Decor, Design

Brighten Up the Night: Illuminating Your Deck or Patio

Outdoor Square Shelf Lamps

As the long winter–and even longer year–comes to a close, it feels like brighter days are finally here. After months of watching Netflix in our living rooms, we can begin to think about soaking up some sunshine and (safely!) spending time with our loved ones. What better way to prepare than to give your outdoor space a little love?

An inviting living room or bustling kitchen shouldn’t be the only place in a home where family and friends gather. Whether you have a small apartment balcony or an expansive backyard with a multi-tiered deck, your outdoor space should be an extension of the welcoming home you’ve worked so hard to create.

If you’re ready to take your outdoor entertaining to the next level, here are some tips:

Why Should You Illuminate the Outdoors?

Much like when you’re redesigning an interior room, take some time to think about how you use (or would like to use) your outdoor space. How you utilize it determines what kind of light you need. A grill master will have different needs than a bookworm enjoying a novel at sunset.

Generally, there are three reasons to illuminate the outdoors—safety, security and entertainment.

Safety lighting illuminates stairs, walkways and any other areas that could potentially be hazardous in the dark. It’s what keeps us from twisting an ankle on a dark pathway. Security lighting is used to protect your home and includes things like motion sensors and light fixtures at your front and back doors. And finally, there is entertainment lighting—Eangee Home Design’s specialty! Entertainment lighting is both functional and decorative. It brightens the area, but it also helps create a nice ambience. Think of a well-lit patio with string lights and a fire pit. The string lights and fire provide illumination, but also create a welcoming environment where guests want to stay a while.

Layering Isn’t Just for Indoor Lighting

As you know, lighting can completely transform a room.  It’s not as simple as adding a few table lamps and calling it a day. The best way to illuminate your space and give the area depth is to create layers of light. This can be accomplished by incorporating ambient, task and accent lighting.

Ambient, or general, lighting is the first layer. It provides enough light to comfortably navigate a space. This layer could come in the form of a ceiling fixture on a covered porch, or the string lights you often see on restaurant patios. Freestanding lamps, like the Outdoor Square Shelf Lamp, are great alternatives if overhead lighting is not an option or if you want  something different than the ever popular string lights. Bonus—this lamp features a metal shelf,  so you can add greenery or other accessories to further personalize the space.

Task lighting is typically brighter than ambient lighting and used to illuminate a smaller area. The main function of task lighting is to brighten spaces where activities or tasks are being performed. A grill light, for example, allows you to BBQ well after sunset while an Outdoor Cocoa Leaf Cylinder Lamp could be used to illuminate a reading nook.

Finally, there is accent lighting. If ambient light is the starting point, accent lighting is the final touch. This type of lighting highlights a specific feature or focal point. Place the Outdoor Lighted Table between two chairs to create a cozy corner to enjoy wine with friends. Or use accent lighting to bring attention to water features like a pool or fountain, large trees or other greenery, or to illuminate outdoor wall art. Need suggestions for outdoor wall art? Check out our Birds-on-a-Wire and Leaf Wall Décor!

Bulbs for Outdoor Fixtures

As you start building your personal oasis, make sure you’re choosing the right bulbs for your outdoor fixtures. Damp-rated bulbs can withstand humidity but cannot get wet. These are a great option for a covered patio or screened-in porch. If your outdoor area is not protected from the elements, choose wet-rated bulbs, which are produced with a waterproof seal and can be exposed to water and moisture as long as they are not submerged. As a special bonus for our customers, our outdoor lamps–like the Fish Shelf Lamp–come already equipped with a wet-rated, 2,700K soft white LED bulb ($10 value). For more outdoor lighting safety tips, click here.

Feeling inspired? Explore our entire line of outdoor lighting to get started today! Then sit back, relax and enjoy your own little paradise.

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