Patio lighting is a type of outdoor lighting design that involves lighting both covered and uncovered patios. Both patio types feature unique attributes that specific lighting techniques help to enhance. The functionality acquired through advanced lighting equipment also improves the lifestyle factor in the experience of sitting outside on a patio.
Let’s look at covered patios first to see how different designs from an outdoor lighting contractor can enhance a covered hardscape area.
The first thing to consider is the type of covering that shelters the patio. One popular style is the porch overhang. A patio here works like an outdoor garden room added to the house, with a portion of the roof stretching over its surface.
Patio lighting in this environment can feature several layers of illumination like that of an indoor room. Recessed lights are often installed in the porch overhang to provide a layer of adjustable general lighting. This highlights tables and outdoor furniture, along with providing plenty of light to see by.
Any decorative objects on the patio can also be illuminated with a special layer of light similar to indoor art lighting. This helps separate task from accent, adding dimension to the outdoor aesthetic.
Most patios like this have a barbecue pit or grill. A well placed spotlight on the grill helps highlight its position and provide plenty of task lighting for nighttime cooking.
There are other hardscapes that are covered by arbor structures. This type of construction affords many unique opportunities for patio lighting. Because the ceiling works much like that of an indoor room, most homeowners install a ceiling fan here to keep things cool during the summer. Low voltage down lighting, controlled by dimmers, can be installed in the arbor roof that will cover the area with a nice, ambient glow.
There are many patios, however, that do not have coverings.
We see this often in gardens and outdoor decks, where a hardscape acts as a standalone seating area that is open to the air and the sky. Patio lighting this type of setup requires a much more creative approach. Lights that would normally be placed in an overhead structure must be positioned in other areas and angled toward the seating area in a manner that provides adequate general and task lighting for nighttime gatherings.
If the patio happens to be located near trees, outside tree lights can be mounted in trees to shine down on the patio. Accent lighting can be done with path and shrub lights that surround planting areas. If the patio is located near a summer kitchen, pool house, or near the back wall of the house, decorative lanterns mounted to the wall can be used to generate another layer of light.
Even more creative patio lighting opportunities exist when the hardscape is surrounded by patio walls. Seat walls, for example, are an excellent place to mount recessed lights. This creates a ring of path lighting that forms a perimeter of light around the entire edge of the patio. A larger, masonry wall for privacy can support gas lanterns that create even more of a perimeter lighting effect.
Since larger courtyard patios like this may have a fountain, special feature lighting on the water can be either an up light that showcases the decorative form of the fountain itself or it can be an underwater light that adds a magical touch to the water stream. We call this the art of light!
With so many options available, it is vital to analyze all features and structures within a landscape to ensure adequate illumination and aesthetic unity. Contact Illuminations Lighting and Design today, and we will come to your home and look at all these angles for you and develop a design that is uniquely personal to you and your family’s home experience. We can be reached at 713-863-1133 locally or 800-863-1184 toll free for those outside the Houston area.