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Top Summer 5 Backyard Lighting Ideas

It may be hard to believe, but summer is coming quickly (after a beautiful Spring!). With summer comes long nights spent outdoors enjoying grilling, backyard activities, and the simple pleasure of sitting and enjoying the beautiful weather. Time spent outdoors isn’t so much fun when you have to walk around in the dark, which makes backyard lighting ideas a great idea if you want to make your backyard as fun and functional as possible. Whether you’re looking to host more parties, make your backyard safer for your company, or just because you want a little extra visibility for summer backyard sessions, there are a variety of backyard lighting ideas that can add some much-needed light for wonderful summer nights.

The Top Summer 5 Backyard Lighting Ideas

1. Bistro (string) Lights

Bistro, or string lights, come in a variety of styles that can be integrated into a variety of backyard lighting options. For those with arbors, pergolas, or verandas with open access to the sky, string lights can be strung across to provide a star-like effect while also providing illumination below; string lights can also be wrapped or suspended from an umbrella to provide a direct lighting source for outdoor dining. String lights can also be strung parallel to pathways as navigational tools or strung across vegetation to create an interesting outdoor dynamic. String lights can also be used in conjunction with other lighting sources, such as lamps or deck lights, to magnify the lighting effect, increase the illumination and create distinct designs that aren’t possible without string lights. Popular string lighting designs include paper lamps, globes, Edison bulbs as well as LED lighting options that provide a variety of design, illumination, and efficiency options. 


2. Cattail Lights for Tall Grasses

Cattail lights can add a unique dimension to pre-existing vegetation or to create a distinct, designed lighting effect. Cattail lighting can come in many forms, with some lighting being designed to resemble cattails while other lighting options wrap around vegetation or simulate leaves. Cattail lighting offers the benefits of being very sleek and easily integrated into natural landscape features as well as pathway lighting. 

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3. Uplighting or Downlighting on Trees and Architecture

Uplighting and downlighting have similar applications with respect to how they are used and where they are typically featured but have subtle nuances with regard to how they can be applied to a backyard situation. Uplighting is commonly used to illuminate specific features of a space with lighting being directed from the bottom. For example, you may place a spotlight at the base of an ornamental tree to make it stand out or use well lights at the base of a column, wall, or water feature to amplify the nocturnal appeal. Uplighting can provide functional value when used to illuminate along a path or access point, such as a doorway, walkway, or even a gazebo in the middle of a yard, though it is most commonly used for aesthetic effect.

Downlighting is the opposite orientation of uplighting, where lighting is placed in a tree, large pole, or even at a roof eave and directed downwards. This can be used to a similar effect as up lighting with regard to accentuating certain natural or built features of your backyard, though downlighting offers the advantage of moving lighting away from foot traffic. If your backyard experiences heavy usage, particularly with pets or children, and post lighting or spotlighting are liable to be destroyed or trampled, downlighting can relieve you and your backyard of the hassle of having tripping hazards or damaged lights while offering the same amount of illumination in the space you are lighting. For those trying to maximize illumination, uplighting and downlighting can be used simultaneously, though it’s best to stagger slightly or offset the lighting away from main access points to avoid being blinded by the light.


4. Wall Lighting

Wall lighting offers a variety of benefits relative to the many backyard lighting options available. For those who have a porch, patio, deck, or even a pergola or arbor spanning portions of your backyard, wall or deck lights can easily be wired into the deck to provide valuable light to increase the usability of the space. With wall lighting, popular options include moderate voltage lights that are attached to brickwork, posts, or siding featured in your outdoor space as well as recessed lights or sconces. Sconces offer an added aesthetic dimension while recessed lights offer a more subtle illumination option for those who aren’t interested in seeing lights on their walls or who wish to have a more hidden light source. 


5. Deck Lighting

Deck lighting comprises a similar design style, with lighting featured on the railings and posts of decks as well as on exterior features. Deck lighting plays an important role in the social dimension of outdoor usage, making your outdoor space more accessible during later hours of the summer, as well as in illuminating steps or other features that may be tripping hazards late at night. Deck lighting can be easily wired into your home’s electrical connection and offer different lighting options as far as intensity, longevity, and directionality. 

As you can imagine, there is a multitude of lighting styles, designs, and features that can integrate nicely into your backyard design and usage. Backyard lighting plays a variety of roles, from improving safety and accessibility to increasing usability and aesthetics, so there’s no reason to feel that you have to forego summer enjoyment because of the dark. If you’re looking for some design or installation advice, we’d love to be able to help you find the right lights to enjoy your backyard, and summer nights. Call 262-358-9100 or contact us here to schedule your design consultation!

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