Spice Up Your Home with Stylish Outdoor Lighting

When it comes to home décor, few statements hold truer than the age-old saying, “the devil’s in the details.” While most people focus on decorating their interior spaces, the outside is another element that’s just as important to consider. Small accents and classic touches like welcome rugs, colorful pots, and well-kept gardens can be the difference between a home that feels warm and inviting, and one that seems dull and lifeless. Outdoor lighting is an accessory people commonly forget to think about that can drastically alter the look and feel of one’s home. Although outdoor lights are designed to withstand a variety of weather conditions and storms, there is no rule that they have to be less attractive than indoor lights. Rather than purchase boring, standard outdoor lighting, the right decorative lighting for outside lawns and gardens is an effective way to polish off your space.

Regardless of the look you’d like to achieve, there are endless outdoor lighting options for exterior walls, walkways, decks, patios and other outdoor living spaces that can add spice and personality to the overall appearance and feel of your home. Upon investigating all the lighting brands, sizes, shapes, and materials, you may become overwhelmed by the myriad of choices to consider. Before purchasing such a key element, it is a good idea to take these four factors into consideration.

The first factor to decide on is where you’d like to put the lighting. Are you looking to update the lights near your front door? Perhaps some soft garden lights illuminating the sidewalk from your driveway would add subtle charm. Maybe you’re in need of outdoor lanterns for backyard gatherings to compliment your patio furniture and magnify a festive ambiance, or to create a glow that amplifies the quiet, ideal retreat by your pool. Depending on where you place the fixtures will alter the functionality and purpose of the lighting.

Deciding on the reason for this outdoor lighting is a second consideration that goes hand in hand with where you place the fixtures. If you are using the lighting simply for decoration, you might focus more on style and elegance. If you need to update lighting near your back door, or in a dark corner of your yard, you’ll likely want to focus more on finding fixtures that brighten up the area to make it safer and give you peace of mind. If you have small children, it is wise to avoid dim, low lights with sharp edges that they could trip over or get hurt falling into. Mounted post lights are a good idea to prevent guests from driving on your lawn after dark, and hanging fixtures and mounted wall lamps are important to add an extra safety measure and make visitors feel comfortable visiting your home.

The third factor to take into account is the overall design theme you’re looking to accomplish. By having a cohesive idea of the look and feel you’re going for, you will be able to eliminate options more easily and focus on lights that match your decorating guidelines. While experimenting with mixed lighting options can create an eccentric look, it must be done so with careful consideration to avoid being overwhelming or tacky. Combining classic styles like copper lanterns with modern ones can be charming and unique. Many people enjoy rustic lighting that blends in with the overall outdoor scenery. Talking to a lighting specialist or landscape designer may give you a better idea of how to tailor your outdoor lighting to best accentuate your home.

Finally, cost is an important consideration when adding such a visible element to your home. There are many gorgeous, affordable lighting options available that use gas, electric, propane or solar power depending on your needs. Installing motion sensor lights, switches, and automatic timers are good ways to conserve energy and cut down on the cost of lighting your space. Outdoor lighting is a simple, efficient way to express your individuality and improve the feel and aesthetics of your home— making it a worthwhile investment for everyone to explore.

About the author

Lily Sahara is a guest contributor who works for Carolina Lanterns, a South Carolina based company that specializes in custom-made copper and brass lanterns and lamps that use propane, natural gas, or electricity and evoke the charm of historic Charleston.