Outdoor lighting ideas to suit every zone October 16 2015, 3 Comments
Now that the temperatures are rising, we can fully enjoy our backyard again! Australians love to spend time outside, from dining on the verandah to playing cricket in the yard. From a design perspective, you can create outdoor ‘zones’ for all of these activities. Giving each area a different but complementary character can help build visual interest across your patio, verandah, and yard. While there are plenty of ideas for seating arrangements, we feel that outdoor lighting is sometimes left behind a bit in the design plan. That’s why we will give you a few practical outdoor lighting ideas in this blog, based on three specific activity zones: playing, cooking & eating, and relaxing.
Whether you have children of your own, grandchildren, or the offspring of friends visiting, a grassy area is the perfect place to let them play and enjoy themselves. This zone is also great for summer parties as a place for people to chat or as an improvised dance floor. Outdoor lighting for this zone should be able to complement the fading light, bright enough to be practical but soft enough to create a nice atmosphere. Festoon lighting is the recommended option because it gives plenty of cheery overhead lighting, yet isn’t as harsh as a flood light. Pathway lights can be lined not just along the path but also along the borders of the grass. If the zone is near the house or verandah, multiple outdoor spotlights could also complement the lighting level.
Cooking & Eating
What would summer be without barbecues? Creating a zone for cooking and eating meals outside brings character to your alfresco dining. If this zone is covered, installing outdoor downlights or various outdoor spotlights above or pointing at the grill, barbecue or cook top will help provide good task lighting to work. Outdoor pendant lighting is great for above the dining table. If your cooking zone is not covered, outdoor string lighting again is a good option. You can also make use of outdoor wall lights attached to nearby structures such as the verandah, covered patio or the house itself. Finally, a good outdoor fan will be beneficial in keeping the flies at bay.
The pride of the Australian traditional house is the verandah. Providing shelter from both sun and rain, it is the perfect spot for relaxing. Individual seating provides a personal retreat, whereas groups of seats allow for socializing with friends and family. This zone can be a bit more lit up than the yard, but not as much as the cooking area. Dimmable outdoor wall lights are perfect, as they can be attuned to the fading day light. LED outdoor lighting in particular is suitable for this. Outdoor pendant lighting is a great style statement here as well, either high up or low down above the coffee table, for example.
As you can tell, the rules for lighting design are a bit different for outdoor zones, due to restrictions in placement. But with the right level of lighting in mind and a stylish choice of outdoor lighting, you can create practical zones for all of your outdoor activities. We hope you found these outdoor lighting ideas helpful. Are you doing up your outdoor space? Let us know in the comments below!
Image 1 via lifeincolorphoto, image 3 via brit + co, image 5 via stylizimo, all others via FSV.