Summer House Lighting Guide

Summer House Lighting

A summer house provides the perfect bonus living space that can be used for a range of purposes, from a home office or gym, to an extra space to relax or entertain friends, or simply a place to practice hobbies.

And despite the name, summer homes are not just for the warmer months – they provide year-round comfort and can even act as a cosy space to unwind on cold nights.

But no summer house set-up is complete without the right lighting. This includes outdoor lighting that helps you get around the garden safely when it’s dark, as well as indoor lighting to create an appropriate mood and illuminate key design features.

Benefits of Summer House Lighting

Your summer house is an extension of your home. And just like your home lighting set-up, summer house lighting plays both a functional and aesthetic role.

Lighting can make the difference between a dark and uninviting outbuilding and a warm and welcoming home space:

  • Create the perfect atmosphere – lighting sets the tone for your summer house, from a cosy and inviting living area, to a bright and energetic workout space.

  • Task and accent lighting – illuminate the key areas of your summer home for convenience, however, you choose to use the space. Highlight ornaments and paintings or project worktops or cooking surfaces.

  • Aesthetic appeal – highlight statement features indoors or use outdoor lighting to turn your summer house into the eye-catching focal point of your garden.

  • Outdoor lighting – illuminating the path or steps leading to your summer house helps avoid slips, trips or falls at night. Plus, it’s easier to find your keys when coming and going in the dark.

  • Security – outdoor lighting doesn’t just help you get around safely but can also act as an effective security feature – deterring intruders and illuminating unwanted guests trying to move around your home at night.

Lighting Tips for Your Summer House

Here, our experts offer best practice tips for lighting your summer house:

  • Work with the natural light – before lighting your summer house, consider the natural light available to the building. For example, if the space features a large window or skylights, you may only wish to add complementary accent lighting. Not only does natural light make the space feel brighter and more airy, but it can also reduce lighting costs.

  • Brightness – consider how you use the summer house and how lighting contributes. Summer house lights do not need to be as bright as your home lighting, as the space is smaller – with ambient lights only requiring around 800-1,100 lumens to illuminate a small room. Consider lights with around 450-800 lumens for accent lighting, while outdoor security lighting should be more powerful to illuminate the area at night.

  • Colour temperature – set the tone for your summer house interior, with warmer colour temperatures (between 1,800-2,700 Kelvin) providing a cosy glow, while cooler colour temperatures (around 4,000-5,000 Kelvin) emit bright and energy-boosting light.

  • Consider the size – of both the building and the lights. Pendants and lamps can make stunning centrepieces, but they shouldn’t overpower the room or become an inconvenient obstacle.

  • Form and function – choose the most appropriate light for each purpose. For example, spotlights are perfect for illuminating specific task areas, while floor and table lamps create the perfect area to read or relax. This also goes for outdoor lighting, with convenient path lights and porch lights helping you in and out safely at night.

  • Useful features – consider how you intend to use the lights. Are traditional switch lights appropriate? Or, do the lights need special features, such as motion sensors for security or dimmers to create the perfect atmosphere?

  • Energy efficiency – choosing energy-efficient bulbs saves on both energy and the cost of your electric bills. Consider LED lighting for use both in and outdoors, as well as cost-effective and eco-friendly solar-powered lights.

  • Weatherproof – any outdoor lights surrounding your summer house should be durable and weatherproof to withstand wind and rain.

Best Lighting for Summer Houses

The best summer house lighting depends on the space available and how the building is used. Lighting should complement the aesthetic of the space, as well as being functional.

For example, if the summer house is used as an additional living space, the lighting should be warm and inviting and not too bright. If there is plenty of space available, pendant ceiling lights can replicate the feeling of a lounge or living room, while floor lamps can provide additional task lighting where needed.

Where space is at a premium, flush spotlights and under-shelf lighting are compact and convenient without compromising on performance.

The same rules apply to outdoor summer house lighting, which should make use of the space and surfaces available to provide convenient light where you need it.

The Best Interior Lights for Summer Houses

In this section, we take a look at the versatile summer house lighting solutions that can be adapted to create your perfect space:

Indoor wall lights provide both ambient light for smaller areas, or accent and task lighting in larger spaces.

Wall lamps and sconces provide ample ambient light to set the mood, while additional lighting in the form of picture lights, wall washers and more, provides complementary accent or task lighting to highlight statement features.

Cereus Single Black Wall Light Cereus-BWL

Our Cereus Single Black Wall Light (check for availability).

Ceiling lights typically set the tone for any space, offering ambient light that projects throughout the room. But they can also be used to provide task or accent lighting, as spotlights and downlights.

Key considerations for ceiling lights include dimmer switch compatibility and size. For example, is there room for a hanging ceiling pendant? Or, will flush light fittings allow for more headroom?

Sarsina LED Small White Flush Ceiling Light 97501

Our Sarsina LED Small White Flush Ceiling Light (check for availability).

