One of the most anticipated things about the seasons changing is the ability to spend more time outdoors. Especially so at night when the warm breeze is blowing and the  temperature remains balmy after the sun goes down. Building your own patio, oasis, courtyard, or garden is fun enough, but if you want to be able enjoy it at night, you’ll need the right lighting. The proper lighting really is going to make all the difference.

There’s an endless variety of ways to personalize your outdoor sanctuary. An excellent place to start is exploring the world of Landscape Lighting. Nearly any look, mood, or atmosphere can be achieved by simply purchasing the proper lighting fixtures.

Using inexpensive Flood and Spot Lights is the quickest and most effective way to create dramatic shadows and highlighting. Aiming some of these low level lights upward can create a gentle and warm beam that create shadows upon your favorite trees, trellises, water fixtures or statues. Conversely, aiming these lights downward can blanket an area with pleasing mellow illumination perfect for a dinner outdoors.

Spotlights can also be used to silhouette your yard features. This creates a unique effect for highlighting dramatic shapes you might have hiding in plain daylight. Place the light source behind the item, and light toward where the main vantage point will be, making sure that the light source itself cannot be seen. Suddenly, what you see every day in the sunlight takes on an entirely new look and feel.You also have the option of More Powerful Flood and Spot Lights which, with more lumens and a higher color temperature would be excellent options to direct towards your home- increasing curb appeal and increasing security.

Path Lighting is one of my favorite landscape designs and are completely customize-able to fit your vision. These low voltage options have various designs, color temperatures, and beam angles. They range from traditional to whimsical to ultra modern. Each path light is wired together and ultimately leads to your transformer which converts the 110v socket to the 12v you need to run your system. These lights can line your front entry way, illuminate a path through you orchard, or make a striking impression lighting up your outdoor stairway. Just make sure you get the correct amount so there isn’t too much illumination. Another option for this kind of look are Bollards which can add a great deal of impact.

Lanterns (both modern and rustic) are also a quick way to change the entire look and feel of your courtyard. Usually, it is an easy retrofit from the cheap or old outdoor lights that you have now. Gooseneck barn lights, sleek glass wall sconces, or the traditional glass coach light are all good choices. Another look you may want to consider are string lights.

String Lights are all over the place these days, and for good reason- they are probably the most simple element to install and one that can create the most impact. You’ll see these at a lot of restaurants and bistros. You can easily hang them from your trees, across your pool or water fixtures, or even drape them around your cabana or seating area.

The key is to be creative and take your time. It stands repeating that the right light makes all the difference. It can be the change between a dark and uninhabitable backyard and your own glowing garden.

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