Developments in lighting technology have encouraged us to look at how light sources are used as an integral part of the lighting design, both indoor and outdoor.
The wide range of products that are available from Aurora e.g. energy saving and compact fluorescent luminaires make outdoor lighting more practical and affordable.
Choosing your Outdoor Lighting Product
Choosing the luminaire that will meet your requirements is the final step completing your lighting scheme. The evaluation of your product should take into consideration it’s appearance when visible, capabilities, construction and cost. In most cases you will look for products that are unobtrusive, they may be small or coloured to blend in with their surroundings.
Key factors to consider are:
- IP Ratings
- Surface or recessed mounted
- Material & finish
Surface or Recessed Mounting
recessed luminaires are often chosen over surface luminaires due to the fact that they are less obtrusive. In some cases installation restrictions prevent recessed luminaires being used. Surface-mounted luminaires are therefore more commonly used.
For example, up-lighting a tree with a recessed ground fitting allows easy mowing, using a spike mounted luminaire could create a tripping hazard. Similar issues with wall lights, especially low level lighting for steps. recessed lights will always be less obtrusive than surface mounted, but installation can be more difficult.
Materials and Finishes
The best outdoor lighting will be made from durable materials – aluminium or stainless steel. Such materials can dissipate heat so that luminaires do not overheat and cause premature lamp failure or distortion of the luminaire body. The finish may be a natural one for some materials, which are used in bare or polished form, or an applied colour, which is usually a powder coat rather than a liquid paint finish, as a well applied powder coat is much more durable. Most Aurora outdoor products come in Stainless Steel, Aluminium, Satin Silver and Black finishes.
Choosing the Right Light Source
To suit the demands of today’s varied lighting installations, fittings are being designed with a growing number of different light sources – each creating a different environment. Choosing the right light source for the right application is critical. Aurora’s lamps are designed to deliver performance and reliability by using the latest technology.
Low energy, LED, Halogen, Fluorescent or HID lamps are all available in a variety of wattages and colours.
See below for our quick start guide to choosing the right light source for your installation.
Having identified the areas that require lighting and the type of lighting that is required within them, it is now time to decide on the different lighting effects that can be achieved. A particular object can loko very different when lit by a different method.
The right visual effect will utilise a single of multiple combination of the effects illustrated below. From the straight forward techniques of down-lighting to the more subtle like grazing, shadowing and silhouetting.
Areas and Types of Lighting
When you start to think about designing a lighting scheme you must understand the roles lighting will play in the use and enjoyment of each part of your exterior space.
Begin by dividing the space into ‘areas of lighting’. Then within each area look at the ‘type of lighting’ required to meet your lighting needs.
- Ornamental – when garden features are lit for visual appeal
- Amenity– For safety and practical
- Task – Makes it possible to carry out specific jobs, such as cooking on a BBQ or fetching objects from an outbuilding
- Access – Permits safe movement around the garden by lighting paths, steps, doors and water
- Security – Deters intruders, creates an illusion of occupation and reassures home-owners