Wednesday, 12 June 2024

Irresistible Outdoor Home Lighting

The right lighting turns a basic backyard into the setting for classic evening cocktails, a magical possibility-filled party, or a charming family barbeque. Consider both your personal and an event’s aesthetic when brainstorming outdoor home lighting ideas. The lighting you install will illuminate your memories of quality time with your loved ones. When selecting lighting for an outdoor space, consider what its primary use will be, weather considerations, upkeep and care for the fixtures.

Mill Valley Residence tropical landscape san franciscoDesigned by Pedersen Associates – Barbara Ries Photography

Outdoor Home Lighting - Mill Valley Residence traditional patio san francisco

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Here are some great outdoor home lighting ideas to get you started.

  • Chandeliers add decadence and whimsy to any outdoor space. Antique, thrift or junk shops are all great sources for chandeliers that can be spray or faux painted for any aesthetic. If they aren’t already, remove the electrical components and replace the bulbs with either LED lights, candles, or wrap the chandelier in string lights. Suspend the chandelier (or multiple chandeliers) from branches, or secure a rope or chain across open spaces to hang from. A single large chandelier makes a statement, and smaller chandeliers can create a fanciful party environment.
  • Canning and mason jars are just the starting point of many outdoor home lighting ideas. Attach candles to the lids of the jars and hang them upside down in trees or along suspended lines. Use battery operated or LED lights for easy shabby chic lighting. Paste strips of colored tissue paper to the outside of different shaped jars to make whimsical stained glass lighting. Put jars along walkways, on tabletops, and throughout gardens and planters for all-over versatile lighting. Use stencils and paint to add bold designs to plain jars.
  • Floating tea lights add a different spin to a classic idea. Even if your yard doesn’t have a water feature, there are many ways to float candles throughout your get-together. Home goods stores, thrift stores and your own kitchen all have great objects that can be filled with water. Clusters of water filled vases can light walkways, and birdbaths can be filled with candles and placed throughout gardens. Add candlesticks and taper candles to diversify the theme and add a more decadent tone to the lighting.
  • Luminaria can be bought ready-made but personalizing your own is a fun activity, especially for kids. You may even remember this outdoor home lighting idea from your own childhood. Cut a simple design such as a star, heart, or chevron into a paper bag and place a battery-operated light in the bottom. You may also need to weight them with rocks or marbles. Use food coloring to dye plain brown or white paper bags. Group your luminaria together for brighter areas of light, and put decorated ones on tabletops to highlight details.
  • Solar ground lights are inexpensive and a retailer recommended outdoor home lighting idea. Solar lights charge throughout the day and then automatically turn on at night. They are a great option to create base level of illumination when more decorative lights don’t provide the amount of light you’d like. They come in numerous styles, and often are discreet enough to provide light without detracting from other outdoor home lighting ideas in the space.
  • Hanging lanterns from any number of online retailers or home good stores are a great outdoor decoration with or without being a source of light. Suspend battery operated or LED lights inside lanterns or add them to string lights to embellish a basic aesthetic. Paper lanterns look great hanging from tree branches, tied together in groups, or strung across open backyard spaces. Add paper lantern string lights to groups of larger lanterns to light sprawling areas or brighten small spaces.
  • Ground level spotlights draw attention to features throughout an outdoor space. Flowering bushes, dense foliage, or trees are all great places to direct spotlights. For areas where it’s difficult to run electrical cords, use battery operated or solar spotlights. Place paper bags or lanterns over bright spotlights to create warmer or more diffused lighting in a space. This traditional outdoor home lighting idea can still be personalized and adapted with some creativity.
  • Moonlight mimicry is a great choice for natural ambiance in your outdoor space. Use blue and cool light bulbs in your home’s outdoor spotlights, and focus spotlights up at trees. Group lighting fixtures high in trees to diffuse light through lower branches onto lawns and patios. The cool lights give the space a naturally lit look, and brighten dark space without cluttering small spaces with lighting fixtures.
  • Fireplaces or fire pits may be an unexpected outdoor home lighting idea. While not every outdoor space is viable for installing a fireplace, fire pits are available at most home improvement stores and a lot of online retailers. Make sure to have a stockpile of firewood and marshmallows on hand, and illuminate your outdoors with great light as well as warmth and memories of camping trips. Use a large fire pit at the center of a seating area, as well as smaller fire pits throughout the outdoor space to add splashes of warmth and light to a party.
  • String lights are a classic outdoor home lighting idea for a reason. They provide warm diffused light across big spans of space. Put a different spin on a classic look by wrapping trees and other outdoor features in string lights. Tie string lights into balls and clumps to hang from branches alone or inside of a paper lantern. String lights also look great when gathered together and placed inside of glass containers. Use rope lights to line gardens, planters or along pathways. There are endless possibilities when using string lights and the classic aesthetic always looks great.

Use these ideas to fuel your own creative spirit when decorating outdoor spaces for everyday use and special occasions. Mix and match an array of lighting fixtures, try out different ideas around the year, and switch it up for different events. Using these outdoor home lighting ideas is a quick and fun way to embellish your existing outdoor space or inspire new landscape ideas.

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