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Your Guide to Outdoor Electrics and Lighting Ideas

Whether it’s a security light for your yard or neon light strips to accentuate your garden – outdoor electrics can bring several benefits to the table. Our resident Laverton North-based electricians understand that some people may want to install some outdoor lighting – but don’t know exactly where to start. We briefly explored outdoor lighting in our essential new build electrics article, but, today’s article is going to be concentrating more-so on outdoor lighting ideas as well as what is required to implement them – because with outdoor electrics, comes a whole new set of considerations and rules.

Understanding IP ratings

When it comes to outdoor hardware – the biggest fear is that the rain, wind or even dirt will knock them out of action. Outdoor hardware such as lights or power sockets will have what’s called an IP (ingress protection) rating – which will determine how well it can resist the natural elements. Having an outdoor power socket installed is a fairly simple task that our electricians in Laverton North can take care of for you, but when shopping for the outlets themselves – you need to ensure it has an appropriate IP rating.

Some examples of acceptable ratings for power sockets include IP44 and IP53 amongst others. Because they tend to be higher up and more likely to endure the brunt of the elements – outdoor lighting products commonly feature higher IP ratings such as IP65. This IP chart can help you decide whether or not the hardware you’re looking at is appropriate for the intended application. 

Light strips

Light strips have become increasingly popular in the last few years with brands like Phillips releasing a variety of products designed to give your garden a unique, aesthetic boost. Some light strips can be controlled from your smart device and allow a rainbow of colours to be displayed giving you a diverse creative scope to apply to your garden or outdoor feature. Light strips are generally powered by a simple AC power connection so you must ensure you have an appropriately rated outdoor power socket installed and waterproof cabling.

Light strips are highly versatile lighting solutions that you can apply to any surface and even automate to function at different times of the day. Place them between your flowers to emphasise their beauty in the evening or below trees during parties to create a gorgeous atmosphere. There’s really a lot of creative applications light strips can be used for when you put your mind to it.

Water-feature lighting

If you have a water feature in your yard, then adding a submersible light is the best way to ensure it looks even better in the evening than it does during the day. You can purchase completely submersible lights (usually IP68) with varying colours to place in your fountain or pond. Take note that the deeper you place the light – the less effective it will be. Shallow, clean water is ideal for submerged lighting so you can enjoy the full effect.

Generally, the cable connected to the light itself will be waterproof – this will, in turn, connect to the transformer which should not be submerged. The AC power cable will then run from the transformer into your power socket. You can keep the cables dry by investing in cable covers – that way they’re ready for the long haul. Our electricians recommend having a power outlet as close to the light fixture to avoid the use of extra extension cords.

Outdoor security lighting

Security and outdoor lights are brilliant as both a deterrent for potential intruders and just as functional hardware. Something as simple as taking out the rubbish in the evening can be made that much simpler with an outdoor light automatically detecting you and turning on as you walk out your door. There is a vast range of lights you can purchase with varying styles and sizes – each one suitable for a different application. 

Floodlights, for example, are useful for large expanses such as if you’d like to light-up your entire yard. If you’re after something subtler, then small LED lamps that just concentrate on illuminating your front porch are popular and practical options. Our Laverton North-based electricians can help you determine what the best solution for you is as well as take care of all the installation requirements.

Are you looking for an electrician in Laverton North?

Urban West Electrical are premium sparkies that operate within Laverton North and the surrounding western suburbs of Melbourne. Capable of delivering several electrical services, our trained and qualified electricians will provide unparalleled high-end service in a friendly and time-efficient manner – ensuring your schedule is minimally impacted.

If you’d like to know more about what we offer, please don’t hesitate to fill out the contact form on our website or call us on 0417 113 129.