Aug 052014
 

It’s incredible the way lighting can change outdoor spaces. As is the case with indoor spaces, spending comparatively little on lighting can produce dramatic results. A DIY outdoor lighting project might be just the thing to make you fall in love with your home all over again. But before you begin an outdoor lighting project, it’s important to think about your options. Here are 10 tips for 10 approaches to outdoor lighting.

1. Using Outdoor String Lights

Outdoor string lights are just great. But there are so many different kinds! Some have bare bulbs; some have lanterns. Some are LED; some incandescent. Some are white; some are colored. Make sure you research your options and choose the ones that are right for YOU!

2. Taking DIY Outdoor Lighting to the Next Level

Sure, you can install a standard low voltage lighting fixture and be justified when you say you Did It Yourself, but have you ever considered making your own DIY outdoor lighting fixtures? Mason jars seem to be the ingredient of choice when constructing your own outdoor lights. The internet is full of instructions for making DIY outdoor lighting fixtures, so do your homework and find the perfect project to make your outdoor area more luminous.

3 . Making it Modern

Let’s get weird! Isn’t that what modern outdoor lighting seems to say? I guess it depends on whom you ask. Modern outdoor lighting usually consists of interesting light fixtures with unusual, playful designs, and they can really make your outdoor vibe more interesting and thought-provoking.

4. Showing Off Textures

wall grazing2 1024x791 10 Quick Tips for DIY Outdoor Lighting

via Outdoor Lighting of Colorado

Setting up flood lights to point up an outdoor wall shows off the wall’s texture. It’s a great effect and reasonably easy to achieve. Outdoor wall lighting works best on walls with interesting surfaces.

5. Fun Outdoor Flood Lights

Outdoor flood lights don’t have to be white and can do more than flood the driveway with light from the corner of the garage. Using gels – colored cellophane sheets that cover the light – you can make outdoor flood lights to color your house. Of course, this is a purely aesthetic use of outdoor lighting. Since gels are simple to change, you can decide on colors based on season.

6. Outdoor patio lighting

You might want to focus your efforts on a lighting scheme for your outdoor patio. If that’s the case, you should think about layering your lighting. For example, some outdoor string lights above and maybe some path lights around the perimeter? Is there a place LED rope could be used? Multiple light sources is the way to go.

7. LED Options

DSC 0201 1024x678 10 Quick Tips for DIY Outdoor Lighting

Sometimes you start with a particular light source in mind. These days, that light source is often LED. If you’re sure you want to use outdoor LED lights, you have a wide variety of outdoor LED light fixture types, from LED rope to LED tape to LED path lights, step lights, puck lights, recessed lights, and string lights. LED outdoor lights are highly efficient and look great. And some, like the one above, run on solar power! That means free!

8. Decking Out the Deck

If you are focused specifically on outdoor deck lighting, make sure you think about caution. Outdoor deck lighting should entail step lights if there are steps and should include lights around the perimeter of the deck. LED tape or rope, colored or white, are often great for running on the underside of deck railings.

9. Using Timers

Intermatic Lighting Control 1024x1024 10 Quick Tips for DIY Outdoor Lighting

A lot of times, when you think of outdoor lighting, you might think of landscape lighting. It’s often a great idea to use a lighting control to turn your outdoor landscape lights on and off. Some lighting controls can even detect when the sun begins to set in order to turn on the lights at just the right moment. Pretty neat, huh?

10. Outdoor Party Lights

Let’s face it: The most fun reason to conceptualize and execute a DIY outdoor lighting project is for PARTIES! When designing outdoor lighting for parties, you should feel free to be creative and unique. Remember this whole lighting thing is supposed to be FUN! What’s more fun than using light to create the perfect party atmosphere?

by

Tom SowdersAfter majoring in creative writing at NC State, I worked in the home remodeling industry. Then, I attended graduate school for a really long time and gained experience as a writer and writing instructor. I live in the Raleigh-Durham area with my wife and baby boy, and you can find me around the Triangle anywhere there's good music and/or NC-style BBQ.

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