Deck and Patio Lighting Thoughts

One of the primary motivators for the homeowner in considering a patio or deck area as an add-on to their home is its entertainment value. Cruise the neighborhood during the day and you will more than likely see only a few people using the patio or deck. However, as evening approaches the story changes. When parent(s) come home from work or when it’s the right time to plan a party for friends and relatives, the patio or deck is frequently used as the center of festivities that often last well into the night.

During the planning stages, it’s important to include a lighting plan to make sure that the patio and deck area are not only well-lighted but that the lighting design creates a magical effect for its visitors.

Starting with the most elegant (and usually the most expensive) deck and patio lighting we can take a look at lights that are built-in to the foundation elements of the patio or deck. These lights provide a soft uplight glow that can mark a pathway or just provide a non-functional source of beauty. The lights are generally installed by contractors during the patio and deck construction and are generally not a project that the average DIY should consider tackling. I’ve seen this type of lighting done in a variety of colors and have even seen systems that automatically change the colors during the course of the evening, providing a mood-altering effect.

Dimmers are also a worthwhile investment for ground level lighting, allowing the host to increase or decrease the intensity of the lighting depending on the mood desired. Ground lighting is very safe since the lights themselves are never in contact with the visitors. Contractors will make sure that the process for changing the bulbs is simple and straightforward.

Speaking of dimmers, it’s generally a good idea to keep your entire deck and patio lighting system under dimmer control. Bright moonlight can allow you to turn the lighting down a bit while dark moonless nights can prompt you to boost the light up a bit.

Ground level lighting can also be used to frame the patio or deck area particularly if you’ve planted shrubbery or other low plantings around the area.

Down lighting is another type of deck and patio lighting. As the name implies, this is lighting from above and can be used to simulate moonlight. Besides being a natural lighting source, down lighting also enhances the security of the area because a lighted deck or patio usually leaves the impression the there’s someone at home.

A creative way to use this as a security feature is to have your doorbell circuit tied into a switch that at least temporarily turns the down lights on.

Most down lighting is accomplished by the use of either or both floodlights and spotlights. The floodlight will provide more ambient lighting by illuminating the entire deck or patio area while spotlights can be used as task lighting to highlight such areas as stairways and entryways. Spotlights can also be used to accent special features such as fountains, plantings or cooking and eating areas.

Many deck and patio lighting is installed at the waist level to keep any glare away from the face and to provide an elegant touch. Some lighting can also be installed at the top of posts that are at the top of stairways or other areas that separate one part of the deck or patio from another.

Some homeowners use strip or rope lights to highlight the porch or deck railing or other areas that need special attention such as stair risers or seating areas. If you live in an area where you can use a deck or patio during the winter holiday season, give some thought to decorating the area with lighting that can be used year-round.

Have fun with your lighting plan for your deck or patio. Most of the lighting is relatively inexpensive and can be removed or modified relatively easily. You may want to divide your plan into lights, which need to be permanently installed, and lights that are movable and optional.

Please don’t get carried away with deck and patio lighting plans. This type of lighting is best understated although some decorative lighting such as hurricane lamps or tiki torches (used in moderation) are OK.

Bugs are often a problem at night and several manufactures offer lights that discourage or repel flying pests. Sometimes a bright light, strategically placed in a tree a bit away from the patio or deck will help keep these insects occupied elsewhere rather than with your guests.

Above all, keep in mind that you want to create a magic environment that will encourage visitors to congregate and socialize late into the evening.

5 Tips to Enhance Your Garden and Patio

A garden and patio are together one of the most crucial contributors to a beautiful home. Possessing a beautiful Garden & Patio is a matter of pride and a luxury for the owner. Regardless of the area, a patio and a garden can be done up beautifully, by picking the right kind of furniture and décor pieces. The following tips will help one make the right decisions while doing up the Garden and Patio for their home.

1. Purpose: It is very important to have a purpose while designing your garden and patio. ‘What is it going to be used for?’ is a question every home owner should ask themselves before getting their Garden and Patio set up. It is important to understand if the Garden & Patio are to be used to entertain guests or to relax and unwind. Some outdoor spaces are also used as entertainment centers and full outdoor kitchens. Once the purpose is clear it is easy to decide upon the theme and the décor for the areas.

