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Light it Up: Outdoor Design Tips

When you’re done creating an outdoor space or renovating and installing a new deck, the topic of lighting comes into question. For some projects, our designers work to find the best lighting to match the look and feel of the space.  Some clients decide to venture on their own to figure out what works best for them and we encourage that.  At the end of the day, we want our clients to be satisfied with their space.   

Choosing the right light fixtures to suit your outdoor space is one thing but what about the ambiance.  Making sure there is enough cool lighting when it starts to get dark is important but so is warm lighting to create that magical candlelit space that always feels welcoming.   

We’ve compiled tips for you but wanted to give you our personal taste on lighting design.

We love soft lighting.  It’s gentle on the eyes and warms the heart.  Soft (amber) lighting brings a special feel as the sun sets and transitions into night.  It almost gives you the illusion of a longer sunset.   Here are a few photos from our personal space.   The Tuscan bulbs wrapped within the grapevine were bought on Amazon with similar finds at Costco. The pendant light fixtures dangling from the grapevine were once solar light fixtures but they appeared fluorescent compared to the other fixtures so we had them converted to match the warmth.  As you can see in the photo that we strategically placed a light at the root of the vine to give focus from the ground up. The large sconce on the deck wrapped in iron and surrounded by crackled amber glass well, its grandeur speaks for itself.   Once again, we love amber lighting.   If I were to give anyone advice for outdoor lighting it would be to bring whatever warms your heart within your home so that when you step outside it’s simply an extension of you, your home, your heart.    

We love what we build. 

Our Heart ♥️ Your Home

This is a great article to help you out and give you ideas: 

 

Here is a wonderful DIY video of how to install low voltage outdoor lights:

 

Inexpensive Hanging LED Light Options Below.  Click Images for Link.

 

Outdoor Lighting Choices + Ideas

WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND

Colour: 

  • Do you prefer warm or cool tones?  
  • With LED lighting the options, colour options are available with not just these cool or warm tones but now a rainbow of colours depending on your vision

Brightness:  

  • Voltage and lamination are different for all types of bulbs.  Do your research to choose what works.

Focal Points:

  • Having focal points in your garden are a great way to choose where to add a spotlight or where to string your lights.
  • When designing a space, focal points are like the dessert at the end of the meal or the flowers in a vase set as the centerpiece.   So, if you have favorite trees or a feature fountain, lighting them up draws attention to them.

Fixture Designs:

  • The colour of the fixtures add to the overall design. In the daylight, they do show up and can add to the look of things.   
  • Metal casing are more contemporary.  Black casings are less distracting and may compliment your deck more against wood. At night however, metal casing may bounce some light but may not make much of a difference.

Low Voltage Lighting or Solar or Battery-Operated Lighting:

  • ELECTRIC: 

We do love low voltage lighting for consistency and having lighting last longer.  

Installing an outlet for outdoor lighting requires an electrician but once that is set up, the sky’s the limit.  

  • SOLAR: 

The option for solar lights are available and affordable.  If you are okay with recycling parts every couple seasons, this may be a good option.  

Keep in mind, Vancouver’s climate may not always be the best for getting the full use of them. The lack of full days of sunlight to fully charge or maintain illumination for the entire night can be disappointing.    

 To preserve the lifespan of them you may require storage during rainy or darker days but may defeat the purpose for year round lighting.

  • BATTERY: 

Battery operated lights are an option but replacing batteries and if you have young children, tampering with such lights may be a safety issue.    However, some options are energy efficient and creative such as Lee Valley’s synchronized LED battery operated walkway lights.

Have fun lighting up your space.  

We love this blog about how to string outdoor lights. 

Plan + Hang Patio Lights

LED hanging lights that you see at patio restaurants are very much the “in” for design and can be taken down easily as well.   If you do not have an outlet, an extension cord will do.

 

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