6 Ideas for Lighting Your Patio

Summer brings warmer nights and the yearning to linger outdoors. But once the sun goes down, your patio or deck requires special lighting to make it as inviting as the inside of your home. Here are six easy ways you can transform your Comox Valley patio or deck lighting. You might never want to go back inside again.
Beach Style Deck by Peters Billiards

1. Keep it low. At night, any bright light that’s shining in our eyes will cause glare and make it harder for us to see. Light your deck and patio floors with step lights or rail-mounted lights to keep the light low and discreet. You can install lights directly into the deck or patio or get creative with continuous LED strips hidden below steps and platforms.
Tropical Deck by Nick Leith-Smith Architecture + Design

2. Hide the bulbs. Outdoor wall sconces or hanging lanterns with clear glass — which allow you to plainly see the bulb — can cause major glare issues at night. For usable light, choose fixtures that hide the bulb deep inside the fixture or have frosted glass to help diffuse the light.

3. Bring back the stars. In rural Comox Valley areas with limited light pollution, you might be able to gaze at plenty of real stars. In brighter urban and suburban environments, try mimicking the look of stars with hanging string lights. The small bulbs will add a soft glow at night without too much glare.

Rustic Porch by Ryan Street & Associates

4. Light the fire. Our attraction to flame is strong, some might even say primordial. Outdoor fireplaces, kerosene lanterns and even grouped candles will delight family and friends with their mesmerizing flickers.

Contemporary Deck by Siol

5. Make it bigger. You can expand the visual space of your patio or deck by selectively illuminating nearby features such as trees, landscaping and walls. This allows you to see past the edges of the patio or deck, making the space feel larger. Limit light pollution by using the lights only when you’re outside to enjoy them.

Transitional Patio by Pinnacle Lighting Group

6. Enjoy the dark. To really experience the night, leave some areas of your patio and landscape dark. I try to avoid placing lights in a “dark zone” from about waist-high to just above your head. This keeps offensive light out of your eyes so you can better enjoy the fire, gaze at the Comox Valley landscape and linger long into the night.

Transitional Deck by David K Warfel Lighting Design

The illustration above visually recaps the six lighting tips discussed here. Consider pulling all them together to create the perfect nighttime patio experience.


Houzz Contributor. Expert lighting design specialist.

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