Tips For Lighting Your Patio At Night

Lighting your patio is a must if you want to enjoy it on summer nights as well as during the day. The problem is that many of the builder grade fixtures used outdoors are too harsh for evening enjoyment. The following tips can help you change up your exterior lighting so that it works better for evening entertaining.

Tip #1: Avoid bright overhead lighting

Bright light from directly overhead is very pleasant when you are outside at night. It tends to attract bugs, as well as ruining the visibility so you can still see things from beyond the circle of light. Bright lights from overhead also result in a harsh glare, which can give you a headache if you sit beneath it too long. Instead, choose dimmer, scattered overhead solutions, such as a multi-bulb hanging fixture.

Tip #2: Add multiple light sources

Having more than one source for light can help change up the mood. Wall sconces work well for soft lighting if your patio is attached to your home. You can also have the sconces mounted to the patio cover supports so that the space is fully surrounded. String lights, stretched above, can add another dimension to your lighting scheme.

Tip #3: Consider adjustable fixtures

A fixture that allows you to adjust the brightness of the lights is another good choice for the patio. You can turn up the lights to optimum brightness if you are doing something outside that require good visibility, such as enjoying a card game on a summer's evening. Then, you can later dim the lights so you and your guests can enjoy a relaxing conversation while enjoying the balmy nighttime air. If you have multiple fixtures, make sure each one is on its own dimmer switch so you have more control.

Tip #4: Extend the lights to the yard

Unless you never expect to entertain beyond the patio after dark, you will need to add some lighting to your yard. There are several options. Wall-mounted down lights placed on fences or the sides of garages or sheds can help your guest see where they are in relation to the rest of the yard. Solar lights should be placed along walkways, as well, to help guide feet on steps. Consider adding some dramatic uplights if you have key features that will look striking at night, such as a statue or water fountain.

Talk to a lighting specialist for more ideas to create the perfect patio after dark.