Fresh breezes, endless views, and the ebb and flow of crashing waves. That is the image of an idyllic coastal house. If you’re lucky enough to have a house by the coast, you want to make the most of your property.
Naturally, you’ll pay a lot of attention to what your property looks like during the day. Strategically placed coastal outdoor lights can turn your dark garden into a charming oceanfront landscape after the sun has set. Here are some must-know coastal outdoor lighting tips and tricks you can use to make the most of your seaside haven.
1. Choose the Material of the Fixture
It is important to keep environmental conditions in mind when living by the coast because you cannot use standard lighting materials. You want to use fixtures that can handle extreme weather exposure, humidity, salt, and maybe even sand.
If the materials are not durable, your fixtures will age fast. So, before choosing your outdoor fixtures, look at this breakdown of the different materials you could use.
Different materials each have their advantages and disadvantages. You want your coastal lighting fixtures to handle sand, salt, and water. Many lighting experts, like Steve Middleton, rely on solid bronze fixtures as they are the most durable in coastal regions.
2. Consider Protection Against Water
Your coastal-style outdoor lights need to have an Ingress, International, or Internal Protection (IP) rating. That is a measurement of the degree of protection provided by an enclosure.
The IP rating is made up of two digits. The first number ranges from 0 to 6 and indicates how secure a fixture is against intrusion by solid objects. These include hands, tools, dirt, sand, and dust.
The second number ranges from 0 to 8 and measures the level of protection against moisture. Ideally, for a beach garden setting, you want a rating above IP44. That means you won’t have to worry about sand, sea spray, and heavy rain.
For patios, decks, and outdoor wall lights, aim for a minimum of IP65. If you are lighting up a jetty, pool, or water feature, you must have an IP68 rating. An IP68 rating means the fixture is entirely waterproof.
3. Keep It Simple, Avoid Overload
Use outdoor lights sparingly. As Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” A few well-placed lights can have a signficant impact.
Figure out the main focal points of your property and make the most of these features. You must also illuminate spaces that could pose a security threat or safety hazard, including backyard walls, poolside pavements, staircases, and walkways.
Fixtures such as our Large China Hat Light work well as coastal path lights. They provide excellent illumination and have a timeless aesthetic. Or you could install one of our Classic Savannah Area Path Lights.
You can use accent lighting to highlight unique features of your property, such as a gazebo or a fountain. Highlighting the vegetation is a great idea too. The image below nicely illustrates how to use narrow beams to uplight trees, making them an eye-catching focal point.
An expert can help you create a lighting plan that balances an aesthetic design with improved visibility and security.
4. Set a Realistic Budget
Good outdoor lighting will cost more than you might imagine. If you’re getting a landscaper to design your yard, allocate 10% to 20% of your landscaping budget for lighting. Even if you’re not getting a landscaper to do this, set a budget and settle on a plan before you start buying your coastal outdoor lighting fixtures.
When comparing fixtures, consider the long-term costs, not just the upfront ones. You will save money by making smart choices.
For example, LED lights use up to a third less energy than halogen lights. Maintenance costs are also lower because you don’t need to change the bulbs as often.
Take your time to source products within your budget, but don’t compromise on quality. For example, with CAST, you can be sure you are investing in superior LED fixtures that can last more than 20 years.
5. Consider Specialist Features
Depending on where you live, you might want to invest in specialist outdoor lighting. For example, many types of exterior lights emit a harsh glow that affects the surrounding wildlife.
Strong lighting can cause problems for hatching turtles.
Use low-level LED lights with a warm glow in areas closest to the beach to avoid disrupting their laying process. That also prevents your lights from confusing hatchlings that need to find the ocean.
In addition to aesthetic lighting systems, consider installing heat or motion sensor flood lights for security purposes.
The sudden illumination caused by a bright light switching on is usually a deterrent for intruders—whether human or not. You’ll pay attention when your yard lights suddenly turn on, too.
There are many great things about living along the coast. The beautiful views and the relaxing sounds of the ocean are definite highlights. Unfortunately, living on the coast does put a unique strain on your home.
Exposure to salt, sand, and extreme weather conditions means you have to be especially careful when selecting outdoor lights. After all, you don’t want to be replacing light fittings all the time because of corrosion and rust.
Thankfully, this is not an issue you need to worry about with our solid bronze and brass light fittings. Browse our wide selection of products for inspiration for your next round of property improvements. If you don’t know where to begin, simply contact our professional team for advice.