Outdoor security lighting plays an important role in our lives in the UK, as for much of the year we have long hours of darkness and lighting is needed for our safety and assurance. There are many types of outdoor lights available which provide security, as well as enhancing your outside space.
Why have security lighting?
There are many benefits to be had from outside lights. From a security viewpoint they enhance our feelings of safety; making us more aware on what’s going on around the house, lighting up the porch when we answer the door and illuminating areas that are in full view of the street and our neighbours.
Click on the next tab to find out more about different types of outdoor security lights.
Types of security lights
What is PIR?
A passive infrared sensor (PIR sensor) is an electronic sensor that measures infrared (IR) light coming from objects (such as a person) in its field of view. They are mostly used in PIR-based motion detectors.
Lights with a movement sensor or PIR are useful in many ways. When night falls and you remember there are clothes to bring in from the washing line, or you need to close a gate, etc. sensor lighting is activated when you make any movement close to the light. It will switch on automatically, which is invaluable if your hands are full or it’s too dark to see where you’re walking.
Motion-Activated Outdoor Security Lights
Unlike other security lights that are switched and left on all night, therefore consuming a lot of energy, security lights with motion detection only activate when you make any movement close to the light. Each light has a detection range and angle; if an object is detected by the PIR the light will turn on. Motion activated security lights are ideally placed at entry areas and in gardens, so that movement will illuminate your path and any hazards can be readily seen.
Many of our sensor lights offer the option of setting how long the light stays on once activated, as well as the ability to choose the level of darkness the sensor starts detecting motion.
LED Flood Lights
If you're looking for an energy saving option then LED floodlights will be for you. There are mains and solar lights available which are A++ rated.
Halogen Flood Lights
Halogen flood lights are the most common type of outdoor lighting; brightly illuminating the outside of houses, commercial buildings and in car parks. Halogen bulbs emit a strong white light (as close as you can get to sunlight).
Solar Flood Lights
Solar flood lights are the most eco and environmentally friendly lighting; operating much the same way as any other outdoor security light, a solar light requires sunlight to charge the batteries in the day and then when it is dark the light turns on. A solar light will not contribute to your energy bills and does not require any mains wiring.
If you have an outdoor area that does not get much light then we also have battery operated lights which may be more suitable as a year round solution.
Where to position them
Installing outdoor lighting shouldn't be too difficult for a DIY novice. Electricity is not to be toyed with, however, so you might want to at least have your work checked over by a professional.
Placing your outdoor light in the right spot is essential, and can be more complicated than you’d think. Remember to take into account things like glare, where people will be sitting, whether the neighbours are likely to be affected. If the light is wired in does it have any protection from the elements? If not, choose something with a high IP (ingress protection) rating; the higher the number the more water resistant and hard-wearing it will be. The majority of our outdoor lights are IP44 rated which means the light is protected from water sprayed from all directions.
Floodlights should be placed at least 2 metres off the ground to ensure maximum effectiveness. Try holding lights up to test the position before making a permanent fixture.
We have some great help and advice articles to help you with your project. Click on Help & Advice at the top of the page or choose from the guides below.