So you've finished putting in that new spa. You've got the landscaping and patio table in place. Now it's time to select the right outdoor decorative lighting to set it all off!
Outdoor lighting not only dictates the underlying mood and energy of a space, it can make activities feasible that would otherwise have to wait until daytime.
Since outdoor lighting has so many purposes and uses, both practical and aesthetically oriented, it is worth taking a little time to consider what is important about the lighting of an area, to you specifically.
If you will be reading or working in the area, obviously you will need lighting that is bright enough for you to do these activities. Perhaps a dimmer switch would be best for an outside porch area. This way you can control exactly the amount of light that you need to enjoy your book on the back porch.
Start with the particular areas first. Areas that have unique purposes and activities will require specialty lighting, so it is a good idea to start with these areas first.
If you have a pool, you probably already have pool lighting in place. You will probably want to consider adding some type of walkway lighting around the perimeter of the pool and its accompanying walkways.
Outdoor eating areas and barbeque nooks should have adequate lighting that will not attract bugs and other pests. There are different types of stake lighting that make wonderful walkway lights as well as adequate barbeque area lights, when elevated up off of the ground level a bit.
For outdoor eating areas, you may wish to consider outdoor chandelier type lighting, as these provide overhead lighting that is perfect for dinging at a table.
Around a pool or tables for game playing and other recreational activities, try one of the stand types of outdoor lighting. There are some very handsome traditional pieces made to emulate bamboo and other natural woods, as well as more contemporary pieces with chrome, sleek black matte finishes and colored glass that will compliment any outdoor hangout spot.
Remember, outdoor decorative lighting looks cool, but safety should be addressed as well. For example, it's easy to forget about the little walkways between the various outdoor areas, such as the walk from the house to the garage, or the pool to the patio or house.
It is a good idea to have outdoor lighting placed every three to five feet along these frequently walked pathways to help avoid accidents due to poor lighting. Again, the stake type of lighting are wonderful for pathway applications.
These types of lights can be purchased in sets and installed quite easily. With a little bit of patience and effort, any do it yourselfer can install this type of outdoor lighting over a weekend. And there are tons of places to buy outdoor lighting either locally (if you live in a city) and online too.
In fact, even if you plan to purchase your outdoor decorative lighting supplies at a local store, using the internet to research and see what is available is an easy and fun way to prepare yourself for the actual shopping trip.
After all, you probably won't be replacing your outdoor lighting for several years, so you may as well be sure that you get what you really want.