Spring to late summer: As soon as the weather is dry, the sun is shining and the temperatures are reasonably pleasant, a balcony or terrace is worth its weight in gold. Staying in your apartment and still being able to outside ensure a lot of quality of life. Especially with good light.
The balcony, loggia, and terrace offer us a private space in the fresh air. During the day you can enjoy the sun here, in the evening you can let the day end here in peace. With the latter in particular, a good lighting concept can provide even more coziness, if you are know-how. Because even if candles and lanterns are romantic and beautiful to look at, they are not a real substitute for outdoor lights.
Lighting on the terrace and balcony: pay attention to the protection class
Whether as an “open-air living room”, a good weather alternative for the dining room, a small garden replacement, or simply as a space for relaxing and reading: balconies, terraces, and loggias extend the living space to the outside. It is a place in the fresh air, which nevertheless belongs to the apartment and is therefore private and intimate. The light ensures a greatly increased quality of stay here: When used correctly, it enables orientation, conveys a feeling of security, and supports a homely atmosphere. Provided the lights are well protected.
Because since the outdoor area is sometimes more, sometimes less exposed to the weather, not all lights are suitable for use there. It is worth taking a look at the so-called protection class, abbreviated with the letters IP (for "Ingress Protection"): The following two numbers indicate how well the housing is against foreign objects such as dust and dirt (first digit) and water (second digit) is secured. Outside there should be at least a degree of protection of IP44, which protects the luminaire from splashing water as well as against foreign objects that are larger than a millimeter, which also includes many insects. Depending on the area of application, better water protection is sometimes necessary.
With the right degree of protection, however, nothing stands in the way of a harmonious lighting concept for balconies, terraces, and loggias. Because by being close to the house or apartment, they in a certain way allow the best of both worlds: Depending on the structural conditions, (outdoor) wall lights or ceiling lights are used, which are naturally out of the question in gardens. At the same time, planters and (raised) beds are ideal for floor spotlights, which are rarely used to illuminate interiors.
The right light extends the living space outwards
However, one should get rid of the obstacle of the power supply, in a double sense. Outdoor lights also need electricity, and this needs to be planned in good time - be it through outlets for wall and ceiling lights, or cleverly placed sockets. Another danger must be avoided with mobile lights: the power cables must not become a trip hazard! Battery lights solve this challenge in an elegant way, especially in the form of solar battery lights that are predestined for outdoor use.
The lighting of balconies and terraces has a similar function to the lighting of a garden, albeit on a smaller scale: The light structures the outside area with targeted optical accents. As a result, it expands the living space to the outside in the dark: the increased luminance reduces the reflections on the window panes, which usually dominate the view from the inside, and thus makes the outside area perceptible in the first place. But the light does not only develop its effect after sunset: the higher brightness sets attention points and thus subtly attracts the islands of light.
Finally, when it comes to lighting balconies and terraces, there is another aspect that must be considered: human and animal communities. Disturbing glare or unsolicited lighting in the garden, balcony, and the apartment next door can quickly spark debates about balcony railings and garden fences. Mutual respect and consideration are the highest commandments here. Nature, the keyword "light pollution" - does not always cope well with continuous lighting. A good lighting consultant will consider all these needs and develop a harmonious lighting concept.