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Outdoor Lighting Design

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In most cases, settling the design for your indoor room lighting will be your number one priority, but shortly after you may wish to start designing your outdoor lightscapes. The way that your home and property are laid out will determine the best lighting options for you. You will want to consider if you have a patio, activity area in your yard, walkway, and more. All of these spaces could utilize different types of lighting to help accomplish your goals. At Madison Lighting in Wisconsin, we have a huge variety of lighting options for all of your needs. Visit our showroom to discover all of our outdoor light fixtures, or shop online to have your items delivered straight to your door. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact our knowledgeable and helpful team!

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As you are building your outdoor lighting design, you will want to consider some of the following options:

Lighting Basics For Outdoor Areas

Outdoor lighting shares some of the same basic goals and ideas as indoor lighting, but the way outdoor lighting is implemented is often very different. When you are lighting rooms in your house, you want to blend ambient, accent, and task lighting. However, outdoors you will never really get rid of the darkness of the night, and having some if it leak into the space adds to the intimacy and magical feeling of sharing a bubble of light with your friends and family. Since the darkness is all around you, it is usually best to forego ambient lighting altogether and focus on accent or task lighting for your outdoor areas. There may be a few exceptions depending on your activities, but in general, your accent lights will be doing the job normally dedicated to an overhead ambient light.

Patio Lighting

To begin the outdoor lighting sections, we’ll take a look at one of the most popular areas that needs light — the patio or deck. You’ll want to make sure that the majority of this space is lit well so you can socialize, play games, and share meals with those you love.

Flood Lights

One of the easiest options for full lighting on your patio will be flood lights. These can easily attach to your house, posts, or pergolas, and they will provide your area with plenty of bright light. The downside to flood lights is that the light they provide can often be too harsh for a truly warm and intimate feeling. But this bright light will be perfect for playing games or illuminating other activities.

Integrated Lighting

Integrating lighting into your patio’s design can be a great way to add some light to the overall design. If your layout accommodates, you can utilize all-weather light fixtures as permanent decorations or string rope lights or outdoor bulbs across your pergola or latticework. This can give ambiance to the space and encourage peaceful and calm evenings outdoors. If you have posts that are high enough off the ground, you can also place flush lighting fixtures and affix them around the deck to give a warmer, softer light than traditional flood lights.

Lighting For Enclosed Patios

If you’ve made your patio into a full outdoor room, you will have even more options for lighting. Since you will have a ceiling, you now gain the ability to add a fixture or two to the top of your patio. This can range from simple hanging pendant lights to a ceiling fan with lighting. Explore the full flexibility of Madison Lighting’s outdoor lighting fixtures and more when you enclose your patio!

Walkway Lighting

Lighting the walkways in and around your home means you must consider every pathway. This includes:

  • Entranceway
  • Sidewalks
  • Paths through the yard
  • Driveway

Making sure that pathways to your home are clearly lit is important to help guide guests to your front door, or to help you not stumble on any landscaping or steps if you come home late at night. If you have a garden pathway through your backyard or around your property, giving it enough light will make your yard more beautiful and allow you to easily take a leisurely stroll. The major choice you will have to make for your walkway lighting is whether you want above-ground lights or recessed lighting in the ground. They both work great, and this choice is down to personal preference and design choices. If you need a bit more mobility due to limited wiring or having the option to move the fixtures, you may consider above-ground lights. These can be purchased in varieties that do not require wiring, and can be placed anywhere you would like.

Entrance Lighting

When you are having guests or family over and they will be arriving past dark, you want to be sure they feel at ease when they come to your door. Having a nicely illuminated entrance and porch will be the key! When you are lighting your porch, it all comes down to size. If you have a small porch and doorway, a simple porchlight will do the trick. However, if you have a larger porch with a swing or sitting area, you’ll want a couple lights to make sure the whole area gets enough illumination. If your porch has an overhang, you can utilize recessed lighting for this. Or if portions are open to the elements, a couple sturdy outdoor lights will be perfect.

Security Lighting

One of the greatest deterrents of theft is simply having a well lit area. The most common type of security lighting is bright flood lights. However, this does not mean that you always have to have security lighting turned on outside. You can implement motion-sensitive lights that turn on when someone is walking up to the home. This will help to keep criminals away as well as offer you more light as you are coming home. These security lights can also assist if you have a camera system so you are able to capture anything suspicious in greater detail.

Landscaping Lighting

You have probably spent a lot of time, money, and energy in making your yard look as beautiful as possible. Why not show off your trees and shrubbery in the nighttime? Seeing your landscape illuminated in the dark will add a whole new aspect to their beauty and let you show off your accomplishments. One popular landscape lighting option is in-ground lighting. Placing a few in-ground lights near trees or shrubs will show off the points of interest in your yard and give some ambient light to the surrounding areas. You can also utilize smaller spotlights to shine into the flowerbed or onto the limbs of your trees. As a final lighting option, you could string lights through the trees of your branches. Simple rope lights or outdoor bulbs will add some character to the space and give you a spot to socialize.

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Activity Lighting

If your yard is large enough, you may want some extra bright lighting to allow for nighttime games and activities. This can illuminate fun game areas for activities like:

  • Badminton
  • Volleyball
  • Horseshoes
  • Cornhole
  • Ladder golf
  • Swimming

When you are choosing activity lighting, you will generally want it to be as bright as possible with a wide range so you can easily see whatever you are doing. Types of activity lighting include permanent yard fixtures in designated areas, or you can choose portable flood lights that will allow you to move them around depending on what you are doing.

Outdoor Lighting Controls

To make your outdoor lighting more convenient and make sure that you are ready for any situation, implementing effective lighting controls for each group of fixtures will be important. This way you can keep your patio lighting on if you are spending time with your family, but turn off your landscape lighting when you don’t need to see into the yard. You may also be able to set some of your lighting on timers so that they only turn on during the night. This is great for security lighting or entrance lighting. Some of the portable light options may have their own source of power with batteries, so having enough replacements on hand will ensure that you can always get the most out of the fixtures.

Visit Our Madison Showroom

If you are planning your Madison outdoor lightscape, be sure to visit Madison Lighting! We offer a huge variety of options for indoor and outdoor applications, and our knowledgeable staff are always happy to help. If you cannot make it to the showroom, shop our full catalog online today and get your outdoor lights delivered! We look forward to helping you make your yard and outdoor areas amazing!

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