Does your Backyard need a Facelift? Start with the Lighting!

outdoor lighting

When homeowners start thinking about updating their backyard decor, new patio furniture is often at the top of the list. But that can be a hefty investment.  Many times, simply updating lighting plans and adding new fixtures can dramatically change the look and style of an outdoor space. 

What’s New?

When shopping for outdoor lighting, you’ll quickly see that today’s technology has improved dramatically from the old-school landscape lighting that most of us are familiar with.  Those cheap, plastic outdoor spotlights have been replaced with sleek LED and solar-powered fixtures that are beautiful and simple to install.  They’re truly plug and play!  And, the light emitted from the new solar fixtures is so clean and bright you’ll have a hard time telling the difference between those and the hard-wired styles.  

Here are some of our favorite new products. They are categorized in the three three primary categories for outdoor lighting: functional, accent and mood lighting.  Hopefully these ideas and photos will inspire you to update your own outdoor living room.

Functional Lighting

Safety always comes first.  But just because the lighting is functional, doesn’t mean that it has to be boring.  Consider adding cool pathway lights next to sidewalks to safely lead guests to your backyard.  Choose from low profile, contemporary lights or make a statement with decorative stakes (solar powered styles just push into the ground!)  To highlight cooking areas, metal pendant lights are a great solution.  Hang a grouping of smaller pendants over grilling islands to give you ample light to check food and grill temperatures. Or, for hard-to-reach places that are not hard wired, select a colorful solar light fixture to illuminate the area.  

Accent lighting

Decorative accent lighting can help set a casual or whimsical tone in defined spaces.  For the dining table, select a large-scale solar pendant as chandelier.  It can be hung from an offset base or installed on a pergola cross-bar over the middle of the table.  In larger spaces, consider draping LED edison bulb strings around the perimeter of the yard or try zig-zagging the lengths in a diagonal pattern over the area.  Another option is to use cluster lights along fencing or as a backyard border.  It creates a magical feel, almost as if hundreds of fireflies are buzzing around. 

Mood Lighting

Nothing creates a cozy, intimate environment better than an outdoor fireplace or fire pit.  Lounging outside, watching mesmerizing flames dance around, is the ultimate summer time indulgence.  The ideal firepit or fireplace design will depend on the size of your space, your seating configuration and your family members’ ages (be careful to select one with a glass enclosure if you have small children).  For a quick, simple option that goes with a variety of furniture groupings, we love this clean, brushed metal firepit filled with beautiful amber-tone fireglass.

One step at a time…

But remember, you don’t need to tackle the entire project at once.  Start by writing down your goals and focus on one category at a time.  Then, you can add fixtures as your time and budget allow.  

By simply adding a few accent and mood lighting fixtures along with functional pieces to your yard, you can completely transform your outdoor space into the at-home getaway you will enjoy for years to come. 

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