Lighting Up the Outdoors
With people beginning to realize the potential to expand their living spaces into their backyards, they are exploring their options with regards to decorating these new-found places, and of course, lighting them up. Good lighting is essential to maximize the use of the space, whatever its assigned purpose. The trend in outdoor lighting is with LEDs,
which lead the way in creating a great effect, without too much light. On the other hand, a reflector light is designed to emit plenty of light. There are differences between the two, with the latter using a 35 W lamp as opposed to the former using just one watt.
Using up-lights is a wonderful way to create drama in the backyard. However, it’s best to use low voltage lighting for various reasons, and to mount the fixture with a strap device.
For more interest, go with artisan lights in your evening landscape. They can light up a dining area or path.
Installing small spotlights can put the fountain on display, and you can even go a step further with underwater lighting, specifically designed for this purpose.
For a romantic feel, use Chinese lanterns, and for more exotic atmosphere, opt for Tiki torches.
Some light fixtures will require them to be hidden from sight in order to provide that special effect you’re going for. An easy way to get around this is to pile rocks around the fixture, resulting in light ever so gently peeking out, that will make the stones look absolutely gorgeous.
Use a string of lights or rope light under an umbrella to eliminate the seating area around the table and create a wonderful atmosphere.
Successful Landscape Lighting Begins with a Plan
Develop a plan before you invest in any landscape lighting. The first thing to consider the purpose of the actual space that means eliminating. Sometimes, this will call for a romantic setting, while other times it’s all about security reasons. Any plan needs to be on paper, or digitally laid out, if you’re more up to date with the times. Whatever the case, sketch your yard, including various elements that are already existing, such as trees and other plantings, decorative features, a garden shed, and so on. Each item must be clearly marked with its estimated height.
Next, decide how specific locations will be used in the backyard. For example, you may want to incorporate a new outdoor kitchen, dining room, and living room, all of which will require their own individual lighting solutions. Once you determine the purpose for the different rooms, the rest of the plan should easily unfold.
Keep in mind that any wonderfully decorated area, be it indoors or out, requires a focal point. For instance, you may have a pond that can be lit up with aquatic lights that naturally draws the eye. Alternatively, you may have or are considering installing a water fountain. It can be the focal point if a spotlight puts it on display when the sun sets.
Lighting up an Outdoor Dining Room
An outdoor dining room can be treated just as one would be indoors. Having said that, a beautiful chandelier that is built for outdoor conditions would be ideal to adding glamor and beauty to the space. Stringed lights around the perimeter of the “room” add more ambient lighting and create borders to the space.
An inspiring idea for an outdoor dining room involves the dining table and chairs under a string-lit canopy with torch light surrounding the space. Guests can be led to the table with garden solar lights that guide them accordingly. Don’t forget candles, hurricane lamps, and other natural light sources throughout the space to provide more illumination and create the right atmosphere.
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