You work hard to make your home and yard beautiful with a well-maintained roof, a fresh coat of paint, and appealing landscaping that complements the home. Both front and back yards are full of functional spaces to help you enjoy the outdoors. What happens when the sun goes down and the home and yard are plunged into darkness? Rather than living in the dark, spruce up your home and yard with a little light! Strategically planned outdoor lighting can maintain the beauty, interest, and functionality of your home and yard. The question then becomes: “How exactly do you strategically place outdoor lighting?” Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! At Illuminating Design, Inc., we want to share 4 of our favorite outdoor lighting design ideas for 2016 to help you create stunning and useful outdoor lighting.
One of the best things to do with outdoor lighting is to create interest using the architecture of the home and surrounding landscaping. Exterior accent lighting draws attention to the unique and beautiful features already present. A few great tips include downlighting, uplighting, and crosslighting. Downlighting creates diffuse light from above that is perfect to provide soft lighting to an area or highlight columns and stonework. Uplighting makes bold shadows by casting light on trees and bushes. It’s important to be careful with harsher lighting to ensure there aren’t areas of your yard that are dark creating a perfect place for animals and people to hide. Lastly, crosslighting aims two lights at a diagonal. This effect eliminates shadows while lighting trees, bushes, and sculptures.
Lights for Entertaining
Many homeowners love entertaining outdoors on patios, around pools, or in outdoor living spaces. One of our favorite lighting ideas for entertaining is using string lights. We’re not talking about blinking holiday lights. You can get outdoor string lights with larger white bulbs that add incredible charm to any setting. Many of these lights are housed in rustic iron decorations or whimsical holders that add style as well. These lights are easy to string between columns and trees. You can even crisscross them or make parallel lines over a patio for a blanket-of-stars effect. You might even consider stringing them beneath an umbrella for an unexpected twist. These lights can be put up and taken down, changed, or left up depending on your preference.
A popular trend is to use colored lighting to highlight landscape features. Colored lights can be tacky; however, the right hues of blues, greens, and purples can be the perfect highlight to different plants, bushes, and trees to create interest, texture, and diverse lighting to your yard. If you love color, another whimsical option is to use colored lanterns. These add colorful light that is softer than harsher white lights.
One of the most popular types of lighting for any outdoor lighting design today is a light-emitting diode or LED. These lights are bright, efficient, and last longer than regular bulbs. They are a more modern way of lighting not only handheld devices and car dashboards, but also plants, walkways, and patios.