The same rules of layering light apply indoors AND outdoors. You'll want overall lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting - a chandelier overhead, sconces close to tables and chairs, and lighting around plants, for example. Use lights in trees, under the leaves of potted plants, and as edging for pools. Provide task lighting around the grill area, but choose a fixture with a metal shade, to avoid adding too much glare to the surroundings.
Here are some easy ways to light an outdoor room that fits your life, your style, and your budget.
- Include lights that follow the steps or go between levels, whether ground or deck.
- Add lights for safety near front and back doors, garage doors and along paths.
- Consider an automated control system that turns on lights with a timer and allows you to adjust light levels from outside and in.
- Provide motion lights over rarely used doors, such as a basement access.
- Have porch posts wired for lighting. You'll add ambiance and a unique touch to your patio.
- Include lights off the deck and patio, as well in garden nooks and along walkways.
- Add uplights against unique plants or interesting trees to up the drama factor in your garden.
- Consider solar powered fixtures. You'll take advantage of a natural resource that's free to boot.
- Choose dimmable lights or lower output for fixtures to eliminate nighttime light pollution.
- Match the style of your lights to the style of your house. You'll carry the design theme from indoors to outside.