I recently replaced the outside light at the back of our house. I put the old one up when we moved in almost 17 years ago so it had served us well. I personally am not keen on the really bright halogen types as I feel they are a bit invasive onto other properties, I might use one at the side of the house but not at the back which is fairly open and even then I would probably opt for the 10 watt LED version rather than the bright 500watt ones which some people used to surround their property with. What I opted for myself was a nicely discreet bulkhead type from Edwardes Bros electrical wholesalers which has a nice appearance and gives a good level of light without being too in your face and shouldn’t trouble the people at the back. I also chose a white one because it sits on the wall near the extractor fan outlet which is also white and I thought a black one would look slightly odd. It has a standard ES fitting so it will take a low energy bulb such as a 5Watt spiral which is equivalent to a 60watt GLS but using only 25% of the power. There is an LED version available too but I had a few ES Bulbs already so decided to be mean and use those up.
As well as the convenience of seeing where I am going I also like the feeling of extra security provided by good outdoor lighting and it doesn’t cost a fortune and if you did use the LED types which are now available they are pretty much a fit and forget item unless they get damaged somehow or other. The PIR sensors mean that the lights only shine when someone walks into their path so they are not burning all the time although you can also do that if you want to. Check it won’t annoy your neighbours if you are going to do that though.