Using Lighting to Create an Outdoor Oasis

You don't have to plan a lavish vacation to relax this summer. With the right lighting, your back yard can become your own private retreat, allowing you to enjoy a mini getaway without leaving your home.

It's easier - and less expensive - than you might imagine to transform your existing patio, deck or pool area into a space you'll love. A new lighting scheme can turn your back yard into an oasis by enhancing your existing outdoor furniture, landscaping and other amenities.

Layer Your Lights

Just like with indoor lighting, outdoor lighting is most effective when it utilizes overhead, task and ambient light sources. Even outdoors, where there are not typically boundaries and borders, those three layers will enhance enjoyment and help define smaller sitting and entertaining areas as though they are outdoor rooms.

Add Decorative Elements

While functionality is the top priority, aesthetic elements are also important for creating the most relaxing and inspiring setting. Focus on lighting that highlights architectural and natural details, as well as other decorative elements like arbors, pergolas, patios, etc.

Consider Safety

An updated outdoor lighting scheme will extend your patio entertaining hours. While you'll enjoy the extra time in your outdoor oasis, creating a safe space to enjoy into the evening is also important. Don't neglect walkways and other safety features when lighting your back yard. You can also enhance home security by placing lights near entrances and in dark corners. Make sure to aim lights away from the door so as not to blind people as they enter your outdoor area.

Save Energy

During the summer months, when we are typically running our air conditioners more, conserving energy becomes increasingly important. Consider LEDs for their efficiency. Also, think about Energy Star and Dark Sky fixtures that reduce glare and minimize light pollution.

A trained professional at an ALA-member showroom can help you create a backyard retreat you'll enjoy throughout summer and for years to come.

Photo by Savoy House.