When the sun goes down, it’s a good sign that you need to put away the lawnmower away for the day – and a good sign you need to pour yourself a nice cold drink and enjoy the fruits of your labors. A full moon and a starry night might be alright, but there are definitely other options, especially if you are looking to have friends over to relax. You can just stake out spotlights and hang them from your roof, or you can get a bit more creative in your attempts at illumination.
Great for sitting around, especially when the temperature drops at night in late spring, fire pits have gained fans, but they do come with inherent problems – namely, an open flame. Fire pits need to be elevated, can’t be used near flammable materials, and require constant attention. They’re also not recommended in situations where there might be little tykes wandering around, or where you might end up leaving it unattended.
Other flammable features such as tiki torches, candles, and the like can also be used, but they are more for shedding a little light in certain spots instead of providing illumination for an entire yard.
Thanks to ease of use and incredible flexibility, these have become quite popular in recent times. They burn cool, come in plenty of shapes and sizes, and are easy to handle. Stringing these so that they hang along gaps, wind along the branches of trees, or weave through lattice work can create some fast and attractive lighting areas of the yard.
One of our favorite ways to use string lights is to weave them through railings along decks to provide lighting around the borders of porches and decks. Another great way is to wind them along the low-hanging branches of shade trees, where you can sit on a bench, providing light you can even read by.
String lights are available in pretty much any shape you want – such as beer mugs or clovers – and in multiple colors. The color palette is mildly limited, usually only five or six colors.
Bendable, thin, and lightweight, this newer technology can be worked into all sorts of places. This option provides the ability to mold lighting to create forms, while it also provides a color palettes that cannot be matched by any other form of lighting. Best of all, this type of lighting can be implanted into hardscaping to provide ingenious combinations, including putting the lights into concrete walks or into sculptures.
Providing landscape lighting without the use of electricity from the grid, these are the cheapest types of lights to run throughout the year. Easy to stake into the ground, cheap to purchase from pretty much any home store or big-box store, and having no wires to run makes solar lights a great choice. They are available in attractive forms, and can range from high-powered spotlights to simple border lights.
There is, of course, one possible major problem with solar lights – in order to stay inexpensive, many solar lights only have small batteries, that need to be recharged daily. So if you have an overcast day, your solar lights might not collect enough of a charge for a full night of power. Similarly, they can’t be placed in areas that might catch shade for much of the day.
So light up your yard with some of these creative options that can replace the old spotlights and sconces that have been the staples of outdoor lighting for years. Pick the type of lighting you want to work with and be creative, there’s no wrong way!