Warm summer evenings are perfect for sitting out on the patio, watching the sun bathe your yard in golden light. What happens when the sun goes down? Without the right lighting, your perfect outdoor space disappears, swallowed up by the encroaching night. We believe in enjoying your patio as far into the night as you want, so we’ve compiled the following tips for making the most of your outdoor lighting.
Identify your best features
The best lighting highlights the parts of your yard you love most. Maybe that means shining a light onto the trunk of your favorite tree, or spotlighting your favorite patch of the garden. Certainly, it means lighting the areas of the patio you’re in which you’re most likely to spend your time.
A handy tip: if you’re going to light the leaves of a tree, be sure to light the trunk, too, so the leaves don’t look like they’re floating in an empty sky.
Pick a bulb
Different types of bulbs have different color temperatures, measured from 1,000 to 6,000 degree Kelvin. Halogen bulbs burn warm white (approximately 2,800K). LEDs had, in the past, a reputation for being a cold blue, unappealing in your outdoor space. Modern LED bulbs, though, can be purchased in a variety of temperatures. Look for bulbs with a color temperature of around 3,000 degrees Kelvin or lower – these will produce a warm, yellow light.
Halogen lights have a relatively low initial cost, but the bulbs have shorter lifespans and cost more over the life of your fixture. You can expect to replace halogen bulbs after 3,000 to 5,000 working hours. LEDs, on the other hand, typically work for 30,000 to 50,000 hours – 10 times as long. LEDs also have the benefit of being extremely energy efficient; you could save as much as 80% in energy costs. The lone drawback of LED lights is a higher initial cost.
DIY or go pro?
Simple outdoor lighting – lighting aimed at safely illuminating your porch or patio, for example – can be done in a weekend for most home owners. To design artful and expressive lighting, though, it can be useful to hire a professional landscape lighting company. Local landscaping companies, like Havenscapes, can design the ideal light for your space, structure, and outdoor features.