Patio Lighting

Deck and Patio Lighting Techniques

6 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Patio Lighting

Light up the night and keep the party going. You’ve invested your time and money into making your outdoor living area as versatile as your indoor space. So why let that hard work disappear at nightfall. Flick the switch and let your outdoor lighting transcend your patio from darkness to light so you can enjoy your patio well into the night.

Layers of light are as important to designing a welcoming outdoor living area as they are to indoor spaces. Most landscape lighting today is low voltage so it’s safer and less costly to install.

Much of the success of exterior lighting hinges on its design. Use your lighting to mimic moonlight creating the “moonlight effect.” A look that is natural and features light no more intense than that of a full moon, but still strong enough to make beautiful shadows and intense highlights. If you are using strong standard-voltage lighting, consider installing dimmer switches so that you can soften the effect when you want.

Techniques that will help you make the most of your outdoor lighting:

  1. Position lights. This is a useful way to provide illumination without shining into people’s eyes. Place low-voltage lights lower than 2 feet above the ground and standard-voltage lights higher than 7 feet.
  2. Downlighting. Use lights that point downward to gently light up a patio or walkway, or to accent trees and shrubs.                   
Patio Lighting
Downlighting

3. Uplighting. Uplighting is dramatic because we expect light to shine downward. Used in moderation, it’s a great way to highlight architectural and landscaping features.

Patio Lighting
Uplighting

4. Spread Lighting. Use short downward-spreading lights not only to light up a path but to light up shrubbery or flowers.      

Patio Lighting
Spread Lighting

5. Silhouetting. To emphasize the shape of a tree, shrub, or bed of flowers, try aiming a spotlight or floodlight at a fence or wall from close behind the plant.

6. Tree Lighting. Whether illumined from below or given presence by a light mounted in the tree itself, trees make stunning features.

Types of Patio Lighting:

  • Path lights usually have shades that produce a wide, downward spread of light.
  • Lantern-type lights both illuminate paths and provide general lighting.
    Spotlights or floodlights can be swiveled to point at a feature or an area of the yard.
  • Brick lights are shaped to resemble a patio paver and are actually installed in the soil, where they point diffused light upward.          
    Patio Lighting
    Brick Lighting
  • Rope lights are strings of tiny, evenly spaced bulbs that can be hung from a tree like Christmas lights.
  • Deck lights can be fastened to a vertical structure such as an overhead or a trellis.

Take advantage of your outdoor living space. Illuminate your deck or patio with lighting options that fit your space, needs, and budget. There’s no limit to the effects lighting can achieve; a pleasing lighting scheme is all about artistry.