The Art of Lighting and How to Elevate Your Outdoor Space

Landscape lighting strategically placed near shrubbery.

As summer arrives, it is time to elevate your outdoor space. You can enhance your comfort, enjoyment, and functionality on your deck, patio, or porch with updated lighting.

Lighting is an essential tool and one of the most important aspects of elevating outdoor spaces and achieving design goals. With the evolution of LEDs and advancements in fixture designs, exterior lighting can be taken to exciting new heights! Here are six tips and techniques to elevate your outdoor space with lighting.

1. Lighting Effects

Outdoor lighting installed among trees and planters.

Keep this thought in mind: The lighting should complement the design or outdoor attraction, not feel like an afterthought. Strategically placed lighting within the landscape or hardscape can reveal textures, colors, and depths in these spaces. Coordination with a landscape architect is essential to successfully integrating fixtures into benches, planter walls, tree canopies, and art elements.

2. Create Ambiance

Start by establishing a warm and inviting foundation with ambient lighting. Landscape lighting ideas include softly illuminated pathways, elegant sconces, and strategically placed bollard lights that can guide guests through your outdoor space. Consider warm-toned LED bulbs that mimic the gentle glow of summer’s warm and earthy hues.

Another option is to use tiki torches or candles to gently illuminate the space. Citronella candles will help to keep mosquitoes away on those warm summer nights.

3. Smart Lighting

For the best functionality, smart lighting is a must-have feature. With the touch of a button on your smartphone or tablet, you can adjust the intensity, color, and even the timing of your outdoor lights. Seamlessly transition from an intimate family gathering to a lavish soirée by customizing your lighting.

4. Illuminate with Solar Powered Lighting

A solar-powered light illuminating a pathway.

Solar-powered string lights are ideal for boosting the ambiance of your outdoor living spaces. These popular lights can be quite charming for patio and pool areas, porches, and outdoor dining areas. Unlike regular string lights, solar string lights require no electrical source and can be hung wherever you like, helping you save energy while beautifying your yard. Additionally, sconces can brighten entrances, patios, and outdoor seating areas. Mount these on walls or fences for energy-efficient lighting. Likewise, solar deck lights, when installed on railings, steps, or posts, can enhance safety while creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

5. Dim the Lights, Please

Dimming is an essential part of creating the perfect ambiance in your outdoor space. Dimmable lights can highlight key features such as trees, water features, and garden areas. Smart dimming allows you to control your lights with a smartphone, setting the mood with customized ambiance while saving on energy costs and extending the lifespan of your lights.

6. Add Some Color

Embrace the fun of color-changing lighting outdoors. It not only adds a glowing ambiance to your exterior but has the potential to increase your property value. Color changing lights are an attractive, modern feature for new home buyers.

Whether you are looking to make your home feel safer and more secure or just looking to jazz up your outdoor space, incorporating these lighting techniques will make a big difference.

Tammy Pitts, author of the blog article.

About the Author: Tammy Pitts has an extensive background in journalism, media relations, social media strategy, marketing, and brand management. She resides in Michigan with her family which includes her two sons and their Goldendoodle, Max. In her free time, she loves to read and travel.

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