Summer is best spent outside, especially when the warm nights are accompanied by a cool breeze, making it perfect for hanging out with friends and family in the backyard. Creating an inviting outdoor space this summer is easy with our exterior lighting ideas. No matter how big or small your outdoor space is, our easy and low-cost summer outdoor lighting ideas are fit for any space needing a summer lighting upgrade.
The first thing to think about is your current outdoor lighting setup. Do you already have the necessary lighting fixtures, outlets, and/or connections in place for the job? Many newly constructed homes in residential areas are often equipped with outdoor lighting sources on the corners of the house. If you don’t have a basic setup like this, you should hire an electrician to install it for you.
Pick your subject
Whether you are lighting your front or backyard, you must pick what you want to accentuate in your design. Is it your landscape, specific trees or shrubs, a fountain or maybe a courtyard area? In most cases, exterior lighting sources are as high as the eaves of houses or higher with the light shining down. However, if you are only interested in lighting something specific like a walkway, you may find that you can accomplish that effectively with ground lighting or a combination of high and low lights for the best results.
Choose your lights
Your choices for exterior lighting are primarily going to be floodlights, spotlights or path lights and you might want to consider a combination of all three depending on how elaborate you want your lighting schema to be. Your next decision will be to choose whether you want to go with LED, halogen or fluorescent lighting. If you are budget conscious, keep in mind that LED is going to cost more than halogen or fluorescent lighting.
Summer outdoor lighting ideas
Alfresco area lighting
The right lighting in your alfresco area or patio can create the perfect ambience for your party. Modern pendants with metal finishes add a stylish touch, while lights with a natural or wood finish can further enhance the cosy, outdoor feel in the space. If the dining area is not undercover, or if the patio ceiling is not suitable for light installation, consider using floor lamps and table lamps. These are easy and quick solutions, plus they work well to make the whole dining experience more intimate. When selecting lights for your alfresco area or patio, you need to ensure that the pendants or lamps are suitable for outdoor areas, with the necessary IP rating to protect them from the elements.
It is important to keep your backyard and pathways well lit so that you and your guests can move around safely. Bollard and post lights are perfect for both sides of the path or walkway through the garden. If you have steps outside your house, no matter how little, consider installing in-ground/ deck lights or outdoor step lights to prevent trips and falls.
Showcase your beautiful garden with the right garden lights. Spotlights are ideal to highlight hardscape features or light up the trunk of a tree, while spike lights illuminate garden beds, small shrubs and other interesting items in your garden. While outdoor lighting is effective in enhancing and showcasing your garden, it is best to keep it to minimal. As such, plan and place the fixtures carefully.