Outdoor living spaces have become more and more popular over the past few years. Beyond your basic patio or deck with an outdoor grill and lawn furniture, these outdoor spaces are beautiful living and entertaining areas. Homeowners are creating outdoor living rooms, dining areas, and kitchens that rival rooms inside your home! And just like areas inside your home, these outdoor living spaces require proper lighting.
Creating layers of light is important for both indoor and outdoor spaces. Using a combination of outdoor and landscape lighting will create the atmosphere you want by providing different layers of light. Ceiling lights, chandeliers, and fans can provide general lighting. Pendants are decorative and can also provide task lighting over counters and bar areas. A portable lamp can help create a cozy reading nook or a relaxing conversation area.
Landscape lighting provides a soft glow to your outdoor space. It can be used to create focal points in your yard and highlight unique landscaping or architectural features. Ponds and fountains can be brought to life in the evening with outdoor accent lighting.
Also, don’t forget about safety when planning your outdoor living area. You and your guests should be able to move around safely and easily after dark. Step lights are important for deck stairs and terraced paths. Path lights illuminate your outdoor walkways to prevent your plants and flowers from being trampled! Use outdoor post-mounted lanterns near driveways and railings and wall-mounted lanterns next to doors to create a welcoming space.
There is an ever-increasing selection of outdoor lighting, whether your style is modern, rustic, or traditional. The lighting you choose can help transition the decorative style of your home into your outdoor living area. Or you can create a completely unique style for your outdoor gathering space. In many ways, outdoor spaces have fewer constraints than rooms inside your home and allow more freedom in design. It’s the perfect place to try different color schemes and fun or eclectic styles that might not work inside your home.
It’s very important to make sure that your lighting is suitable for outdoor use by reviewing its UL listing. Most lighting and ceiling fans sold in the United States have been tested and rated by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an independent product safety certification organization. There are two different UL listings for outdoor fixtures — damp location and wet location. Outdoor damp rated fixtures can only be used in covered, fully protected locations that are not directly exposed to water, even during storms. Only fixtures that are UL listed for wet locations can be used in areas where water may drip, splash, or flow on or against the electrical components of the fixture, such as open-air decks and patios, pool areas, exterior walls, gazebos, and pergolas.
Lighting control is also important when planning your outdoor living space. Consider using dimmers, so that you can adjust your light level with the changes in natural light. Timers are also useful for outdoor lighting by automatically turning on lights when and where you need them.
In addition to proper lighting, you can extend the use of your outdoor space with a ceiling fan. Ceiling fans can help keep your outdoor areas cool, even when the weather is less than ideal. As with lighting, ceiling fans are available in a broad range of styles.
Lastly, consider using LED fixtures and bulbs in your outdoor living space. LED bulbs use less energy and last a long time, meaning less maintenance. They may also help keep those pesky bugs away! LED fixtures produce less heat and UV light – two things that attract bugs.
Well-planned lighting will allow you to continue to use your outdoor space after the sun sets. Whether your outdoor living area is a tranquil retreat at the end of a long day or the neighborhood party spot, our lighting experts will help you create the perfect space!
Browse our selection of outdoor lighting.
UL Listings for Lighting & Ceiling Fans – https://www.lumens.com/how-tos-and-advice/ul-ratings.html
Expert Tips of Lighting an Outdoor Space – http://www.kichler.com/style-guide/learn-about-outdoor-lighting/outdoor-living.aspx
5 Ways to Bring Inside Style to Outside Spaces – http://www.kichler.com/style-guide/learn-about-outdoor-lighting/5-ways-to-bring-inside-style-to-outside-spaces.aspx