The season of outdoor entertaining is officially upon us! We’re here to show you how to best embrace the outdoors this season with a beautifully lit exterior space. Here are a few ideas to help you create an outdoor experience at your home this year.
It’s no secret that a first impression is a lasting impression- especially when it comes to the exterior of your home. Exterior lighting provides your guests their first warm welcome and leads them directly into the comforts of your home. The lighting you have outside your front door should not only be an extension of your home’s style, but should be scaled appropriately to the size of your entrance. Here are a couple of tips to help you get started:
- The standard suggested height from the center of your light source to the threshold of your door is 66″.
- If you have two light fixtures flanking either side of your front entrance, then the recommended length of the fixture chosen should equal approximately 1/4 the height of your door.
- If you have only one light fixture mounted by your front entrance, then you should select a fixture size that is closer to 1/3 the overall height of your door.
Watch this short video from Hinkley Lighting, as they explain these sizing guidelines in further detail.
With our outdoor entertaining season being more limited here in the Midwest, it’s important to really maximize the time we are able to enjoy our backyard environments by creating spaces that feel like a continuation of the indoors. Outdoor living spaces allow us to unplug from the hustle bustle of our busy lives and connect again with nature. In a world filled with constant distraction, it has become more important for people to have opportunities at home to literally disconnect from technology and create more peaceful environments to entertain and relax within. Beauty and comfort are equally important in these spaces.
The addition of an outdoor ceiling fan in your patio area can create a refreshing breeze on those humid Summer evenings. Having additional wall mounted exterior fixtures on the sides of your home and garage, near your outdoor seating areas, can be beneficial while hosting evening events where extra illumination is necessary for tasks. Have you ever thought about a chandelier over that patio table? The options of exterior rated, decorative lighting fixtures continue to grow- and YES, there are now several outdoor chandelier and pendant fixtures available! How about those nights where you just need a little bit of ambiance? A strand or two of outdoor string lights can really transform your backyard from boring to blissful. Whatever your backyard vision may be, additional lighting elements such as these can provide ambiance and comfort for your family and guests, allowing you to better enjoy your outdoor environment well into the evening hours.
Beyond lighting your deck and patio spaces, accenting the natural elements of your exterior environments can create enchantment and drama in your backyard. After all, the goal is for your finished yard to be an extension of your home, so don’t let design fall by the wayside! Illuminate paths and define walkways and border gardens with landscape lighting. You can also use landscape lighting to wash stonework and exterior architectural elements, or highlight large trees, shrubs and trellises. Step lighting is another great way to provide accent lighting to your exterior areas, as well as provide safety and serve as an aid in navigation. The use of LED tape lighting is another nice touch to incorporate underneath hand railings, ledges or stairs. This interplay of light and shadow in outdoor spaces creates visual interest and evening enchantment. Plus, having a few different lighting layers available will give you more overall options and lighting control while trying to set the perfect mood for whatever the occasion.
THE EFFICIENCY EFFECT
All of this added exterior illumination does not need to drastically drive up your energy bill. Since outdoor lighting elements are typically left on for many hours at a time, it is important to consider using LED technology in your outdoor lighting design. The new LED product offerings available are low maintenance and cost effective. Did you know- most LED outdoor products available today have a life expectancy of 40,000 hours (15 years) and are 75% more energy efficient than their incandescent predecessors? The savings provided by this modern-day technology can really add up, and take much of the fixture maintenance out of the equation. You will be able to just sit back and enjoy the beautiful environment that you have created. Now, what could be better than that?
So…what are you waiting for? Visit our showroom to get started on your exterior illumination project this year! We’ll make sure that your backyard is more than just an ordinary space- we’ll help make it an outdoor experience.
PHOTO CRED: CAPITAL LIGHTING FIXTURE CO., FEISS-SHOWHOUSE, HINKLEY LIGHTING, KICHLER LIGHTING, BULBRITE.