In today’s sluggish economy, it’s no surprise that consumers seem more interested in enhancing and upgrading their homes rather than moving or buying new. In addition to sprucing up their homes’ interiors, many homeowners are looking to the space beyond their four walls as a source of inspiration. Extending a home’s living area to the outside world is gaining in popularity across the country evidenced by an increase in the number of outdoor kitchens, spacious patios, multilevel decks, expanded greens and water features.
The key to making these outdoor spaces comfortable, conducive to the family’s living style ,compatible with the home’s design and safe -- is lighting. From ambient and landscape lighting to spotlights, wall lights, pendant lights and lanterns, there are many options to consider as you plan your space. Just keep in mind that over-lighting, a common consumer mistake, can produce a distracting glare, a busy, unattractive “look.” Choosing the right lights and with the proper planning, you will see the great effects and not the glare of the fixtures.
Here are a few ideas to help shine a light on your outdoor space plans:
- Light the way indoors or out with subtle path lights for a safe yet soothing stroll.
- If you’re looking to bring the flavor of the kitchen outdoors, consider stylish, low voltage fixtures to light your cooking areas. A flush mount adaptor allows you to plug in several varieties of fixtures and when not in use, the lights can be unplugged and conveniently stored.
- Consider outfitting your deck with small lights that fit under handrails or steps or that mount to posts or pillars, to add visual drama and an element of safety.
- Showcase gardens with area lights or well lights around shrubs to create artistic flair and dimension.
- Capture the beauty of waterscapes with underwater lights that will keep you mesmerized long into the night.
When considering outdoor lighting, place lights where you need them for safety and security and where you want them to create a “room” that’s inviting and comfortable. Remember, the lighting effect is what you want to see and not the light source itself.
By Tom Nash, Lighting Specialist at Sea Gull Lighting, a leading manufacturer and marketer of decorative and functional lighting for residential, commercial and architectural applications.