Dolores Pian explores how outdoor lighting can improve curb appeal, welcome you home and make you feel safe and secure.
Because lighting choices and applications are limitless, you need a well-thought-out plan to help beautify your outdoor living space.
What is your outdoor personality? To determine that, you’ll need to ask:
— What do I love most about my yard, patio or balcony?
— When and how will I be using my outdoor space?
— When and where is security lighting most important?
— Do I need help? Can a professional help me achieve my objectives?
Lighting up your yard, garden, deck or patio is a great way to extend the square footage of your living space. It adds ambience to your home, promotes enjoyment and maximizes your entertainment space, adding to your personal style, comfort and convenience.
Strategic placement of fixtures can enhance the architecture and the use of your space.
Here are some outdoor lighting options:
— Up-lighting – lights from below to create a focal point in the landscape
— Wall washing – general illumination
— Silhouetting – dramatizes an interesting shaped object
— Step lighting – illuminates stairways and walkways
— Path lighting – enhances landscaping elements such as flower beds, shrubbery and borders while safely illuminating pathways
— Deck and patio lighting – provides safety and accent lighting
Before You Invest
What you need to know before purchasing and installing outdoor light fixtures:
— Not all light fixtures can be used outdoors. Check the safety rating for damp or wet locations.
— Hire a qualified electrician. Outdoor lighting requires special attention and fixtures can be located in hard-to-reach places. You only want to do this once, safely and according to the Ontario Building Code.
— Buy quality, long-lasting finishes. Quality housing protects the light and is more resistant to the elements, so fixtures last longer with little to no maintenance.
— Colour temperature. Do you want cool or warm light? Selecting the correct lamp can dramatically change the look and feel of your outdoor space.
How Much is Too Much?
Be kind to the night sky and your neighbours by directing lights downwards, use low glare fixtures and place motion sensors on essential outdoor lamps. Turn lights off, when not in use.
New, Notable and Something Special
Today’s technology lets you have more fun outdoors both night and day, with clever and charming items such as:
— Portable LED lanterns with wireless speakers. Great for condos and other areas where no electrical outlets are available. The Uma Sound Lantern by Design Within Reach (DWR) has a dimmable light with a speaker.
— Chandeliers for that extra bit of panache. Feiss makes an explosive orb chandelier that adds elegance to any outdoor dining area.
— Mobile lighting in the form of wireless globes, cube tables and other pieces of furniture.They are cordless and rechargeable with a colour rotation to suit your mood or occasion. DWR makes a variety of globes that are waterproof and glow in a variety of colours.
— String lights in a variety of shapes and sizes and price points set a festive mood for patios and balconies.
— LED candles come pretty close to the real thing.
P.S. Prepare For Winter
I know it’s summer, but don’t forget to prepare for winter. Check bulbs and replace them with LED bulbs, clean fixtures and adjust timers. You can still enjoy the winter landscapes while cosy inside.
Now, you have everything you need to get your exterior glowing and enjoy your fabulous soirées.