Your outdoor space isnít meant to be enjoyed solely during daylight hours anymore! With a little crafty lighting and creative placement ideas, you can enjoy your space far into the evening hours. Use these quick tips to transform your open-air space into a well-lit sanctuary for relaxation and entertaining:
1) Candles add elegance to any setting.
Strategically placed candles can add a charm and grace to any atmosphere, but when brought to the outdoors they can bring an unmatched elegance. Beyond the basic candle-in-a-jar, there are wonderful ways to incorporate candles into your outdoor space. Luminaries are a delicate and easy way to dress up a simple tea light. A basic brown paper bag can be cut and decorated to create beautiful twinkling lights and shadows. This can also make for a fun and easy craft for the kids! Add a scoop of gravel, sand or cat litter in the bottom of the bag for stability from wind.
Be innovative in your candleholders and use what you have around you. For example, clean flowerpots or clay pots of all shapes and sizes can accommodate a variety of candles. Likewise, create your own hanging candleholders by adding wire to your glass jars. Hang these baskets in the trees around your outdoor space for magical elegance. If you have a space with water, floating candles make a perfectly whimsical use of any pool, pond, or waterscape.
Finally, not only can candles bring beauty and elegance to your space, but they also have a functional use. When citronella-scented, candles can keep away pesky bugs. You and your guests will appreciate your pest-free, delicately lighted space.
2) Lighting placement is key.
Traditionally people assumed that outdoor lighting meant a spotlight off of a garage or deck. In fact, placement of outdoor lighting can range from a spotlight on lawn art, gardens, and waterscapes; silhouetting by placing behind an object; or tucked away to illuminate a secret garden path. You can entice guests to steal away to enjoy a quiet space in a corner of your yard. When placed around a pathway, consider solar lighting as an efficient and affordable lighting solution. Another tip to keep in mind is to place your outdoor lights such that your guest will not be distracted or blinded by a strong light. Lowering the voltage is a great way to ensure that you are not overdoing it, and can create a more romantic setting.
3) Go beyond the ordinary.
There are a wonderful variety of alternatives to outdoor lighting that you may want to consider for your space. Torches, from the traditional bamboo tiki to the elegant and sturdy wrought iron, are a popular means of creating lighting more substantial than a candle, while still maintaining an ambiance of leisure. Torches can be staked to line the perimeter of your space, walkways, waterscapes or pools, and gardens. Smaller versions called torchets can be placed more intimately on tabletops or deck railings. Torches can come in candle or oil-burning form. Use citronella candles and oil in your torches for the added benefit of pest control.
Electric lighting has also come a long way for the out-of-doors. Outdoor quality lighting can include tube lights, lanterns, and decorative strands. When placed in areas such as around walkways, inside patio umbrellas or party tents, and in trees and bushes, these forms of lighting can transform a regular space into an outdoor oasis. There are even outdoor chandeliers that provide for a more elegant lighting appeal.
4) Lighting creates safety.
Perhaps most importantly of all is the benefit of safety that comes with good lighting. Features such as motion-sensored spotlights and built-in walkway lighting can be as important as having good locks on your doors. While itís fun to add the above lighting tips for your occasional recreational purposes, more permanent fixtures should also be a part of your outdoor space. Donít skimp on the quality of lighting, as it is important to have sturdy and reliable products.