative iron pieces.

Even in our recent history, outdoor lights were often limited to a simple bulb and basic casing, which although, meeting their rudimentary purpose, lacked any finesse or style and on occasion even created an uncomfortable glare from the bulbs.  

One of the most effective elements in the evolution of lighting, has been the ability to either soften lighting, or be bold and specifically highlight garden features or objects with brighter lights. This ability enables us to essentially create mood where and when desired.

Even though lights ranging from torches, candles and oil lamps were the leading edge of technology of their time, modern day outdoor lighting have often replicated these styles as retro Victorian and older period lighting with great effect. Indeed, even the designer light bulbs available today, imitate the flicker of candles and even hold the shape of a flame for maximum effect.

The modern era designs, such as outdoor up and down lights have been a hugely popular and affective way of bringing atmospheric lighting to the outside walls of our houses with great effect. The enormous amount of materials, colours and styles available, allow us to match our exterior lighting design perfectly, just as with indoor lights. With this in mind, we can follow themes with neutral colour items like black or chrome lighting for example and choose from the huge array of designs available. There is almost an endless range of outdoor wall lights to choose from, with large global lighting brands investing heavily in design and manufacturing excellence, which gives us even more attractive possibilities for our outdoor spaces.

Garden spotlights have many uses but can often be seen highlighting either a garden pathway, or perfectly framing borders or decking edges. This not only illuminates the pathway for guests and family, but beautifully accentuates either curving features or sleek symmetrical lines created by outdoor features.

Steps and potential outdoor hazards must be made safe from an illumination perspective, but these areas of the garden can achieve a double positive by not only ensuring safety, but also making a design feature from this necessity. Using outdoor strip lighting to create a subtle glow that works particularly well and the option to position larger garden spotlights strategically is something well worth considering when laying out your initial outdoor lighting theme.

The front of people’s houses or commercial buildings can be enhanced massively through the use of modern or designer outdoor bulkhead lights, to highlight either porches or main entrances. The ability to buy durable and weather resistant bulkhead lighting, while still retaining exterior lighting design integrity is thankfully commonplace with today’s options.

As with all garden or outdoor lighting projects, the key is research and planning to allow your preferences to be properly realised and the plan to be executed perfectly. With the possibilities available to us in todays outdoor lighting world, the evolution has led us to a very special place in time, where we can use the technology, materials and design options to create something really special.