Below is a guest posting on you guessed it….OUTDOOR LIGHTING. Just like the interior of your home, a well thought out lighting plan for the exterior of your home is very important to successful design. I like to take cues for fun outside lighting ideas from restaurant patios and hotel/resort outside spaces. S Interior Design will often work with their clients to design the patio areas of their homes which essentially are extended living and entertaining spaces. Colors and even material selections are chosen to create visual flow from inside to outside. Here in Scottsdale, Arizona we want to use our outdoor ‘rooms’ year round.
All layers of lighting should be considered.
Functional – light the walk ways to the front door, light the address at the front of your home, the garage entry.
Accent lights- up lighting on trees and planting areas, lighting to define a specific area of the yard, wall sconces on back patio areas.
Fun design lighting elements such as the string lights shown below.
Outdoor table and floor lamps powered by solar and batteries also can be used when designing an outdoor living space.
Cool Outdoor DIY Lighting Tips and Ideas
Ever cruised or walked through a well-lit neighborhood at night and saw how outdoor lighting adds beauty to homes?
With outdoor lighting, you can create and enjoy a relaxed, well-lit space, which is especially handy when summer rolls in. Think barbecues with friends, star-gazing with your kids or significant other, backyard events. Night-time outdoor events create fond and lasting memories, especially when your outdoors is well illuminated.
DIY lighting tips
While it appears to be a daunting task, outdoor lighting can be done without any specialized knowledge or experience. You only need some ideas and creativity. So, here are some tips, advice, and ideas to get you going..
1. Use solar lights
Unless you don’t mind spending a significant amount of your monthly income on electricity bills, consider installing solar powered lights. Besides, they are easier to install and are good for the planet.
Solar lighting systems convert sunlight into energy that is stored in batteries for use at night. However, you need to consider your geographic location before installing outdoor solar lights – without enough sunlight, there won’t be energy to light up the bulbs at night.
2. Balance security and aesthetics
Whatever your reasons for outdoor lighting, they all revolve around security and aesthetics.
It is possible to achieve a balance between the two; lights that look good and provide enough illumination.
For starters, take a flashlight and take a walk around your home at night. Identify the dark areas that need to be illuminated for security reasons. Think about the type of lighting you need. Consider the types of light and the specific areas to place the light, such as pathways, patios, garage doors, among others.
3. Consider your neighbors
Like any good neighbor, there are two things you need to consider when placing outdoor lighting at your home.
First, the position of the lighting is essential. Please do not put the lights facing directly into your neighbor’s windows as this may create too much light at night, making it difficult to sleep.
Secondly, the brightness of the light should be taken into account. No one wants blazing spotlights facing their home. Fear not, there are some solutions. For example, installing epoxy flooring on your deck removes the need for high wattage lights as it is shiny and thus reflects light.
Remember, very bright lights consume a lot of energy, which only adds to your electricity bills.
4. Consider longevity
It will be costly to replace your outdoor lights every now and then. Don’t just go to the market and pick any bulb, no. Check the quality. Even if it costs more, you will save in the long run.
Go for outdoor lighting systems that require little or no maintenance – solar lights score high on this.
Outdoor lighting is exposed to harsh climatic conditions like rain, snow and harsh sunlight. So, look for solutions that are weather resistant. Alternatively, you can shield your lights using various materials.
What’s more, the bulbs can be stolen or destroyed by someone at night while you are asleep. Ensure that the lights are secured and protected against such conditions.
5. Color, style, and size
The color, size, and style of your lights come into play, especially if you are looking to decorate your home with outdoor lighting.
You can choose a single color or mix the colors to make your home more attractive. If you plan on using only a few bulbs, go for the larger ones. And again, the size will depend on the use of the light.
You can create different patterns or styles in different parts of your home. You can use outdoor lighting to direct your visitors/guests within your compound.
Best outdoor lighting ideas
These are lights that only point in one direction. If you want to illuminate your plants, patios, driveway, and statues, this is the best outdoor lighting solution for you. They come with an iris and a manual device, enabling you to change the intensity of the light and also adjust the angle of the beam.
Floodlights are very bright and can be used to illuminate a larger area. They are mostly placed above facing downwards to light up your patios, driveway, among other essential places in your home. These are great when you have a larger event happening in your backyard to lit up all corners.
Tired of guessing which step to make on your deck? Step lights are usually placed on the sides of each step to help you traverse safely.
String lights are pretty, especially when you are hosting a party or wedding at night. They are easy to install and are placed on poles or trees to create a picturesque scene. Most of them are weather-proof and can serve you for quite some time.
The above tips and ideas will help you light up your outdoors based on your needs. Whether you want to enhance the security of your home or to add some decor to your home, outdoor lighting makes it possible. And with the many variations of lighting solutions, there is no excuse to stay in the dark.