LEDs are long-lasting, low-maintenance and cost-effective – and they don’t compromise on performance, offering the perfect amount of light for your summer house.

There are LED lighting solutions to suit every summer house, from traditional flush ceiling lights, spotlights, downlights and wall lights, to LED strips that are perfect for adding accent lighting.

Salobrena-Z Wide Rectangle White LED Fitting 900047

Our Salobrena-Z Wide Rectangle White LED Fitting (check for availability).

Table and floor lamps provide accent or task lighting to illuminate specific areas of the room.

Floor lamps provide an inviting glow that is ideal for creating cosy corners in a living area, while table lamps prove a more compact and targeted lighting option that can be used for reading.

Or they can simply be used as unique design features, with a range of contemporary and traditional lamps available to match any summer house interior.

Castanuelo Gold And Black Tripod Floor Lamp 43809

Our Castanuelo Gold And Black Tripod Floor Lamp (check for availability).

Outdoor Summer House Lights

Illuminating the outside of your summer house is just as important as the interior – both for security and aesthetic appeal. Outdoor lighting can turn your summer house into the statement feature of your garden, while also making it easy to get around at night.

Versatile outdoor wall lights can be installed on your summer house or garden walls to provide illumination exactly where you need it.

Use wall lights to create a consistent path of light between your home and summer house, or to create an inviting glow around the front door of the building to help you get in and out safely at night.

Outdoor spotlights can also be used as accent lighting to highlight key features, while wall sconces add character and aesthetic appeal.

Ladbroke IP44 Outdoor Wall Light Antique Brass LAD1675

Our Ladbroke IP44 Outdoor Wall Light (check for availability).

Make the most of the summer sunshine with solar-powered lights – the eco-friendly and cost-effective way to illuminate your garden.

Solar bollards and floor posts make stunning garden features that can also be used to create a path of light between your home and summer house, while motion-sensor wall lights add peace of mind as a security feature.

And as they’re solar-powered, they don’t require any wiring – meaning they can be placed anywhere in the garden or moved around as and when needed.

Corbezzola Solar Powered Graphite LED PIR IP44 Outdoor Post 900244

Our Corbezzola Solar Powered Graphite LED PIR IP44 Outdoor Post (check for availability).

LED lights are durable, versatile and energy-efficient. Whether you’re considering powerful floodlights to illuminate larger gardens, or outdoor lamps and fairy lights to add aesthetic appeal, LEDs are a reliable choice.

They also shine brighter than traditional bulbs – while using less energy – making them perfect for outdoor use, either as security lighting to illuminate darker areas, or as helpful task lighting to help you get around at night.

Tarrow Photocell PIR IP44 Solar Outdoor Matt Black Wall Light 106467

Our Tarrow Photocell PIR IP44 Solar Outdoor Matt Black Wall Light (check for availability).

Outdoor floor lamps are both stylish and practical – coming in a range of stunning contemporary designs and providing a gentle beam of light to illuminate key areas of the garden.

Lamps can be spread evenly throughout flower beds or paths to create a consistent glow as you move between your home and summer house – or, use them individually to highlight unique garden features.

Sleek and portable floor lamps can be placed exactly where you need them, even where space is at a premium – for example, next to the entrance to your summer home or on your patio or decking when entertaining guests.

Cascinetta IP44 Black Cast Aluminium Exterior Floor lamp 98715

Our Cascinetta IP44 Black Cast Aluminium Exterior Floor Lamp (check for availability).

Smart Summer House Lighting

Smart lighting is an innovative and convenient summer house solution. Choose from a range of indoor and outdoor lighting, including pendant and flush ceiling lights, wall lights, lamps and LED fittings and more.

Connect your smartphone to your product and adjust the settings to suit your exact needs – including using lighting timers to deter unwanted intruders or save on energy, adjusting dimmable lights to achieve the perfect mood or simply turning lights on and off remotely for convenience.

Barbano-Z LED RGB Flush Black Ceiling Light 900853

Our Barbano-Z Smart LED RGB Flush Black Ceiling Light (check for availability).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Should a summer house face the sun?

If you want your summer house to get the most natural sunlight each day, position it facing south or southwest. As the sun travels south during the day, this direction gets the most exposure.

However, if you’d prefer your summerhouse to be located in the shade – as an escape during hot summer days – facing it north means it spends the least amount of time in direct sunlight each day.

You can then use our lighting tips to create the perfect atmosphere in or around the building.

  • How bright should outdoor lights be?

Outdoor lighting may be either ambient or functional – for example, to create a relaxing atmosphere in the garden or to help you get safely to your door at night – and the brightness will depend on the purpose of the lighting.

Ambient outdoor lighting should be around 50-200 lumens, while functional lighting, like pathway lights, may be brighter at around 200-400 lumens and security lighting will be even brighter, up to around 1500 lumens.

More from The Lighting Superstore

Looking for more home and garden lighting tips? Check out our other guides to help you get the most out of your lighting projects:

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