Spending time outdoors this week has reminded me of how much I enjoy my patio and deck. It’s so refreshing and relaxing! And I realized something else this past week, something not so pleasant… One of the things I dislike about my outdoor space is the lighting. Here are some great way to lighting the outdoors!
I know the importance of lighting inside the home, yet I hadn’t considered the impact poor lighting would have in my backyard. My two posts flanking the patio door were too bright, and don’t get me started on that spot light on the corner of the house! They really have a way of spoiling the mood! So, I’ve done some research to find new and fun ways to light up my back yard!
Fiber optic lighting uses only a single light source, typically a 5-15 watt LED housed in a small fan-cooled box sheltered from the elements. Light travels on slender, flexible cables that end in points of light and small emitters that you insert into holes drilled in your decking. Because there’s no electricity or heat conducted, the cables and light are safe in any type of weather. Installing fiber optic lighting is a good DIY project. A kit with 120 emitters and cables is about $325.
Deck lighting extends party time, and adds safety, too. Fixtures on posts offer ambient lighting and signal the railing location. Low-voltage LED light fixtures run on 12-volt current that’s much safer than regular 120-volt household current, making installation DIY-friendly. Make the posts from pieces of lumber so there’s a hollow channel inside; run low-voltage wiring in the channel. A lighting kit with 8 fixtures, wire, and a 12-volt transformer is $587.
OUTDOOR FLOOR LAMP
An oversize floor lamp made for outdoor use will light up an entire deck seating area with its 250-watt halogen bulb. A plastic shade, galvanized steel frame, and aluminum base make this fixture weatherproof. Six lead weights keep it stable in windy conditions. It’s a plug-in lamp, so you’ll need a weatherproof outdoor outlet.
String lights offer versatility and style and they go up in any location, there’s no need to conceal wiring (it’s part of the lights), and they come in tons of styles and sizes. You can choose standard lights that plug directly into an outlet, or low-voltage lights that use 12-volt current. Outdoor solar-powered lights cost a bit more initially but don’t use household power and aren’t dependent on a nearby power source. A 14-ft.-long string with 20 solar-powered LED lights is about $20.
OUTDOOR CEILING FAN
A combination light and ceiling fan brings a welcome cooling breeze to the warmest days. You’ll need to run a 120-volt circuit to power your outdoor fan; use the juice to power other outdoor lights as well. Concealing the wires isn’t difficult with the solid ceiling shown here; for an open pergola or arbor, run wires on top of or alongside framing members and paint them to match the woodwork.
LED GLASS BALUSTERS
Tempered safety glass has been used for deck balusters for years, but these glass panels go one step further. LED lights in the top and bottom caps illuminate the glass surface and cast a gentle ambient light. The panels ($230 each) feature etchings that catch the light to create a unique, decorative touch. Most glass balusters are compliant with building codes, but check your local codes to be sure.
What creative things have you done to light up your deck or patio?
Go ahead, tell us in the comments!
As always, call or email me!