4 ideas for DIY Outdoor Lighting

Cabin in the night forest

Making the smallest changes in our homes often have the biggest effects. In this blog post, we’ll talk about the way lighting can transform an outdoor space. And don’t worry, you won’t need to enlist the help of a professional. Here are four ideas for DIY outdoor lighting.

Outdoor patio lighting

Although patio season has sadly passed, there’s no reason you can’t make the most of your outdoor sitting area all-year round. Now that it’s getting dark earlier, it’s best to use multiple light sources for your patio. Try hanging outdoor string lights around the outside of the house, and installing path lights around the perimeter.

LED lights

Not only are LED lights highly efficient and look great, they are also far better for the environment. There are a wide variety of outdoor LED light fixture types available, from LED path and step lights to LED rope and string lights.

Deck lighting

Make the most of outdoor lighting. Think not only about the appearance of your outdoor space, but the safety of the area too. Ensure deck lighting highlights your steps, and install lights around the perimeter of the deck too.

Pond lighting

As with deck lighting, installing pond lights ensures your outdoor space not only looks good, but that people can move around safely at night. Think about adding lights around the pond’s exterior to make the surface or the water flow, or to accentuate a waterfall or other feature. Underwater lighting can also be used to highlight fountains or sculptures.

For more ideas for your outdoor space, follow us on Houzz.

Tips for your first garden lighting project

Lighting your garden is more of an art than a science. Whether you are hosting a party or simply enjoying some alone time, the mood of your space is important to create the effect you desire. If you are creating a landscape design for the first time, check out some of these tried-and-true tips from experienced landscape designers:

Define the project
The first step to creating a mood with your landscape lighting is to define what kind of mood you would like to create. This is easy if you start by thinking about what activities you will be performing in your garden. Will you be entertaining in this area or simply enjoying the view? Do you want to illuminate a few of your favorite features or the whole garden evenly? Once you have clarified how you will most likely be using your outdoor space, it will be easier to choose the best lighting solution to fit your needs.

Draw a plan
Next, you will need to put your plan to paper. Make a diagram of your garden area and decide where you want lights and what effect you are going for in each area. Below are two examples of mood and the appropriate lighting techniques for each:

  • Subtle ambiance: Path lighting is the easiest and most effective way to create a warm glow for a night stroll or intimate gathering.
  • Highlighting features: Directional lighting is perfect for creating a more energetic and lively mood. Whether it is a fountain or a creative arrangement of seasonal flowers, your lighting can set the focus on those areas to give your landscape a “wow” effect.

Try it out
Once you have a sketch of your garden, try testing the design. Put the lights where you would like them to be and see how they look. Move them around until you are happy with the results. At this point just make sure you don’t overlap the lighting from different fixtures, or cast light off a hard surface that will cause a glare. Harsh, intrusive lighting can be disturbing.

Trust your instincts
Finally, remember to trust your instincts because they always know best. At the end of the day, your landscape should speak to your unique personality and make you feel good about your home.

From the theater to your garden: landscape lighting ideas

Did you know that creative garden lighting owes a lot to the art of theater stage lighting? Although theater lighting is a powerful and complex form of art, a lot of the subtle effects can be achieved with low voltage landscape lighting. Talk about adding drama to your garden!

Theater uses lighting to create the right atmosphere for each scene. Here the mixture of light colors with both up and down lighting techniques creates a traditional and very romantic hacienda feel.

Lighting is also used to mold backdrops and add some depth and interest to the stage. On this lovely contemporary patio, the brightened palm tree creates the perfect background.

Even leafless trees can be the main character of your garden. In this example, the designer used low-voltage well lights to make the trees stand out on the landscape.

In theater, lighting can be used to define the perception of day and night. In a garden, lighting can have the same effect. By adding brightness to your garden, you can enjoy the outdoors on a warm summer evening well into the night.

Lighting can also be used to alter the perception of temperature. Notice how the house seems warm and cozy despite its cold, wintery surroundings.

Lighting has the power of changing a scene’s perspective. For instance, a lit landscape viewed from inside a home encourages movement to the outside. Focusing landscape lighting on trees rather than paths draws the eye up and inspires curiosity.