Summer Living: 3 Things to Consider When Buying Outdoor Festoon Lights

Monday 30 May 2022


Summer’s coming, and with it, the chance to enjoy evenings outside. And, thanks to warmer nights, the good times don’t have to end when the sun goes down. Buying outdoor festoon lights can help make back gardens and other spaces more welcoming after dark. Here are three things to think about when shopping for them.

1- Your physical needs

Save time and effort by looking at the space you want to fill with lights before you start shopping. This is because certain physical requirements dictate where you can install them.

The most important of these needs is the distance the lights will run from your power supply. For many, festoon lights are perfect for outdoor installations. This is because their garland design means you don’t have to settle for long, unsightly, and potentially dangerous, extension cables. Instead, festoon lighting allows you to fill the space between the plug and the last light with beautiful lighting.

And, for people with bigger gardens or spaces to fill, their chain design means you can connect lights together to make long runs.

Another thing to think about is the British weather. If you want to install outdoor lighting, you will have to consider how waterproof or splashproof lights, cords, and strings are. There are different ratings depending on what customers require. Helpfully, manufacturers use a standard Ingress/ International Protection (or IP) Code set by the International Electrotechnical Commission. Buyers often look for IP44 or higher ratings. If you are unsure, speak to a reputable retailer to make sure you get adequate protection for your needs.

2- Aesthetics

After thinking about practicalities, you get to turn your attention to more fun things like the colour of cables, lamp style, size, light bulb colour, and degrees Kelvin (known as ‘K’) rating. The light’s K rating matters because it is a universal standard designed to help buyers create the right effect. It grades the light appearance (or “temperature”) of the light. Warmer, softer lights tend to have lower ratings of 2000k to 3000k and give off an orange or yellow glow. Daylight brightness is simulated between 4500K to 6500K with a blue-white light. Cool white lights are found in between these ratings.

3- Retail experience

The first two points can help you decide what you need and want. But, for many, these choices can also help you decide what kind of retail experience will help you get your desired result.

Some things to look for are: if you prefer shopping online or in-person, paying shipping costs or having free shipping included, any warranty or after-sale service, trade or domestic use, the seller’s returns policy, the extent of expert help you need, future lighting installation expansion, and ease of replacing parts and bulbs.

The internet is a great resource to start your research, but so is speaking to a professional. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of free resources like sales staff at expert retailers. Sometimes a quick call can save you hours of time online.
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