Enjoying those Magical Summer Nights at home
This is my favorite time of year for entertaining. Everything just seems easier when it’s outside. Maybe it’s because my husband does most of the cooking?
When evening descends and the lighting comes on, our patio becomes a magical outdoor room. I do drive my husband a bit crazy with my lighting ideas. Hopefully, I can give you some good lighting solutions for your outdoor rooms.
Here are some tips:
- Light all pathways and steps.
- Use low voltage landscape lights on short stakes for paths.
- Stairs: use recessed step lights.
This will help you see where you’re going.
For the table:
I like to use candles with globes, in case of wind. The new battery powered rechargeable lanterns also work well, and you don’t have to worry about the wind.
Garden and around the home:
No floodlights! (Truth – I do have a floodlight on the patio for cleaning up after a party. But it’s switched and we only turn it on when cleaning up.
We’re going for glare free subtle illumination most of the time.
Focus on warm white lighting. If you’re using LED lights, you want to use a 2,700 Kelvin or higher color. Check the package.
If you’re using low voltage fixtures, make sure they aren’t blinding.
My favorite lighting for drawing your eye into the garden is up-lighting. I have up-lights installed in my patio and they illuminate the walls of my home, patio walls, and window boxes.
I love to use up-lights to illuminate trees in the distance and bushes surrounding the patio. It makes everything more dramatic. Like lighting up interesting bark or interesting tree limbs and vines. It also draws your eye out into the distance and makes the night more interesting.
Another favorite for me are my LED stars that hang from our magnolia tree (see above photo). They give our table a beautiful soft glow and feel so festive.
Firepits are also great, but once you light them, be advised. You will have a hard time getting people to leave!
At our home all the lights are year-round and make all the seasons more beautiful.
Lighting outside makes your room feel bigger on the inside no matter what the season, because it draws your eye out. Watching snow fall is particularly beautiful.
Of course, make sure all the permanent lights are on timers, and that your lighting does not disturb your neighbors. Keep plenty of spare lightbulbs around, although LED’s last much longer than the older incandescent bulbs.
Enjoy the magic of summer and light the night!