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Outdoor Patio Lighting Ideas

Are you thinking about replacing the outdoor lighting around your home? Maybe converting the old light bulbs in those fixtures to LEDs or replacing those old fixtures.

Here Are Some Outdoor Patio Lighting Ideas

There are a few steps to achieve the effect that you’re are trying to do. You have landscaping that you want to make more visually appealing.

Then there is the lighting along the walkways and patio. Also, you might have areas that require security lighting to keep your home safe.

Let’s start with the safety and security lighting. Your floodlight(s) fixtures should be the brightest. It is a fact that well-lit spaces reduce crime by 37 percent.

deck lightingSuch areas like walk-ways, parking, and garages require lighting that eliminates all the dark spaces. Light fixtures that work the best have motion sensors or dusk to dawn features.

You most likely have a motion sensor flood light(s) installed around your home. But they have either a compact fluorescent lamp or an incandescent light bulb twisted into them.

If the light fixture has an incandescent bulb, you are spending more money every time the light comes on. This type of floodlight is the most inefficient use of energy. Also, consumes the most electricity.

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The compact fluorescent light consumes less electricity than a traditional light bulb but contains a hazardous material called mercury. The mercury contained in the CFL poses a health hazard as well as an environmental hazard. Moreover, requires specific disposal and recycling.

The two types of light bulbs mentioned above also require more time maintaining the light fixtures. Whereas, using LED light bulbs will reduce maintenance cost and eliminate and special disposal.

LEDs do not have mercury and will last for years. Also, are 80 percent energy efficient. And will cost pennies to operate instead of dollars. Sure, LEDs are more expensive on the front-end but will pay for themselves in a matter of months rather than years.

So when you are ready to convert your outside lighting, your best choice is LED light fixtures and LED bulbs. In most instances, you won’t have to replace the light fixture.

Today LEDs are manufactured to be a direct replacement. Or a plug and play replacement light bulb. The worst case scenario you might have to by-pass the old ballast and wire the lamp direct.

When considering exterior lighting keep in mind that less can be more. You want to draw the eye to the spaces of obvious distinction. That doesn’t mean using more lighting fixtures to create a unique effect.

Think about the area you are trying to illuminate. What type of ambiance you want to create. How you want to highlight specific areas. Also, how the cascading light works in harmony throughout the yard.

Choose those spaces to light and light them well. Think about the light quality, desired spread of the light beam, and placement of the light fixture.

Maybe you want to bring attention to a tree or show off your flower garden. You might need to install accent lighting to feature those areas.

Your patio or deck doesn’t require an abundance of light used for entertaining. Devise a plan to light the patio or deck with soft relaxing illumination. Creating an outdoor atmosphere that is casual and inviting.

Let’s Talk About Color Temperature

You have come up with a plan for lighting your outside landscaping. It is imperative to take into consideration light quality and light quantity. At this point is where color temperature comes into play.

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The primary color temperature for outside lighting is 2,700K to 4,000K (Kelvin). This range of color temperature is probably the one that you are most familiar.

It is similar to a (2,700K) traditional light bulb. The glow from the light bulb has an amber look to it. As you move up the scale to 4,000K, the light emitted from the lamp has a bluer view to it.

Warmer Color Temperature is Better

The warmer color temperatures 2,500K to 2,700K works best used for architectural components and landscape and plant materials. You can find the color temperature ranges on the light bulb packaging.

As you move up the scale to the colder temperatures can make your environment feel uneasy and unnatural. Warmer temperatures mimic the sunshine or a campfire. So stick to 2,500K to 3,000K to create the ideal warm and cozy atmosphere.

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Layer Your Light

To create the perfect outdoor space, it is essential that you layer lighting. Layering the light adds emotion, drama, and beauty to landscaping. Layering light is where you decide the highs and lows of illumination. Your tools for accenting and bringing to life your outdoors.

You can make this work by using different lights and specific circuits. As an example, having lighting independent of your patio, deck or pathways. Using a variety if controls or dimmer switches that let you control specific spaces of illumination.

I use motion sensor lights for my patio and deck steps. I never have to worry about finding a light switch. I move out to the deck, and the lights come on automatically. I’ve installed dusk to dawn LED light bulbs on my front porch also.

LED Smart Bulbs Step Up Your Game

Think about the places you could do the same thing? LED smart light bulbs let you be as creative as you want to be. LEDs that change colors or keep the beat of the music. Can you imagine the possibilities? Some color-changing smart bulbs have up to 16 million colors.

LEDs v.s Other Lighting

LEDs are more energy efficient than incandescent, CFLs or halogens. (LED 50,000 hours, halogens 3,000-10,000 hours)

LEDs have a more extended lifespan than the bulbs mentioned above.

LEDs reduce maintenance cost.

LEDs emit little to no heat. Cool to the touch. (reduced fire hazard)

The one drawback of LED lights is the initial upfront cost. In the long run, LEDs will save you money on light bulb replacement, and your energy bill.

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When you are thinking about your outdoor lighting keep in mind “less can be more.”

The amount of brightness and the importance of layering the illumination.

Contrasting of light in harmony to highlight or shadow exterior features.

Using accent lighting to draw the eye to specific spaces.

Choosing the right color temperature can make or break the overall outdoor experience.

The more information you gather about your particular lighting project for the front yard, backyard, deck, patio or garden will help you reach your goal. Researching the latest lighting fixtures and methods will enhance your success. For the perfect summer entertainment outdoor space.

I am not an expert on landscape decor. I just wanted to share the research that I’ve found so far. I will be reworking all of my landscaping and outdoor lighting this spring.

I would love to hear your thoughts about how you plan to do your outdoor lighting.

Please share your comments or questions below.



2 replies on “Outdoor Patio Lighting Ideas”

Hello, Tanks for taking the time to comment. I will share some examples of layering light for outdoor landscape.


The investment in good lighting is worth it when you consider the stat that it reduces crime by 37%! Wow, that is incredible…but it makes a lot of sense. Darkness hides bad behavior!

I had never really thought about the layering of light and how that would impact the look of my landscaping. It would be great if you could share some examples of this!

Thanks for the great ideas…going to get some LED lights today!

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