Indoor to outdoor lighting - a guide for home and garden lovers

For many lucky people, the garden is a much-loved extension of their living space - especially in the warmer months. With some well-chosen lighting, you can create a seamless transition from your house to your garden. Here’s how…

How can lighting help the transition from indoors to outdoors?

Whether you have a large garden or a compact courtyard, lighting is a great way of creating a natural flow between the indoors and the outdoors. By using a range of different types of outdoor lighting, and choosing a style that complements your indoor design scheme, you can help to create a continuous, unified space.  

Extending your indoor lighting scheme to the outdoors

Just as a good lighting scheme is essential for creating the right mood and ambience within your home, so too the same principles apply to your outdoor space. As well as providing practical ambient and task lighting for high use areas such as patios, seating areas and pathways, your outdoor lighting scheme can also play a key role in creating accents and atmosphere, and continuing the mood outside. 

One of the best ways to create unity between an indoor and outdoor space is by using similar design elements. By using a complementary style of lighting, and choosing similar materials, you can assist the transition from one space to another. It’s also important to think about the colour and tone of your lighting – by using similar tones throughout, you can help to avoid any sudden changes or contrasts.   

Do I need to use waterproof outdoor light fittings?

The simple answer is, yes! Exterior lighting is given an IP safety rating, which describes how much protection it offers against the ingress of moisture or foreign particles. 

For more sheltered spaces you can use an IP44 damp-rated fixture, but for those more exposed outdoor areas where there could be direct or indirect contact with rain, snow or salt air – including open style porches or verandas – you will need an IP65 wet-rated fixture. For truly exposed areas, such as coastal settings, we also recommend choosing a light fitting that’s made from a robust material such as brass


Use outdoor wall lights to create layers and accents 

Outdoor wall lights are a great choice for lighting an outside space. As well as providing  plenty of ambient lighting, they can also be placed at different heights and angles around your outside space to create different layers and accents. Downlighters and uplighters are perfect for highlighting interesting architectural features and providing interest and drama, as well as offering a softer light for relaxing or entertaining. (Find out more about layering light in our guide.) 

Our outdoor wall lights are available in a range of different styles and materials, from traditional style lanterns to sleek contemporary designs, so you can choose something that complements and extends your indoor lighting scheme. What’s more, most of our outdoor wall lights can also be used effectively indoors, helping to add to the sense of continuity.

View our outdoor wall lights. 

Use portable table lamps to bring the atmosphere outside

Table lamps are a lovely way of introducing warmth and atmosphere to a space. As well as providing practical task lighting, designer table lamps also add a beautiful decorative element. 

Our rechargeable table lamps are the ideal choice for linking your indoor and outdoor spaces. Being cordless, they’re completely portable, meaning that you can put them exactly where you need them, whether it’s on a balcony or veranda, in a porch or on a patio – and most of them are compatible with our vast range of designer lampshades, allowing you to provide true continuity across your indoor and outdoor spaces. 

Browse our portable table lamps.

Phileas rechargeable table lamp in antique brass finish

Use porch lighting to bridge your indoor and outdoor spaces

A porch acts as a threshold between your home and the outside world, and from a lighting point of view it provides a useful bridging space between the indoors and the outdoors. When choosing lighting for your porch, you should take into account the exterior style of the building and its surroundings, as well as your interior design scheme. By echoing elements of both, you can help to tie the indoor and outdoor spaces together.  

In an enclosed porch, matching outdoor wall lights can be used on both the inside and outside to great effect. In a more open or wraparound style of porch, a pair of wall lights flanking either side of the door, or a set of wall lights spaced along the external wall will provide a sense of warmth and ambience, helping to extend the inside outside. (Find out more about how to light a porch, in our guide.)

Use conservatory lighting to bring the outside in

A conservatory can be a great asset in helping to unite an indoor and outdoor space, and is often seen as a way of bringing the garden inside. However, while most conservatories are flooded with natural light during the daytime, when the sun goes down you can be left with something of a dark looming space outside, which can create a visual and aesthetic barrier.

With some well-placed lighting, you can use your conservatory to help bring your indoor and outdoor spaces together. By including some lower level lighting options, such as table lamps, as part of your conservatory lighting scheme, you can help to reduce the impact of reflections and contrasts at night. Meanwhile, adding some wall lights to the exterior house wall inside your conservatory and mirroring these on the external wall of your conservatory will extend your lighting scheme into the garden, improving both the view and the sense of continuity. 

You can further highlight your outdoor space with a set of recessed decking lights or path lights. Try illuminating the outer edges of the garden, or creating a fun walkway, with our Harlyn path light in aged brass, to really make a feature of your garden – whether you’re indoors or outdoors. 

Harlyn IP65 path light in aged brass


Pooky makes beautiful, affordable designer lighting for beautiful homes. Browse our full range of lamps and shades here.

See also:

How to light balconies and verandas

How to light a porch