You can light up the night with Tiki torches and a few citronella candles, or you can make your backyard landscaping really stand out by incorporating some clever outdoor home decor lighting features. You need light, so why not make it special?
Solar powered landscaping lights that accent small shrubs and the perimeter of patios are great, and they're an important feature for most homes. You want to use some of those but with a few unusual lights, your deck or patio will look nothing like the others on your block. (Read: Outdoor Home Decorating for Summer Entertaining)
Here are a few ideas to make your backyard the envy of everyone you know … well everyone who visits your home at night, or sees photos of your home posted online (send us firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll share them here).
Recessed Deck Lighting Blends Home Decor and Safety
Recessed lighting on your deck illuminates areas where you need to watch your step, but it's not intrusive. You can have light where you need it, but without overpowering a darker nighttime setting. Because this type of lighting is seated in the decking, it doesn't compete with whatever look you're going for with the rest of your outdoor decor.
There are kits available for installing this type of lighting. You might need an electrician, as this isn't a simple DIY job. But once installed, these lights will last and they won't create a tripping hazard.
A Decorative Backyard Arbor with Lights Adds Some Fantasy
If you've got an arbor, string lights can add a bit of life after the sun goes down. (Read: Patios and Your Backyard Landscape) If you don't have an arbor, you can buy or build one to dress up a favorite spot in your backyard. Planting vines such as clematis and jasmine will give you the green look that fills in the wood or metal in just one season, and they return year after year. Climbing roses take longer to mature, but are another great addition.
String lights may need an electrical outlet, but two new types have hit the market that make installing and using them a lot easier. Battery-powered lights can be tucked into the arbor, and there's no cord to stretch to an electric source. And with solar-powered string lights, you'll never have to worry about replacing batteries. Just let the sun charge up the batteries during daylight hours.
Upcycled Outdoor Decor Turns Wine Bottles into Chandeliers
How clever is this idea? You can buy ready-made outdoor lighting using wine bottles, or you can make them yourself. Wine bottles act as the globe, and the lights fit neatly inside. If you're making them yourself, you'll need a glass cutter, diamond-coated file and a kit for constructing outdoor lighting. Most kits have step-by-step instructions that walk you through the process.
Another way to use wine bottles is with candles. With the bottoms cut out of the bottles, the open top makes a natural vent. You can place them over candles like a hurricane lamp on your patio tables or on a shelf (metal recommended) hanging over the table.
Backlighting is Not Your Average Illuminated Tree Decor
You've seen landscaping that uses string lights to wrap tree trunks and mingle among the branches. Here's a different idea, and it creates a dramatic effect. It's also easier to accomplish, since you don't have to worry about balancing the volume of lights perfectly on every branch. Backlighting highlights the tree, and it's especially beautiful when you've got a twisted old tree with interesting features.
This project calls for larger solar lights. Smaller lights won't have the same dramatic effect. You'll want to arrange them to brighten the most interesting lines of the tree. Perhaps one light highlighting a crooked branch, and another shedding light on a tree swing, if you've got one.
Outdoor lighting is as much a feature as the lighting inside your home. It can improve safety, create a mood, enhance outdoor home decor, and highlight features you want to notice. With so many choices, your imagination is really your only limit.
What lighting features have you used for your outdoor decor? We'd love for you to share photos of them!