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Ideas and Inspiration

Outdoor Lighting Ideas to Extend Living Space

Create a summer resort in the privacy of your own backyard or “add-on” living space by turning the deck or patio into an outdoor room. A few creative outdoor lighting ideas can transform an outdoor area into a relaxing retreat that restores serenity, encourages quality-time with the family and brings friends together. It’s all about setting the mood with lighting.

Outdoor rooms are an extension of the home. But it requires special planning to create a space that is inviting, relaxing and meets the needs of individual family members.

Here are a few outdoor lighting ideas to create the perfect setting.

Safety First

It’s essential to make outdoor spaces accessible and safe. Post mounted outdoor lamps brighten doorways, steps and walkways to help visitors navigate unfamiliar territory at night. Older people and those with reduced vision will especially appreciate having their paths well-illuminated. Use motion-activated flood lights, timers and photo-cells to make sure lights are on when they’re needed the most. Outdoor lamps not only add warmth and radiance to a home, they help to mitigate the risk of injury due to falls and improve personal security at night.

Outdoor Rooms

Outdoor rooms like indoor spaces are an extension of the homeowner’s individual taste and design capability. Today’s outdoor lighting is durable, affordable and available in a wide range of finishes and styles, giving homeowners tremendous freedom to conceptualize outdoor rooms in ways never before possible. A great selection of hanging outdoor lights, post mounted lights and task lighting provides an abundance of options.

– Small patios and balconies may serve several functions. Create a private oasis for reading the morning paper with hanging outdoor lights, such as outdoor mini pendant lights. For romantic evening hours, turn on wall mounted lanterns to spread a warm glow with subtle ambient illumination.

– Backyard decks or porches are often the entertainment hub where friends and family gather. Outdoor furniture, outdoor accessories and outdoor lights should work in unison for an atmosphere conducive to task-oriented activities such as food preparation and dining, as well as leisure-oriented activities such as socializing and lounging.

– Wall-mounted deck sconces, under bench deck lights and deck step lights are the perfect lighting for evening entertaining, as well as midnight stargazing. Their low wattage and stylish design provide the glow and charm that make the deck a favorite place to relax and enjoy warm summer breezes.

– Other outdoor rooms. Outdoor rooms aren’t always gazebos, decks or patios; they can be as simple as a bench in a garden, a trellis or arbor gate, or a grouping of plants around a fountain or birdbath. Low voltage landscape lighting tucked into the foliage adds drama and enchantment to outdoor rooms or secret gardens. Decorative path lights accent special landscape features and spread soft illumination along walkways, and they are available in styles from whimsical to classic traditional.

Dark Sky and Light Pollution

One additional consideration when working in your outdoor lighting ideas is the impact the lighting will have on your neighbors and the degree of “light pollution” created. The amount of light that is considered “excessive” may be a personal point of view, but take care to preserve the natural environment for nocturnal creatures and stargazers alike and select outdoor lamps designed to minimize glare and light pollution.