Use outdoor lighting to enhance your outdoor living spaces with outdoor architectural lighting, outdoor accent lighting, and outdoor entry lighting to highlight and complement your homes architectural style and to create the perfect setting for all your outdoor rooms .
The type of outdoor lighting we chose can enhance the enjoyment of our living spaces. We enjoy picking out just the right lamp, chandelier, or recessed lighting fixture for the rooms in our homes. We even have the option of changing the mood or setting of the room by adjusting the amount of light with a simple dimmer.
It seems we may unintentionally tend to focus our attention mainly on our indoor lighting. But we can take these ideas and apply them to our outdoor living. Whether we use architectural lighting (light fixtures that are installed on houses, garages, and lamp posts) or accent/landscape lighting ( low voltage lighting used to create highlights in the outdoors by casting a wash of light onto houses and selected plants, or lighting pathways) we can add some ambiance to our yards and gardens that we enjoy in our houses.
Indeed, just as lighting in our houses makes the rooms more interesting, it does the same for the outdoors. Being able to be outside on a lighted patio, porch, or deck after dark allows us to see the elements of our yard that would ‘disappear’ into the darkness without the soft glow of a nearby light. The colors and textures of these elements can still be appreciated with the proper illumination.
How great is it to have more time to spend outside. You actually get more usage out of your outdoor spaces. And this comes in handy especially when entertaining. With the cooperation of good weather, the lighted outdoor areas of the yard can extend the mingling room, blending the indoors and outdoors.
Outdoor Lighting for Your House Style
For architectural continuity, when selecting outdoor light fixtures, you may want to keep in mind the architectural style of your house, so that you purchase fixtures that complement the style, especially if your house is of a distinctive architectural period. This not only enhances the aesthetics of your home, but when well done, enhancements like this may add value to your home. Also, if your budget allows for it, consider replacing any weathered or dated fixtures, or any that are not architecturally compatible with your house.
Architectural light fixtures come in a variety of designs and many have special types of glass panels or globes that will create unique lighting effects and interesting patterns that add to the character of the lighting fixture.
These special glass types are manufactured to achieve these intrinsic effects. Some of the types of glass that produce these illuminating results are known as seeded (a replication from America’s colonial times), hammered, textured, fluted, wavy, beveled edge, and frosted. Each of these will produce a somewhat different effect, such as diffusion of the light, a softened illumination, and interesting deflection patterns for an eye-catching play of light.
If these glass types sound like something you are looking for, there are many sources, like lighting catalogues, and a visit to a local lighting store, that can help you familiarize yourself with the appearance and inherent lighting effects of these and other glass types.
Enjoying Your Yard in the Evenings
Earlier, we mentioned accent lighting as another means to add interesting light to our outdoors. With accent lighting, the play of light originates not from the glass cover of the fixture, but from the wash of light that the fixture can produce that is cast onto an object such as a tree, the stonework of a wall, a flower covered trellis, or a selected area of the house, where interesting shading, highlighting, or shadowing effects are produced.
This type of lighting is a great way to extend the enjoyment of special features in your yard that would go unnoticed after dark. It also allows for you to view and enjoy your yard from inside your house.
Think about enhancing the outdoors of your home with the presence of light in the same way you think about indoor lighting. The amount of light, it’s brightness and softness, the placement of the fixtures (whether to draw attention to a particular spot or just for general illumination), are all important considerations.
For the best illuminating effects, be sure to keep your outdoor light fixtures clean. They will require cleaning more often than indoor fixtures. And their welcoming glow will leave a great first impression when guests visit your home.