According to the American Lighting Association, families can make better use of their homes at night simply with a few updates to the porch (or deck or patio) lighting (it can be as inexpensive as your budget allows or as lavish as you totally want-or desire), enhancing the area for porch dinners, patio barbeques, pool parties and other evening events.
Porch (also deck or patio) lighting can:
- Improve navigation-Lighting is usually used in a room or outdoor space in three ways: overhead, task and ambient. Even in an outdoors “room”, those three layers are essential, because overhead lighting will improve visibility on steps, paths and walking surfaces. Task lighting can be used around cooking or gardening areas. Ambient light will cast a warm glow around any outdoor space.
- Enhance security-Lights aimed away from the door will improve visibility; lanterns on either side of the door will give your home a warm appearance and improve safety. To improve both visibility and security, combine a motion detector with a sconce to illuminate dark corners and hallways.
- Also enhance the style of an outdoor space by adding decorative features; lighting can play up a nice yard and increase the overall ambience. For example, step lights can highlight molding or trim details, while an outdoor chandelier makes a wonderful décor accent during a porch dinner. In addition to also providing atmosphere, patio lights give illumination for outdoor cooking.
- Reduce glare-You don’t want lighting that’s too bright; any lighting along a path should be cast downward, with fixtures that are hooded. Using a variety of lighting options will create layers, thus allowing you to add or subtract the lighting as needed. And exterior-safe dimmers can also provide flexible control over the level of light, as well as movable fixtures added to a porch, deck or patio.
- Enhance indoor décor and views using a variety of lights; spotlights on trees, pathway lights and accent lights will always make any interior and exterior features look fantastic!
Source: “Lighting sets stage for outdoor fun” by Metro Services-The (Sunday) Vindicator, May 4, 2014