Outdoor Lighting

By Radiant Lighting | 28 Feb 2018 | 0 Comments

Wine, grazing plates, BBQ’s and the summer sun! Outdoor living is part of Australian culture, never more so than now. 

Create an Outdoor Oasis

We have learnt to bring the indoors outside, the weather in most parts naturally allows for us to maximize the smaller blocks we have become accustomed to, or zone the expanses in more generous spaces.

Lighting, as much as it is inside, is all the more important when applying outdoors. The functionality and ambience is an essential part of making the perfect outdoor oasis, for any home, any time of the year. I have gathered many tricks and tips in our experience, working in lighting design and specification with some of Australia’s leading landscape architects and my our own lighting knowledge.

Here are a few guidelines to help you with your concept;

Garden Lighting

There are a multitude of levels to consider in a garden space. When you consider the lighting, consider it in layers. The most versatile solution for garden beds and soft soil are the Hunza Spike Spots, these are fully adjustable spots that spike into the ground and can be moved to accommodate the life of the plants as they grow, it is also simple to add lighting as the greenery expands if needed. These will provide low level lighting to smaller planter boxes, or can be used to up light medium sized trees or higher level hedges. It is the perfect outdoor lighting all rounder! If you have larger trees or applications, we suggest a High Power spike spot, this is much brighter and can reach further up. Bigger again is the Ultra range by Hunza, which is better for a commercial space as it is exceptionally powerful. This one is not recommended for residential use unless in larger properties.

The Micro Spot range from LuxR, a sister company of Hunza is ideal for smaller planter boxes, plant pots or shrubs in smaller spaces. These fittings are all small, 1W fittings that cost next to nothing to run and again, super flexible in your garden space. 

Deck or Inground Lighting

Deck or Inground Lighting can be used in a multitude of ways. The right lighting will depend on the application (timber, aggregate, concrete, paving) and the light levels you are looking to achieve. One of the more versatile solutions would be the Hunza and LuxR inground, specifically the Floor Spots that illuminate directly up against beams, walls or piers. These can reach almost 2 stories high and are ideal for wall facades.

The LuxR range is a smaller size and wattage solution, dependant on the application and light level you are looking to achieve. There are also specialized Washer fittings both in a higher power and standard range, designed to ‘wash’ the wall effectively, perfect for textured detailing on walls like stone, breeze blocks, screening, or water features. LuxR also have a small 2W Wall Washer, to achieve a similar outcome but in a smaller capacity, handy for half height walls or a lower light level in the application. For function, I suggest small markers and step lights in step risers, adjacent walls and edges of the deck to provide ambience and also safety. For a more seamless look, the LED Striplighting can be recessed under steps, in hand railing, or in roof cavities. These can be used in all-weather situations and have a number of applications and lighting colour options to play with.

Wall and Ceiling Lighting

Some outdoor spaces can present a challenge with where lighting can be installed. With ceilings that are louvered, pitched or at double heights, I would look at several options. To create a reflective light source, a surface mounted adjustable fitting can be directed to bounce light off the surface of the ceiling and walls such as our FAZE and Hunza fittings. Deceptively, this creates a lot of light in the space without the need to recess into the ceiling or onto support beams. Another solution for vergolas or louvered ceilings, is a surface mounted fixed fitting by FAZE which can be installed in cross beams, providing a direct light source. In the instance of a double height ceiling void, use a narrow beam downlight or surface mounted light such as the FAZE Deep. Alternatively, there are a broad range of suspended outdoor lights available for almost any space. From moderate sizes that can be clustered, to over sized fittings upwards of 1.6m in width such as the FontanaArte, MODO and Lombardo range! All weather proof and suited to Australian conditions.

Wall lighting can be used in a myriad of ways, fittings to wash down from Lombardo for a softer effect, direct spotlighting by Hunza for over task areas such as the outdoor kitchen! Functional bunker style lighting from Lombardo, is not what it used to be, or decorative vintage look solutions by Aldo Bernardi.

Occasional Lighting

I love lamps! This year in particular we have had a resurgence of outdoor lamp solutions. Free standing rechargeable LED lanterns and lamps, with colour changing options from MODO, FontanaArte and Kundalini have the option of being placed on the floor or table, or suspended on a fixing. Free standing polycarbonate lamps from 1-2m in height, allow you to have a fully mobile solution in your outdoor space, perfect for areas away from any capacity to fix lighting into such as gardens or pools. Alternatively we can fix standing lamps like these from Kundalini, Aldo Bernardi and FontanaArte into any ground surface, for a modern or retro aesthetic. Catenary/ hanging tree lighting from Hunza and LuxR is ideal for use in open areas, strung from trees or wired across pole fixings, these are not only beautiful and subtle, they are also highly functional for dining areas and seating. Path lighting and bollards from Lombardo and Hunza provide a great solution in open spaces, while adding to the layers of your outdoor lighting.

Our number one rule would be not to OVER light the space! Lighting outdoors is best at an ambient level, especially when entertaining! No need to blind the guests over a few cheese cubes and mini gherkins. We always suggest going for the LED option, this is much more economical to run for long periods of time, and the fittings won’t get too hot for small (or big) hands. The Perth lighting design consultants at Radiant Lighting can assist with assessing this, they will advise the best fitting, optimal beam angles, lumen output, IP (water) rating and switching for the space. Never fear, help is here!


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