Three ways to layer your Outdoor Lighting


Ambient lighting outdoors offers sufficient illumination for visual comfort and is the type of light that allows us to carry our view from one area to the next. It is also often referred to as general lighting and is usually soft, while creating balance. Examples of outdoor ambient lighting include ceiling fixtures on a covered patio, pillar lights on a pool deck and ‘wash lighting’ on specific area or features in the garden. Think of ambient lighting as your backdrop lighting, a layer on which to build upon.


Your outdoor task lights are functional and fulfil a specific purpose. They make any outdoor activity safe and comfortable. Flood lights around the perimeter of the home serve to deter would-be intruders, while garden spikes and lanterns positioned along the driveway and paths guide people safely indoors. Recessed lighting positioned along a flight of steps serve to ensure no one stumbles or loses their footing, whilst a wall sconce at the front door provides sufficient illumination for ease of unlocking in the dark. And don’t forget the braai area – lighting positioned where you cook outdoors enables you to see exactly how your food is cooking over the coals.


Bodies of water such as your swimming pool, fountain or pond will all benefit from accent lighting, turning them into an outdoor feature. Other areas that can be highlighted include any interesting architectural features, statues, and flower gardens. Uplight large trees by placing a fixture at the base, positioned in an upward direction. For a moon-like glow, position fixtures in amongst the branches and aim them in a downward direction. Don’t get carried away with accent lighting. It is far more effective to have a select few features illuminated, as this creates a dramatic effect.

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