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10 Ideas to Light Up Summer Nights at Home

Summertime is in full swing in St. Louis, and with it the longer days, shorter work hours (hopefully), and warm-weather soirées that last well into the night. Outdoor entertaining at night is a great way to enjoy outdoor spaces while avoiding the excessive heat and humidity. Check out these fun ideas for unique ways to light up those summer nights at home, whether it’s a quiet dinner with the family or a big barbecue with lots of friends.

How do I light my house at night?

For the best lighting effect outdoors, we love a combination. When you bring together a thoughtful lighting design with your own DIY ideas, you get the best of both worlds. 

1. Mix Up Different Lighting Styles

Don’t limit yourself to one type of lighting. Instead, mix up different types of lighting within a planned design. Start with a professional lighting design (we can help with that) to make sure you have the essential elements in place. Then get creative. Add some twinkle lights, or try out a few fun DIY additions.

2. Mimic the Moonlight 

This lighting technique, called moonscaping, is positively magical. If you have big trees in your yard, have lights installed in them so the beam trickles down through their branches. To get the most natural look, place the lights pretty high and make sure the fixtures are discreet and out of view.

3. Illuminate Walkways

If you have a pathway meandering through your yard, a walkway leading from the front of the house to the back, or a raised deck, be sure to line their perimeters with lighting. Lights on post mounts are standard fixtures for this purpose.

4. Light Up the Fence

Sometimes the most straightforward lighting ideas work best to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Stretch string lights across the top of a fence, or hang from the top so they fall in graceful swoops down the fence, to instantly add radiance to your yard. 

5. Light Up Water Features

Water features are easily a yard’s focal point, and are so refreshing to have during the hot summer months. We love installing color-changing LED lights to illuminate water features. It’s mesmerizing, and always a big hit with guests of all ages. 

6. Illuminate Decorative Objects

Light it up if you’ve got a statue, bird bath, or another decorative object in your yard that you’re particularly proud of! Spotlights work particularly well; just make sure they’re angled properly to illuminate the entire structure. 

7. Plant Tiki Torches

One of the cheapest ways to light up your outdoor space and create a perfect party mood: tiki torches. They’re affordable and can be placed almost anywhere for that extra touch to light up summer nights. Use tiki torches to set off different areas, line the poolside, and bring a low-key, natural vibe to the event. Always practice safety and be sure the tiki torches are placed well away from structures, overhanging branches, or flammable objects. 

8. Hang Paper Lanterns at Various Heights

Choose Japanese-inspired paper lanterns as a seasonal or event-specific lighting element. You can choose all-white lanterns for a minimal and clean look, or get them in fun colors that match your home’s exterior or the party decor. Hang at various heights through your outdoor spaces. 

9. Add an Outdoor Floor Lamp

Floor lamps aren’t necessarily reserved for your interior living area. You can create a private little nook with a comfy chaise, end table, and a decorative floor lamp. It’s sure to be a cozy spot for after-hours relaxing, with just enough light to enjoy your favorite drink with some quiet conversation or a good book.

10. Light the Steps

To light up the stairs to and from your outdoor space, we generally recommend flush-mounted fixtures. These fixtures can be installed without adding bulk to the stairs, while providing a subtle and perfectly directed beam of light. 

Ready to light up your summer nights at home in St. Louis? Get in touch for a free estimate on a customized exterior lighting design.

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