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10 Things To Consider When Setting Up Lighting Outdoors

Just like the interior of your house, lighting also has a big role in the overall feel and practicality of outdoor space. In New Zealand, some homeowners are cautious when it comes to lighting outdoor spaces, given the often hard-to-predict weather. Thankfully, there are many options to shine a light on your outdoor space that can stand up to our Kiwi conditions or easily be brought inside when not in use. 


At Briscoes, we have a wide selection of lighting options, including lighting that is perfect for outdoor living. So, we’ve put together our top considerations when looking for and setting up lighting outdoors. After reading, you’ll have a better idea of what to buy and how to use it in your backyard. Let’s get started!

1. Whether your outdoor space gets regular sun

When looking into outdoor lighting options, how much sun your outdoor space gets should impact what you choose. Many Briscoes' outdoor garden lighting and deck lighting ideas are solar powered. This is fantastic and good for the environment. But, it can pose an issue if your deck or garden is under shade or on a hillside. 


If your outdoor space doesn’t get all-day sun, it can be inconvenient if you plan to use your solar outdoor lighting daily. Some portable outdoor lighting options also allow for batteries, however. So, these options may be well-suited. Of course, daylight savings is also worth mentioning, as this may affect charging and how often you plan to use the lighting.

2. Security

Especially if you live in a heavily populated suburban area, theft should always be a consideration. It’s not nice to think about, but there are definitely people out there that could take advantage and knick your belongings if given the opportunity. Outdoor lighting can play a big role in security. Motion sensor lighting can warn homeowners if anyone unwanted is approaching.

It is worth noting that quality outdoor garden lighting or outdoor light for your deck can also sometimes be targeted by thieves. Thankfully, most of the outdoor lighting options available at Briscoes are fully portable. That way, you can just bring the lighting indoors once you’ve finished enjoying your evening.

3. How much space you have available

Especially if you live in a city or the centre of town, you may not be lucky enough to have a large and spacious backyard. Now, a big lawn for the kids and pets to run around is fantastic. However, it’s not the catalyst for a welcoming space that you, your friends and your family can enjoy. 

A small space isn’t a limitation when styling your deck or lawn. You can get creative with outdoor furniture, particularly outdoor lighting. However, you need to be smart about what kind of lighting your outdoor area needs and where you place it. Try to get small outdoor lighting that doesn’t take up too much room. Also, putting outdoor lighting in dimly lit corners is a great way to make your space bigger. For more inspiration on what to do with a tight area, read our 10 ways to make use of space with small outdoor furniture.  

4. Your budget

Money makes the world go round. And it’s always a consideration whether you’re thinking about outdoor wall lighting, outdoor LED lighting or anything in between. Especially if you’re planning to restyle your whole outdoor area, you need to ensure the outdoor lighting you’re considering fits within your wider budget. 

As with most things, you get what you pay for when it comes to lighting outdoors. Thankfully, all of the lighting options at Briscoes are really affordable. As well as that, we provide a price promise. This means if you find a lower advertised retail price on the same item, we’ll beat it by 10%. There are, of course, some terms and conditions to read as well. 

Top tip: If you want to revamp your outdoor area, an online budgeting tool may be handy. Otherwise, read our top tips for transforming your outdoor area on a budget.  

5. Your power bill

Sort of an extension of our last point, but money is always a consideration for any homeware or lighting purchase. When it comes to energy-efficient lighting, you often get what you pay for. In saying that, a larger upfront cost will usually work out to save you money in the long run. 

Especially if you’re considering LED outdoor strip lighting, outdoor step lighting or any other kind of lighting attached to a wall outlet or hardwired, you may want to consider its watts or lumens. As a side note, there are lots of ways you can lower your power bill

6. Do you want your outdoor lighting to be multipurpose?

We love a classic Kiwi road trip just as much as you! A factor to keep in mind when shopping for outdoor patio lighting is whether it’s multipurpose. What we mean by that is can you take your outdoor lighting on the road? To a campsite? A head torch will hardly cut the mustard for everyone to see what they’re eating when sitting out in the dark.. 

7. The mood you’re trying to set

Keep imagining yourself around the campsite with your loved ones. Now, imagine you’re all wearing head torches and shining in each other’s faces when you speak. Now, picture the dreamymood you’d set if you had specialised solar outdoor lighting with a warm tone. Lighting plays a big part in setting the overall mood. You may feel under interrogation if you’re getting a strobe light pointed in your face. On the other hand, a nice warm yellow light in the background can make people feel warm and comfortable. 

If you’re using our lighting outdoors for casually having dinner or entertaining guests, you’ll most likely want a nice warm colour. Generally, the colour of a light is determined by the temperature scale. This temperature scale is measured in degrees of Kelvin. For warm lighting, you’d generally want between 1000k to 3000k.

Top tip: When setting up outdoor wall lighting or outdoor LED lighting especially, try to have the lights pointing down. This way, the light isn’t being shone in your face, and it’s more inviting. 

8. New Zealand weather

As we all know, the weather in New Zealand can be treacherous at the best of times. The conditions can change very quickly, whether during summer or winter. When choosing lighting for the outdoors, especially solar outdoor lighting, you need to keep the weather in mind. 

If you’re planning to install lighting that permanently stays outside, you must ensure it will withstand wind and rain. As well as that, if you live somewhere where there is a lot of rain, like in the Fiordland area, a solar option may not be preferred. To mitigate the effects of weather, a portable outdoor lighting option, like what we have at Briscoes, could be good. 

Top tip: To help protect your general outdoor furniture from the elements, read our guide on how to clean and protect outdoor furniture