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Outdoor Lighting Design Guide

April 18, 2014 Categories: Home Renovation Tips

In this post, you'll learn ...

  • Different outdoor lighting options
  • What to consider when adding light to your deck, patio or outdoor room
  • How to identify your outdoor lighting style

Light is a key aspect to any outdoor living space. By crafting your own lighting, your space can become a unique expression of your style. Here are some landscape lighting design tips to help you work through this process:

1. Get in Touch with Your Imagination

Outdoor Lantern Decorations

One of the most exciting parts of the outdoor lighting design process is the creativity involved. There are a bunch of different ways you can light your home. Sit down and brainstorm what you would like. As part of this process, you may need to seek some inspiration. Search online for some images and see what appeals most. Here is our lighting inspiration guide.

2. Become Familiar with Major Lighting Techniques

As any good lighting design guide should explain, there are a number of specific effects which light can create. The first is highlighting. This technique uses a spotlight at the bottom of the desired feature. Then through adjusting the angle of this spotlight, you can highlight different aspects of the feature.

Another technique is silhouetting. This involves placing a spotlight behind the specific feature. This allows you to create an illuminated backdrop.

Finally, the shadowing technique is very important in outdoor lighting. Shadowing is similar to silhouetting, but instead of aiming the light to create a distinct outline, shadowing involves creating a softer shadow. This effect is particularly effective when lighting plants that have delicate foliage.

3. Commit to Your Style

A well-lit outdoor space will make use of a number of different techniques, especially when you carry the look throughout the space. The particular combination for your home will depend on things such as the architectural features you wish to highlight, the type and variety of foliage on your property and your personal tastes. You may choose to take a minimalist approach with few lighting elements, or you may want to make a statement by drawing attention to one specific feature. Other styles include the safety approach which goes for high visibility, and the symmetrical approach which seeks to maintain an equal balance between all features. Learn more here.

4. Consider Types of Lighting

Outdoor Lighting Decor

There are a number of different types of lights to use in your outdoor space. One particularly popular type is known as CAST lighting. CAST is popular because these lights balance beauty with safety and security. In addition, these lights are long lasting and reasonably priced. Other types of lighting to consider include Philips and Lemnis Lighting.

5. Consider the Function of Your Space

Different parts of your outdoor space may have a different functions. When coming up with patio design ideas, it’s important to consider how you want to use the space. If you like to relax on your patio with friends in the evening, you may want to take a more relaxed lighting approach. This may mean going for a minimalist lighting solution, or selectively using the highlighting technique. Too many lights, or an overly complex lighting design for your patio may undermine how you want to use the space. It’s important that your light design complements your space’s needs. For example, you may want to ensure that everyone can easily see your deck to avoid unexpected tumbles. In this case, you may be interested in emphasizing the safety approach to lighting.

Ultimately, designing your outdoor lighting solution is a fun process full of opportunity and creativity. Express yourself and explore the many options that are suited for your home.

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