2. Accessories: A well defined purpose plays an important role in deciding upon the theme for your outdoor areas. If your garden/patio is to be used purely for the purpose of entertaining guests, then Gas Barbecues would be an invaluable addition to the outdoor area. A Coal barbecue is also a good addition; however, maintenance is tedious since coal is a difficult substance to clean. It would always be advisable to go for a Gas Barbecue with a Barbecue Cover so that maintenance at any given time is not an issue. Bistro Sets are an excellent addition to any outdoor area, especially when holding parties and entertaining guests are a frequent norm. Other accessories that can be used to decorate the garden include fountains, bust planter and water-falls.

3. Patio & Garden Flooring: A Patio and Garden reflect the owner’s taste and individuality. An artistically done up patio and garden can fetch the owner compliments from their guests, along with a comfortable environ to spend time in. A whole variety of flooring options are available in the market these days such as paver blocks, bricks, wood, concrete, grass, tiles and more. Picking warm flooring on the basis of its purpose and usage is essential for a well done Garden/Patio. This has to be in accordance with the theme chosen for the garden and patio such that all elements blend together to deliver a classic feel to the outdoor space.

4. Furniture: Although a crucial element in every garden and patio it is one of the most underplayed features in an outdoor space. Outdoor Garden Furniture give the home owner maximum flexibility in changing the look and feel while retaining the freedom to experiment with the outdoors. For the Patio and Conservatory, Cane furniture is an excellent choice. Cane furniture is durable and light weight offering ease of maintenance. A recent trend in case of Patio furniture is Textoline Patio Furniture, since they offer style and comfort at exceptional value. Cushions are becoming popular as an accessory to seat people in the garden. Garden Cushions as they are popularly known come in different forms, customized for all furniture. Garden Bench Cushions, Hammock cushions, sun-lounger cushions, etc. come in a variety of styles and sizes to fit your budget. If budget is an issue, it would be advisable to invest in one cushion for one kind of furniture while the rest are re-used on the others.

5. Parasols and Gazebos: Garden Parasols are an excellent addition to any Outdoor space. One of the best ways for people to enjoy the outdoors while sitting in the shade, garden parasol provides cool comfort for the owner while sitting in the sun. Ideal for an individual enjoys the outdoors with a cup of coffee/ a book in one hand while listening to some music and unwinding in the pleasant environs; popup gazebos are a value addition to every modern day garden. A garden gazebo is often confused with a party tent which is a bigger version of the gazebo and can be used in places where space is not a constraint.

Keep the above points in mind to ensure your outdoor space has order, balance and proportion while retaining the harmony and flow of air and sunlight. Plan your garden carefully and make it attractive. If required, consult with a home improvement center or an interior decorator for further ideas.

Garden Decoration Will Help Your Home Look Beautiful and Increase its Curb Appeal

Just by adding a few plants to your home can really make it look stunning in no time. All it takes is a little time on a weekend to plant your garden and perhaps some motivation to go outside a few times a week to water or trim your plants and take care of any statues or inanimate objects you choose to put in your yard. If you have the desire to make your home look great and the time to do it, then you should head over to your nearest wholesale garden decoration warehouse to pick up all of your needed outdoor garden decoration supplies. There are those, however, who do not have a garden decoration outlet near them. If you have the unfortunate luck of being in a neighborhood without a garden decoration warehouse, then you can always find an online garden decoration store which should be able to meet all of your gardening and decorating needs.

When it comes to home garden decoration, there are a surprising number of different products you can buy to make your house look great and classy. Garden lawn decoration is one of the first things one thinks of when they think of dressing up their property. There is huge variety of different products which you can add to your grass to make your property feel like a well manicured mansion. Such lawn garden decoration possibilities include statues, fountains and miniature water gardens.

While lawn and garden decoration are some of the most popular options, you can also purchase patio garden decoration and wall garden decoration. Such items are designed to spruce up your property without having to subject you to hassles of lawn decoration, like having to mow around statues or fountains when you trim the grass. Also, consider purchasing a garden decoration gift for a new neighbor or friend who has moved close to your home.