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Last updated: June 24, 2020 • Home Improvement

Outdoor Lighting

When you own a backyard you have a chance to enjoy the sun whenever you want. You just go out, lie on a lawn chair, or even on the grass, and sunbathe away. Another great thing that you can do in your backyard is invite friends over and have a barbecue while not having to worry about a curfew. This is why it is important that you feel comfortable at any time. So what are you going to do when, as the sun sets, a branch from a tall tree casts an eerie shadow or the bush next to the barbecue spooks your party as it moves in the wind? Fear of darkness isn’t only common in children. The atmosphere can easily sustain its hospitality with some outdoor lighting and there are many ways in which you can light up specific areas in your backyard. This won’t only make the area more inviting but it will also make it safer.

Take a look at your backyard. Do you like it? Does it make you want to spend your late afternoons there? Have a romantic dinner? Enjoy the night sky? If the answer is No to all of the questions above then you should get starting soon as summer is right around the corner. There are some easy ways to make all those answers become a Yes with just a few steps. If you would like to be able to enjoy your spring, summer and/or autumn nights in your backyard then get your notebook out and start scribbling. Just a few dollars well spent can transform your backyard into a meadow where the fireflies are replaced by lovely lights. Get ready for outdoor dinners, parties with friends, stargazing and relaxing with the soothing outdoor lighting of your choice in your upgraded backyard.

Outdoor lighting ideas

Once you decide to invest in some outdoor lighting ideas you’ll spend hours trying to decide what kind of outdoor lighting works best for you. There are many options available which is why you have to establish what kind of atmosphere you want in your backyard. Outdoor lighting adds value to your home from an aesthetic point of view, but the warmth and comfort it provides will add value to your life. This is why we looked over a few ideas for outdoor lighting so that you can easily make your backyard an oasis where you can relax alone or surrounded by family and friends after a long day’s work.

Nightfall should not put a stop to any late-night activities that you would want to enjoy. With a few well-placed lights you’ll be able to keep the backyard party going long after the sun has set and the children have gone to bed. 

String lighting

hanging decorative lights

If you’re looking for something to ensure that your backyard has a calm and soothing atmosphere, you should look into string lighting as it is soft, warm and it sparks an intimate atmosphere that’s perfect for entertaining guests in the evening. Without being too posh or too elegant, nor too bright it is very welcoming and inviting for great warm evenings in the middle of the summer. Your patio can be covered with a canopy of string lights hung from the ceiling or with the help of wooden poles. Make yourself a perfect dining area outside with a few strands of string lighting for a tent-light effect which is great for outdoor parties. Hanging strings of light between trees and your home will make every night a starry night. For added relaxation, install a hammock between two trees and swing gently beneath the canopy for a cozy evening. You can even look into lights that run on batteries, rechargeable solar batteries, or solar garden lights so that you don’t have cables running through the backyard. Like that you won’t have to worry about extension cords or electrical outlets. They can be a hazard for those accident prone. 

Downlighting

light bulb hanging on a branch at night

This kind of lighting will accentuate the areas where you want more focus. If you have big trees in your backyard, down lighting will work best especially if you hang it from a high branch and aim the light at a target. The target can be a sitting area, a table, a place where you want more visibility. In case you don’t have a taller tree from which to hang the light, you can always use the side of your house. Similar to string lights, downlighting gives a warm and intimate aspect without giving off a beaming glare. It is comfortable, soothing and it fits with relaxing nights spent in the warm summer temperatures. It combines perfectly with path lighting, which we’ll be covering later, as it can enhance your light projection. If you really want your backyard to look like it’s been done by a professional landscape designer, try Moonlighting. If you want to mimic the way that moonlight falls through the leaves or branches of trees all you have to do is find the right angle, up in a tree. This creates a pattern of shadows on the ground that gives an amazing natural aspect. Just place light fixtures high up in trees at a downward angle with 4 to 6 watt LED lights that have a color temperature no higher than 4000K.

