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Use These Backyard Lighting Ideas to Make Your Summer Lighting Shine

As spring turns into summer for St. Louis, it’s time to turn your attention from lawn prep and landscaping to more important matters: backyard fun and relaxation.

Chilling in the backyard can look a lot of different ways. Maybe you’re a casual host who likes to throw together a last-minute barbecue. Or maybe you spend weeks planning the perfect outdoor party. Or maybe your preference is to float in the pool with a drink, a good book, and no one else around! Whatever your version of backyard fun is, the right outdoor lighting can pull it together.

Here are some ideas to make your outdoor relaxation flow effortlessly into the evening with just the right lighting.

1. Create a Focus Area

Set the stage for an outdoor soirée or for quiet nights at home by creating a designated focal point. Whether it’s a cozy seating area, a roaring fire pit, or a captivating sculpture, accentuate it with strategically placed lights to draw the eye. Having a focus area doesn’t mean other areas should be dim or unlit. You want every part of your backyard to be comfortable and have the right lighting. Draw attention to the focus area with lights that are layered and slightly brighter than other areas. 

2. Lead with Pathway Lights

Guide your guests (and yourself!) to the heart of the action with pathway lights. Not only do they add a touch of elegance to your outdoor space, but they also ensure safe passage, preventing any unfortunate stumbles in the dark. Pathway lights aren’t strictly for pathways, either. You can use these fixtures to create a perimeter or show the best route through the yard.

3. Add Wall Sconces 

Landscape features and outdoor spaces like decks and patios get a lot of attention when it comes to outdoor lighting. But ignoring entire areas of your home can lead to dim, dark areas that feel a little less than welcoming. Say goodbye to spooky shadows lurking in the corners. Install wall sconces at strategic points along your home’s exterior to banish darkness and illuminate every nook and cranny. You can choose a light intensity that brings warmth and a welcoming glow without overwhelming brightness. Not only do they enhance visibility, but they also add a touch of sophistication to your outdoor decor. 

4. Layer Lighting

Just like a well-curated outfit, your outdoor lighting scheme should involve layering. Mix and match different types of lights – think string lights, lanterns, and spotlights – to create depth and texture. You also get more options for how much you can control the mood when you have different types of lighting in place. Turn off the lanterns and relax under hanging bistro lights for a romantic feel. Add in more lights when you’re entertaining and want to up the energy.

5. Highlight the Water Feature

If you’re lucky enough to have a water feature in your backyard, make it the star of the show! Illuminate fountains, ponds, or waterfalls with soft, diffused lighting. A pool is a great water feature, too. Consider two types of lighting for water features: lighting that leads the eye to the water, and creates a soft perimeter around the area. And lighting that illuminates the water itself. 

6. Show Off Your Garden

Don’t let your hard work in the garden go unnoticed after dark. Landscape lighting can showcase flower beds, greenery, trees, and annual plantings. There’s something magical about twinkling lights surrounded by growing plants. A few well-placed lights can transform your backyard into a botanical wonderland after the sun sets.

7. Line the Steps with Lights

Stairs often get overlooked when planning an outdoor lighting system. But not only do stairway lights make everyone safer, they also look polished. Stairway lights are often inset, but if that’s not an option you can choose wash lights. These sleek fixtures provide a horizontal bar of light across each step. Ensure safe passage up and down your outdoor steps by lining them with discreet yet effective step lights. 

8. Incorporate Color

Set the mood with color-changing lights that add a playful touch. Whether you’re hosting a festive gathering or enjoying a quiet night under the stars, you can adjust the hue to suit the occasion, the mood, or the latest Cardinals win.

9. Customize Lighting for Mood

Choose lighting that allows you to customize the brightness to your liking. Whether you’re seeking a soft glow for intimate conversations or full illumination for late-night festivities, dial it up or down with ease for the perfect atmosphere every time. A modern outdoor lighting system should include this type of control. Ask us about our programmable lighting you can adjust with a phone app. 

Whether you’re hosting a lively gathering or enjoying a quiet night in, the right outdoor lighting can make all the difference. So go ahead, bask in the glow of a well-lit backyard retreat and let the evening unfold in style. And get in touch for a free estimate from your favorite St. Louis outdoor lighting professionals. Cheers to summer nights and endless possibilities. 

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