Why Landscape Lighting
How to Choose the Best Patio Lighting Fixtures
Your patio is an extension of your home, a doorway from your inside haven into your outside oasis.
Because of its importance, the patio must be lit correctly for safety reasons, and illuminated beautifully for design purposes. This two-fold function is not easy, but it is definitely possible.
Choosing patio light fixtures is not a process to be taken lightly. You can run to your local store and purchase any old fixture, but if you perform this process in haste, you may not be happy with the outcome. Patio lighting serves many purposes and if it is not considered carefully, it can devalue not only your landscape, but also your treasured home.
Patio lights serve three main purposes: aesthetic, safety and function. Safety is a must since all homeowners are serious about keeping people out of harm's way. Aesthetic and function are personal preferences, though most homeowners opt for function first and design last.
When selecting your patio lighting fixtures, determine which of the three are most important. Obviously safety is first, but what would you like to accomplish next? Function is quite necessary and recommended if the patio will be used a lot; however, some lights can accomplish two or three purposes simultaneously. These fixtures would be ideal for the homeowner who desires a stylish, yet functional patio.
Types of Patio Lighting
Generally, the best choices for your patio are solar or LED lighting because they are both highly efficient and cost-effective.
LED light bulbs are known for their long lifespan which is typically 10 times as long as compact fluorescent bulbs. They also last longer than incandescent bulbs. While LED lighting fixtures will cost more than traditional ones, you will recoup the costs rapidly since the maintenance is cost-effective due to their efficiency. LED bulbs are also one of the safer choices because they do not generate a copious amount of heat. They are safe around children and neighboring plants.
LED bulbs come in warm white and cool white, a classification determined by the brightness of illumination they produce. Warm white emits stronger light similar to incandescent bulbs. Cool white emits illumination similar to a moonlighting glow and offer the opportunity to create a special ambience around the patio area.
Solar lighting is also cost-effective and very safe. It is also popular due its ease of installation which basically involves "jamming" the fixtures into the ground; no wires; no mess. They also come in a variety of colors and styles and are a great choice for the homeowner concerned about the way the patio looks and how its design matches the overall décor of the home.
Solar lights also contain photo cells that take in the sun's energy during the day and emit this energy at dusk. You can also purchase motion sensors so the lights turn on and off when they detect movement.
Though some work is involved, your patio lighting design should be fun and enjoyable. If you get stuck with the logistics, consult with a professional designer or ask a friend or neighbor for assistance.