Few things are better than a relaxing summer evening outside but first you need a space to lounge in. You can transform your cottage or cabin into a summer paradise easily by simply adding outdoor lighting to your patio, porch or backyard.
Crafting Your Personal Paradise
As long as the weather is nice, this will be your personal space to stretch out, curl up with a book or entertain guests. Make sure you love the way it looks. Settle on one style for your backyard paradise and use lighting to accent this theme. Do you want to transport you and your friends to an Asian garden? String lanterns along the banisters of your porch or along walkways. Perhaps a contemporary look that does not call attention to itself is more your style. Purchase sleek and simple lights to add elements of modern life to the natural setting. More ornate and decorative lighting is always a possibility too. Lights and lanterns with floral designs can scatter beautiful shadows across your patio.
Also consider lighting the area with candles or an outdoor fireplace. These, in combination with electrical lighting, provide both practical light as well as ambiance. Just be sure you practice fire safety and put out the candles when you go inside and keep open flames away from foot traffic.
Let There Be Light (But Not Too Much)
Be conscious of light pollution. An increasing number of towns throughout the country have adopted what are known as dark-sky laws. These are rules that restrict the amount of light you may emit from your property at night and in some cases they state the specific types of lights allowed outdoors. A light with a covered top is an excellent solution. By preventing excess light from reaching upwards, you may illuminate the ground without contributing to light pollution.
You may also install timed lighting that automatically shuts off during hours you are inside. Motion-censored lighting is another popular option. The light follows you wherever you need it and darkens the places you do not.
By practicing dark-sky regulations you get to preserve the natural environment you are enjoying. Outdoor lighting at night can disturb various species of wildlife, ranging from insects to birds to small mammals. Plus, limited electrical lighting means better stargazing.
Choose Durable Lights
These lights will be outside at all times in all kinds of weather, so choose lights that can handle a little wear and tear. If your cottage is near the coast and is exposed to saltwater air, you may want to avoid metal casing that can corrode. Opt instead for plastic lights that will endure these conditions better. Energy efficient bulbs are a smart choice as well. They cost less to run and you won’t have to change the bulbs nearly as often as you would with incandescent bulbs.
Practicality & Safety
Light the things that are most important. You will want to make sure that your house number is visible as well as any entrance you wish your guests to use when entering or leaving your home. Install lights along your driveway and any main walkway you might use at night. Be especially cautious of hazardous or more rugged paths where someone may trip and fall. Stairs must also be lit to ensure safety, particularly if you are indulging in a late night glass of wine with your stargazing.
Take advantage of the warm weather and stay outside long past sunset. Just because it’s dark outside, doesn’t mean you have to pack it in and call an end to your barbecue. Continue the evening by switching on the outdoor lighting and make the most out of your cottage or cabin this summer.
This is a guest post by Lilly Sheperd. She’s a freelance writer, writing on behalf World Market, a company offer outdoor lighting solutions.