Creative Ways to Brighten A Summer Backyard in NJ with Outdoor Lighting

Summer brings with it plenty of sunlit hours to enjoy your yard by having picnics, playing backyard games or simply relaxing. But, the warmth of the season beckons us outside into the magic of the dusk and dark evenings as well. Low voltage lighting options extend the day’s activities and offer homeowners infinite creative possibilities.

chrisjamesblog2june2016depositphotos_77242146_m2015Setting the Mood

Outdoor lighting creates the mood to play, entertain or rest in solitude after the golden sun sets in New Jersey. It also offers security for your home and those you love. With surprisingly few watts, your yard becomes a safer, more versatile area after dark.

To Begin

When considering outdoor lighting, start with an assessment. Walk your yard at night and identify the darkened areas. After that, a plan can begin to unfold. Browsing the Internet inspires your imagination. However, a reputable residential landscape expert offers more innovation and helps bring those ideas into reality within a budget.

To Keep in Mind

As you lay out your plan, remember that not every darkened area needs to be lit directly. Washing the entire area with light lacks ambiance and, of course, adds to the cost. Angled and reflected light achieves balance and beauty in the realm of low voltage lighting. Again, an expert provides valuable assistance to those without a vision.

Safety Matters

Consider using spotlights and motion detectors for added safety, security, and energy efficiency. When using motion sensors, pulse-count technology reduces activation by pets and night critters. Timers, dusk sensors, and photocells also prove convenient and act energy savers, while dimmers adjust the mood and prevent over-lighting.

Discourage Pests

Finally, summer pests are drawn to light. Overhead lighting choices keep these nuisances away from you and your guests when possible. For those areas requiring fixtures at guest height, specially designed lighting, which discourages pests, may offer a solution.

Creative Ideas for Lighting Your Backyard

Once you have covered the lighting basics for safety and security, you may want to explore a few creative project ideas for bringing illumination to your space.

Landscape Highlights

Low voltage and accent lighting highlight the beautiful landscape of your yard as natural light dims. Options to explore include:

— String lights along rock borders.

— Well lights, recessed in the ground, light ground cover and flower beds.

— Uplights highlight trees or shrubs.

Walk This Way

Lit pathways, driveways, and steps offer safety. But, the large array of options can surely enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home. Ideas include:

— Strip or string lighting to run along a path or under step treads.

— Downlights mounted in trees with light cast on the edge of a walk or drive.

— Fixtures that run flush with the drive or walk make mowing easier.

In the Swim

Nothing says summer quite like a pool party. Low voltage lighting glams up the ambiance. Consider these ideas for your next party:

— String lights defining the pool’s perimeter.

— Globe light columns alongside the pool for a touch of Hollywood.

— Moonlight globes, large circular lights, floating on the water.

Fireflies in the Night

Perhaps one way to keep the summer pests from your party is to give them an alternate attraction. String lights dotting the bushes create a diversion while offering you and your guests the illusion of fireflies flickering among the shrubbery. Another option leaves the strings of light dripping from trees, creating a magical landscape.

Get in the Game

Children and adults alike enjoy a bit of friendly competition. Once the sun has set, there is no reason why games cannot continue. A lighted backyard with lights mounted to trees and poles levels the playing field after dark. Also, lit driveways allow a pickup basketball game or neighborhood skateboard competition to proceed without hesitation.

Dinner Party

Hosting friends al fresco entertains many a summer hour. Keeping the grill area lit with a low-voltage flood light or another permanent fixture prevents the burning of dinner and chefs alike. Creative pendants over outdoor dining tables welcome guests, while lights strung overhead offer a festive mood.

Date Night Magic

Lights strung in a gazebo or quiet part of the lawn offer a cozy, quiet location for dinner for two. Pendant lights or string lights offer romantic options. Your personality dictates whether you prefer softer lighting options or trees dripping with illumination to inspire the magic.

Moments of Solitude

Of course, the backyard is not only for entertaining. A private space for relaxing after a long day and enjoying your yard offers refreshment. Lights strung over a hammock or daybed give homeowners a retreat to read, rest or catch up with one another. No space to string a hammock? Nestle a chair amid the trees or in a private corner of the deck. Lantern lights offer just enough illumination to read to a child or listen to your favorite tunes.

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