Architectural lighting

arhitectural design

While the proper terminology is landscape lighting it doesn’t necessarily have to accentuate the landscape. In order to accentuate a beautiful architecture, you can use lighting beyond the landscape and bring some elements of architecture into focus. This is best done with LED lighting placed on the ground, close to the foundation of your home, making it more rooted in the architecture itself. This kind of lighting will enhance architectural elements and also make the property safer by being able to see everywhere around your house. It helps to brighten up your home while, at the same time, making it look cozier and more dramatic. With architectural lighting, you can capture certain architectural features all-around your home making it look more imposing and elegant. While architecture with different curves and sculptures is visibly enhanced by architectural lighting, the same can be done with more modern architecture, so don’t let the style of your home deter your lighting agenda.

Path lighting

If you worry about finding your path at night, why not invest in some light fixtures that will lighten the path for you? Here you can easily go with some LED solar spotlights so that you don’t have to worry about wiring. They can be activated by motion detectors which will only add to the safety of your home. Another option would be strips of hidden LED lights following the angles in stairs or the paved path to your house. Like this it would be easy to find your way. Seniors might struggle in the dim light and outdoor lighting is a bonus for the elderly. At the same time, you’ll be made aware if anyone else is circling around your home when they shouldn’t. Outdoor lighting, especially the one focused in the front of your home does help deter crime and can also be used for security. It is less likely anyone who isn’t supposed to will get close to a home that has an outdoor lighting system, especially if it had motion detectors implemented in the system.

Security lighting

garage basketball hoop at night

As mentioned above, outdoor lighting can work as a crime deterrent for your home and it’s one security system that is easy to implement. Here we can get into details about motion detector lighting. Done correctly, this can diminish or completely eliminate criminal acts in or around your property. Like that, it will add to the safety factor that everyone wants to be as enhanced as possible when it comes to their home. The best kind of lighting, in this case, is the brightest backyard lighting that you can find which is a vital element in catching a perpetrator by surprise, so find a light that also works with motion detectors. Like this, whenever a burglar or disruptive animal comes close to your home, the light will more likely scare them away in seconds. It is better to install a powerful 120-Volt lighting system in high areas such as a second story or above the garage door in order to cast as wide a beam of light as possible. This light beam should be targeted in the main areas of transit like the paths that lead to the house or the entrance to your backyard. Be advised that with powerful lighting you can cover a wider area so the beams can be focused on the whole yard. You have to be careful, however, that the beam does not hit bedroom windows as the light might be disruptive in the middle of the night.

Does outdoor lighting deter crime?

security light next to guarded window

The simple answer would be Yes. Anyone with malicious intent is less likely to approach a highly lit house. They would have no place to hide and cower if the front, back and sides of the building are covered in light. It would be that much more difficult to approach a house unseen if the house lights up when they reach a certain point on the pathway and engulfs the person in a strong beam of light. 

Landscape lighting is a good investment, but it is an investment nonetheless. If you’re looking into some outdoor lighting for your patio or backyard you’re probably wondering about the budget. House maintenance isn’t always easy but it is best to keep your home in the best shape. But how much does outdoor lighting cost? 

The price can vary depending on what kind of outdoor lighting you want to use. The least expensive would be string lighting that can even be coupled with some DIY ideas, but the cost doesn’t go higher than $30 for one string of lights. However, outdoor lighting costs for a whole backyard can be much higher than that. For an average-sized yard, you would require a number of approximately 20 light fixtures. The outdoor lighting cost can go for an average of $1,500-$2,000, but the price can go even higher. It depends on the quality of light fixtures, or whether or not you’re working with a landscaping company.
An outdoor lighting system can be considered a must-have essential for a great and safe backyard. Considering the fact that outdoor lighting does help deter crime, it is a wise investment that will not only keep you and your family safer but also ensure a comfortable atmosphere in your backyard at night for spending time with your family and friends.

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