When Danny Zuko and Sandy Olssen sang about summer nights in the 1978 film classic Grease, they were definitely onto something. There’s just something magical about “oh, oh, those summer nights!” From backyard soirees and family BBQs to night games and pool parties, you can create summer night magic without even leaving the yard. (Think Fourth of July grilling and neighborhood fireworks shows.) But in order to create your ultimate summer patio experience, it’s time to start thinking about outdoor lighting. Below is a list of some great ideas to make your outdoor lighting dreams a reality!
However, before you begin any outdoor lighting project, be certain that ALL of your outdoor outlets are GFCI protected. GFCI outlets, or ground-fault circuit interrupters, can be recognized by the two buttons they have between the outlets: one that says “TEST” and one that says “RESET.” These outlets are designed to cut power to a circuit if it detects, in as quickly as one thirtieth of a second, any change in power flow through the circuit. GFCIs are installed in locations where water might be present, like outdoors. If you need to install outlets outside to make your lighting visions come true, make sure they are GFCI protected. Installing a GFCI is more complicated than installing a standard outlet, so make sure you feel confident in your ability to make the installation. Otherwise, have an electrician you trust come and perform the installation for you.
Perhaps the hottest trend in outdoor lighting and one of the easiest ways to add soft light to any evening gathering, a string of cafe lights give your deck or patio a warm summer night twinkle. Easy to install and hang, just make sure you have an outlet within reaching distance of the string.
FLAG LIGHTING AND OTHER SPOTLIGHTS
Especially around the Fourth of July, many people start thinking about putting a spotlight on the flag. However, spotlights can work for many other purposes as well. Many people will spotlight the front of the house, outdoor art installations, trees, or other points of interest in the yard.
MOTION SENSOR LIGHTS
For safety and convenience, motion sensor lights are a great addition to your outdoor lighting scape, especially if you have dark pockets on your property. When you approach the house or step outside at night, having a motion sensor light flick on is comforting to help you avoid a misstep. Additionally, motion sensor lights can deter trespassers as well. Suddenly being bathed in light will blow the cover of any unwanted intruder.
If you have an outdoor court for tennis, basketball, volleyball, or other sports, or if you enjoy setting up a backyard game of badminton like my family, floodlights are a great way to light the night!
BORDER OR WALKWAY LIGHTING
To bring some soft light to flower beds or gardens, border lights are a great accent idea. Border or walkway lighting can also provide safety for sidewalks, paths, and driveways.
DECORATIVE ROCK LIGHTS
For some of the same reasons as border or walkway lighting, decorative rocks can provide many of the same benefits. However, they have the added benefit of blending into your landscaping. Offered in all shapes, sizes, styles, and colors, you’re sure to find a set to match your aesthetic.
To create a dramatic and inviting look, illuminate the exterior of your home with soffit lighting. You can even add colored bulbs during different seasons to make your home festive! (Red, white, and blue lights, anyone?) However, installing soffit lighting is pretty labor intensive. You might want to enlist the help of a licensed electrician to make sure it’s done safely and correctly.
Your options really are as limitless as your imagination. So, when it comes to those summer nights, bring the magic with outdoor lighting!
Author: Amber Smith-Johnson
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Posted: June 4th, 2018 @ 12:00am by tammy