If you are thinking of hosting a party or gathering this summer, you’ve probably thought about doing it outdoors. And why not? The gorgeous summer evenings we enjoy here in Georgia are the perfect reason to get outside and enjoy the night. With the sun mercifully set and the heat of the day finally cooling down, nighttime is the right time to be outdoors in Georgia. But to enjoy the night with family and friends, you will need a little light to see by. Too much light, of course, would kill the mood. But just the right amount of light can create a magical atmosphere perfect for hosting. What you need is the perfect outdoor lighting for hosting backyard parties.
Outdoor Lighting Options
When it comes to outdoor lighting, there are lots of options. You can choose the type of fixture, the type of bulb, or even the type of light you get. There are so many choices it can be overwhelming. The best place to start is by putting together a plan that will guide your installation of outdoor lighting. Like any construction, you shouldn’t undertake outdoor lighting without a solid idea of what you want. So take some time to familiarize yourself with the options, then carefully apply your newfound knowledge to your outdoor space.
If you need help, the experts at Night Vision Lighting are just a call away. With literally thousands of jobs under our belt, we can guide you every step of the way. So if you’re not the Frank Lloyd Wright of outdoor lighting, don’t worry. We can help you get the most out of any outdoor space. Keep reading for more tips, then give us a call when you’re ready to get started!
String lighting is a classic for outdoor entertaining. It can either be part of a permanent system or put up just for an occasion. String lighting comes in hundreds of styles and can be used in many different ways. This most straightforward way to use string lights is simply to hang them over your party area. You can use a string with large, vintage-style bulbs for a stylish look. For a more modern, fun twist you can use small led bulbs in colors, or even changing colors. The main rule is just not to overdo it. While you want enough light to see by, too much light can be overwhelming and defeat the purpose of being outdoors at night.
Another common use of string lights is to light up trees. String lights with small bulbs are twisted around tree trunks and branches, creating a festive feel. Rope lights are another option that can be used similarly to string lights. Rope lights can be twisted around deck railing or tree trunks for an extra bit of sparkle.
Path lights are an essential part of your outdoor event lighting scheme. First of all, your guests need to get around safely. For this reason alone, path lighting is a necessity. But good path lighting can also add depth and texture to your lighting plan. In the past, many people would install matching light fixtures in parallel lines on either side of a walkway. The lights would stand like sentries, evenly spaced and perfectly aligned. However, a more modern style has replaced this unnatural look with a more organic approach. Path lights shouldn’t just light up a walkway. They should draw a visitor from light to light, progressing down the path. This can be done with unevenly spaced fixtures that create small pools of light over your favorite bushes or flower beds, each one beckoning you on to the next.
Path lighting can be dull and utilitarian, but it doesn’t have to be. Avoid solar-powered lamps. They are easy to install, but rarely bright enough. Instead, opt for well-planned low voltage lights. Keep the lights low, so they are lighting up the ground more than the space around them. Have fun with the fixtures. Path lights are some of the only outdoor lights where the fixtures really stand out. Don’t be afraid to mix and match fixtures. Since you won’t be making a stiff row of parallel lights, using some different styles will add flavor.
A great alternative to bright floodlights is subtle moonlight. Of course, if you happen to have a perfectly clear full moon that may be plenty of light to set the mood. But for every other night, artificial moonlight is becoming one of the most popular effects in outdoor lighting. To create the effect of moonlight installers place cool, blue-ish lamps high up in a tree or another tall structure. The lights shine down on the area below and create the impression that it is awash in beautiful moonlight. This is a great way to light an area while preserving the feeling of being outdoors at night.
If you are using artificial moonlight to light an event, you may need to supplement it a little. The moonlight gives a great overall wash to make sure you don’t bump into things. Once you have that light, you can add some simple string lights or table lanterns. Really, any small ornamental lights can provide that extra bit of shine that helps you see your food. Since you have the moonlight, you don’t need to worry about getting a bright enough light to see by. Just get something pretty or festive. This is an excellent place to be creative.
One of the most common types of lighting for outdoor living spaces is downlighting. This is not that different from the lighting you have indoors. The idea is simply to place a light high up and have it shine down on the area you want to be lit up. This can be done in a number of different ways. When you’re outdoors at night, you still want to feel like you are outdoors. So a bright floodlight that makes your deck or patio feel like broad daylight may not be the best solution.
When installing downlighting, you need to consider both the temperature and the angle of your lighting. The temperature of your light is simply how warm or cool your light is. For general outdoor lighting, including living spaces, soft white light is recommended. This would be a lamp in the 2700K-3000K range. It is soft on the eyes without being too yellow. It is a similar color temperature to the classic soft white incandescents that have been used in homes for almost a century.
However, if you are looking for a more romantic or intimate mood, you can try even warmer lights, in the 2400K range. These light simulate candlelight. This kind of lighting is sometimes used in commercial settings, like restaurants, where you want a quiet, intimate mood. While the amount of light remains the same (brightness is not affected by color temperature), the lower color temperature is calming and soothing on the eyes and mind.
Light Your Events Like a Pro
If you want to really stand out with your outdoor lighting, there’s nothing better than some professional help. It’s good to know about outdoor lighting and to be able to discuss your options. But in the end, there is no comparison between your first job and your thousandth. That’s why the experts at Night Vision Outdoor Lighting have got you covered. We put our experience to work designing the perfect outdoor lighting for your needs. Whether you want to host giant outdoor parties or intimate dinners for family, we will make your outdoor lighting work for you. Just contact us to learn more and set up a consultation today.