Tips to Create a Warm, Inviting Outdoor Space

outdoor lighting

Staycations save on money and traveling, and best yet, amplify the enjoyment of your home. The yard offers plenty of opportunities to extend that warm and welcoming oasis that the inside of your house presents. With a little time and creativity, you can enhance a yard that fits your budget, reflects your dream destinations, and is the perfect place to unwind at, any and every time. Follow these tips to have your ideal outdoor space.

Create a Distinctive Ambiance

Just as you plan your indoor furniture around each room’s size and design, do the same with your yard. Consider how to work with existing features such as an outdoor fireplace, pool, deck, sitting wall, or stepping stones, as well as the proportions of concrete and grass.

Decide on color themes and what kind of atmosphere you want to evoke – Country villa? Tropical paradise? Beach casual? Vintage? Whatever your style, incorporate LED garden lighting and other accents that please the senses and become part of your distinctive sense of décor.

Implement Privacy

Privacy is just as important for your neighbors, as it is for you. If you don’t already have an enclosed porch, see if there is room for a pergola or other way to create a cozy, more intimate sitting area. It’s a beneficial feature even if the entire yard is closed off from distractions. Instead of replacing a short fence, try these additional ways to implement privacy:

  • training flowers and vines along a trellis
  • filling open link fencing with plants and outdoor art pieces
  • hanging curtains, canopy style between trees
  • soft illumination, with candles, string lights, and step deck lights

Emphasize Comfort and Relaxation

Another key factor in creating a warm and appealing outdoor space is being in harmony with any resident wildlife and making sure that flora and tree growth isn’t affected. Find a balance, so that you’re not disturbing nests, yet also safely re-directing rabbits and other small creatures that you may not want directly sharing your patio lounge set.

Use directional lighting along walkways and by plants and statues to emit soft, relaxing illumination. Take advantage of natural shade under large trees, or set up cover for when the sunlight is too strong.

Simplify maintenance by choosing weather-resistant materials, and remembering to cover or remove outdoor furniture that doesn’t fare well in the elements. With fragrant plants and flowers, understanding how to use pond lighting, and keeping lawns barefoot friendly as much as possible, your yard is always an invitation for unwinding.

Be Kid and Pet-Friendly

Designate spots for children and pets to also enjoy the yard, and give them a sense of their own space. There are plenty of outdoor lighting choices that reduce electricity bills and can be staked well into the ground to prevent tripping hazards. Of course, you should still always review path area lighting fixture angles and wires, especially if winds, storms, animals, or yard upkeep may have inadvertently altered the positions.

Transform your yard into the amazing outdoor space it has the potential to be, and establish it as the place that you, family, and friends love!

Outdoor Lighting Choices to Reduce Your Electricity Bills

 low energy outdoor lights

It’s sometimes easy to forget that unless strictly solar-powered, outdoor lighting contributes to electricity bills. So while you’re reducing indoor electricity charges, such as unplugging appliances and turning off lights in unused rooms, consider the choices outside of your home. Learn how to use low energy outdoor lights that lower utility expenses, while also creating beautiful and inviting illumination in your yard.

More Efficient and Environmentally Friendly

Despite nostalgic sentiments and inexpensive pricing for incandescent light bulbs, they’re not energy-efficient. Approximately 90% of the energy they emit is heat, which obviously isn’t the objective when lighting walkways and sections of the yard. Compare that to LED lighting, which expends about 75% less energy, and as its name (light-emitting diode) implies, absorbs heat rather than emits it.

LEDs and low-voltage halogen lighting cost more than incandescents; however, their longevity makes them worth the investment: between 2,000 – 50,000 hours, depending upon bulb type.

Since they’re cooler to the touch, they’re also safer to handle if someone accidentally touches it while lit. Of additional value is that with LED string lights, the remaining bulbs should still work even if a few are damaged and no longer work. Since these low-voltage options do not contain any toxic materials, they can safely be included in recycling.

Selecting the Proper Low-Voltage Lighting

As you familiarize yourself with different outdoor lighting fixtures, make an outline of where in the yard you want to enhance lighting and whether it’s for aesthetic, safety, or both reasons. Measure particular areas of the landscape, and take photos, so you can easily reference the space while shopping for fixtures. Check for EPA ENERGY-STAR ratings, to give you an estimate of expected savings for using those particular lights. Other tips for decreasing outdoor electricity bills include:

  • Checking for secure placement to ensure that fixtures are properly angled for illumination.
  • Trimming hedges and gardens to prevent plants from blocking illumination.
  • Using motion-sensors or timers so lighting only turns on when needed.
  • Choosing low energy outdoor lights that complement their placement. It’s wasteful if lighting is too low, too harsh, impedes upon neighboring properties, or not weather-resistant.

Enhances Landscape and Curb Appeal

If you’re concerned about energy efficiency affecting design options, don’t be! There are several garden lighting styles that you can incorporate throughout the yard that meet personal décor preferences. Mushroom and pagoda styles add a resort-type ambiance while flood and directional bullet lighting create clean, defined illumination. If you need step deck lights for porches or to enhance string lights, lanterns, or candle lighting, the 12V JC Bi Pin equates to 20W under frosted glass and provides delicate yet effective spots where placed.

Low-voltage and LED outdoor lighting also increases curb appeal at night, whether you use it while entertaining or to show how a house for sale looks in the evening. With either 12V LED or up to 35V halogen bulbs, fiberglass underwater pond lighting keeps important areas highlighted while not adding much to the electrical expenses.

If you’re still not sure about how valuable these lighting options are, consider this: California residents must now use bulbs that emit at least 65% less energy than the watts they’re set out, which effectively puts an end to any remaining incandescents. It’s an additional step towards helping everyone reduce their electricity bills, and use safer, more eco-friendly lighting.

How do you ensure that you are being energy efficient while lighting your landscape? Tell us in the comments section below.