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16 Ideas for Creatives Nightscapes with Outdoor Lighting

The right landscape lighting can transform your outdoor space into a relaxed and serene atmosphere. When night sets in, without properly placed outdoor lighting, your well-planned backyard and outdoor areas fade into the darkness. Soft radiant lighting on pathways or a warmly lit deck will offer a feeling of home, safety, and welcome, and give you a chance to show off all your hard work. Here are some of our favorite ways to bring creative nightscapes to your home with great outdoor lighting.

  1. Pathlights

 Not only will pathway lights boost nighttime ambiance in your property, they will also enhance security and safety when walking. Pathlights help you and your guests avoid tripping on rough surfaces or on stairs. You can also use pathway lights to create perimeters and define different areas.

  1. Outdoor Lanterns

You would be surprised at the magic created by a single magnificent lantern. Place it against a wall or over the corner of a deck or patio. Or hang it from the patio or gazebo ceiling. You can also work with smaller, disposable paper lanterns for temporary lighting: hang from low tree branches, along fencing, or under the eaves. 

  1. Spotlights 

Certain parts of your garden and yard have features that deserve more focus: statues, plants, trees, beautiful landscaping, or plants at the height of their season. A well-placed spotlight shows off these features and creates visual interest for nighttime entertaining. 

  1. Bistro Lights

Bistro lights create a party atmosphere no matter where you put them. With adjustable settings, you can tune the mood up for a light-hearted gathering or key things down for an intimate evening. Add bistro lights to a corner of your deck, string along the patio, or set them up around the pool. 

  1. Floodlights 

Casting a flood of light over a large area is the right move for certain activities: illuminate your entire yard for an evening game of volleyball, croquet, or tag. Or light up the driveway for after-hours basketball. Floodlights set on motion sensors can enhance your home’s security, and are perfect for after-party cleanup when visibility is key. 

  1. Wall Wash Lights 

Wall wash lights cast a horizontal bar of light with consistent brightness. These types of lights are ideal for installing along landscape walls and other hardscaping for a highlight without overpowering brightness. They work well for perimeter walls around a pool, adding security and visibility while keeping a relaxed mood.

  1. Well Lights 

Well lights are set flush with the ground, and the light is projected upwards. This is a creative way of providing uplighting while keeping the light fixture as unnoticeable as possible. They work at the edge of plantings when you want to keep the focus on the foliage. 

  1. Deck & Patio Lighting

Holding garden parties on the patio during the warm season shouldn’t be limited by nightfall. In fact, it’s when the sun goes down that outdoor entertaining becomes even better. With quality deck and patio lights, you can continue hanging out on the patio till the wee hours of the night. What lights do you need? It depends on the size and structure of your outdoor space, and the type of ambiance you want to create. Consider lights along the deck railing and on stairs, bistro lights to define eating and lounging areas, and spotlights for the grilling station or bar cart. 

  1. Accent Lights 

Sometimes you need ambient lights, and other times you need accent lights. Accent lights creatively highlight an area or an object and are brighter than ambient lights. You can use accent lights to draw attention to furnishings, artworks, special architecture, and plants, by converting them into focal points. 

  1. String Lights 

String lights are extremely versatile; they work far beyond holiday decorating and can be hung almost anywhere. While they are not weatherproof and will not withstand strong winds, they work well for temporary lighting. Wind them around deck rails and tree trunks, and use them as boundaries to direct the flow of a party or define different spaces. You can also use string lights to create a whimsical ambiance when strung around and between low-lying plants.

  1. Moon Lighting

Moonlighting your outdoor space involves installing soft lights very high in trees or rooftops to mimic the gentle silvery glow of the moon at night. While this technique takes more effort and creativity, the result is worth it. 

  1. Outdoor Kitchen Lighting 

If you have an outdoor cooking area, you don’t have to cook in the dark. Get creative with lighting around your grill or oven and set the mood for dining. For a covered patio, install an outdoor fixture with a fan to create a breeze. Perfectly placed spotlights, with the right angle and intensity, will light up the cooking area without blinding you or your guests.  

  1. Canopy Lights

A canopy, awning, or umbrellas in your garden can become dramatic statements with the right lighting. String lights, bistro lights, and lamps can work to bring interest and visibility. Wind and loop string lights under an umbrella or awning for soft lighting. Paper lanterns or clip-on lamps can be attached beneath an awning, or at the edges, for a creative nightscape.

  1. Pool House Lighting

Create a perfect backdrop to your swimming pool with creative lighting. First, install a fixture by the pool house door. Riser lights on the outside can delineate steps leading to the pool deck. Sconce lights inside the pool house, along the walls, provide subtle lighting. Pathway lights along the edge of the pool house and walkways give safety and ease for moving around. 

  1. Illuminated Water Features

Your water features do not have to go unrecognized at night. Landscape lighting for water features has gotten more advanced and a lot more fun, with colors and settings you can control from an app on your smartphone. At night, water features will look magical, and add a perfect backdrop for evening events.

  1. Home Uplighting

Illuminate your home strategically for both beauty and safety. Home uplighting is the top way to enhance your home with outdoor lighting. It adds to the feeling of safety and welcome from the first moment, and enhances security by keeping the entire front of your home lit. It’s important to install the uplights correctly so you achieve a uniform look and do not shine light inside of your home. 

There is so much room for creativity when it comes to creative nightscapes with outdoor lighting. If you get overwhelmed, contact us to help you through it. We will come to your home, walk you through the best recommendations, and help you find the best way to create the feeling you want to have. 

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