Summer electrical trends from The Block’s Dave Franklin

29 January 2021

 As the temperatures rise, Dave Franklin has shared some tips for those thinking of undertaking some electrical work.

Key trends in residential outdoor living this summer

One of the biggest residential trends this summer is the integrated backyard barbeque and living area. There’s also been a shift to a more informal look, with inbuilt seating and smaller, low tables over the big outdoor dining area. What we’re trying to create is a bar area that comes off the barbeque that you can sit and enjoy during summer. A shovel or laser level from Kennards Hire are what’s needed to start, along with the classic carpentry tools like nail guns and compressors. With travel off the cards, people are investing their extra cash in their pool and backyard areas so that they can enjoy them over the holidays.

Summer trends relevant to electricians 

Lighting is one of the things that we are designing a lot more. Festoon lighting has become quite popular to bring an emotional side to the space and lighten up the area in a way that’s a bit different. Previously it was common to use strip lighting, however there is now the preference for a more subtle look that isn’t in your face and softens the area. Being overhead, it adds a nice, classic touch that we’re seeing used a lot more in 2020. An uplight, or a garden spike light is great for the garden to create a beautiful ambiance and highlight the silhouettes of the trees. When running a lighting cable you can get a trenching machine or an excavator from Kennards Hire to do the trenches. Depending on the size of your job, scaffolding or a ladder will help with installing the overhead lighting with ease.

How do these trends differ from previous summers

Previously people would come home and look at garden through the window. But after spending more time at home last year, people want to actually get out in the garden – so they need a space that they can enjoy. There was a huge amount of sales in garden lighting and redesigning backyards for this purpose last year and we’re seeing this continue into 2021.

Advice to electricians to help them make the most of these new trends and upsell clients

Electricians have now got a lot better at reading the landscape. They already have great knowledge on how to light things up, but the key is to make it subtle. It’s important that electricians have solid understanding of the plan and design of the yard. Have a look around and see what features need to be highlighted, such as a water feature or trees. For under bench or seating lighting, its best to floodlight the paving as strip lighting will reveal any dirt or pet hair that sits underneath. The key takeaway is to understand what you are lighting up and what the actual plan of the backyard is.

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