6 Tips For DIY Outdoor Lighting Installation At Home
To save money and also have a more personalized approach for your outdoor space’s lighting and décor, these DIY tips and recommendations may help you.
Lighting installation for an outdoor space is a task that’s said to involve not only a creative insight but also some basic knowledge about light fixtures and how to properly install them.
It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible to achieve as long as you do your research and follow helpful tips from people or sources that you can trust. Such tips can greatly assist you in making sure that your light installation project would turn out a success.
DIY Outdoor Lighting 101
If you’ve been trying to get estimates from different professional outdoor lighting companies and yet you feel like you haven’t found your match yet, maybe it’s high time to consider taking the do-it-yourself or DIY route. To save money and also have a more personalized approach for your outdoor space’s lighting and décor, these DIY tips and recommendations may help you out:
1. Identify The Kind Of Lighting Effect Or Theme You Want To Achieve
If you’re installing lights for your outdoor space for the purpose of making the area brighter, you need to identify what kind of effect or theme you want to have. Do you want a more festive and colorful ambiance? Or do you prefer a warmer and calming environment for your backyard during the night? These are some questions that you can ask yourself before you get started on your DIY project.
If you have kids who enjoy the view of a sea of kaleidoscopic lights, you can install globe lights or string lights in varied LED or light-emitting diode bulb colors. The variety of shades can instantly liven up the mood and they’re also an instant decoration whenever a holiday or special occasion is coming up. On the flip side, if you prefer a calming and cozier look, it’s advisable to go with warm or yellow lights that you can easily install on tree branches, fences, and eaves.
2. Make Use Of What You Already Have
The beauty of DIY outdoor lighting installation often goes unnoticed. It’s a better option than hiring a professional installer if you want to have full control over details and even the smallest specifications that you want to incorporate. That being said, you can use anything that you want to create DIY lights and install them as you desire. Not only is it cheaper, but you can also add your personal touch as you go about it.
If you’re planning to convert an outdoor space into maybe a patio or a gazebo, there are several materials that you can actually use that don’t involve new expenses. If you have old or unused furniture in your basement, you can very well make use of them. Add in some futon or floor cushions and you have your very own new outdoor space.
The last and most important step is to install the right lighting to highlight the charm of your newly-created comfort zone. Take a look at different online sources such as https://oregonoutdoorlighting.com/top-5-unique-outdoor-living-spaces/ and the like if you want to have more inspiration for your outdoor space.
Here are some tips and tricks to consider when lighting up your special outdoor space:
- Create a café-like ambiance by installing a string of sturdy lights just right above the open space or where you’d be spending most of your time. The strings can be installed in a zigzag pattern to illuminate a joyful atmosphere.
- Use wall sconces that can effectively direct the light either up or down, or even both ways, to spread the light more evenly.
- Install outdoor fans that also work as a lighting fixture. That way, you won’t have to spend extra money on purchasing them separately.
- Make sure the fixtures you buy and install are all rated for outdoor use to ensure that they are effective and durable against the natural elements present in nature.
- If the patio doesn’t have any walls or structures where you can attach lights, go for floor lamps or lamp posts that you can place in different corners.
Patios or gazebos can also be easily converted into a place where you can entertain a small group of guests. If you plan on using the area for such a purpose, make sure you stock on extra lights and bulbs in case you need to add a few extra to sufficiently light up the whole space.
3. Check Your Electrical Wirings And Transformers
Even when you don’t plan on installing an extensive outdoor lighting system, you still need to check your wiring skills, along with other essential components such as your home’s transformers. It’s a good thing you can easily tap into low-voltage lighting systems which basically means that you can work on this project even without having any electrical expertise.
Since outdoor lighting fixtures and other accessories are mostly low voltage, it’s said that installing them is also equally safe and easy. You won’t even need too many tools or materials—just a wire stripper is believed to do the job well. To make sure that there won’t be any accidental wire cut or damage, your wiring should be installed after you’re completely done with the landscape. This is to ensure that you won’t be accidentally damaging any wire when shoveling around.
As for your transformers, you won’t need to buy a new one because your existing one is most likely capable of powering your outdoor lighting.
Most of the lights you’ll be using anyway are surely LED lights and they’re very energy efficient.
4. Take Your DIY-ing To The Next Level
Since you’re already doing the installation yourself, why not go the extra mile and create custom accessories and light fixtures for your backyard or home garden? You can recycle different materials or buy cheap ones to help you accomplish your ultimate outdoor lighting project. For your fence, for example, you can get more creative and create marquee letters using wood and then hang string lights around them for a more dramatic effect.
If you have some baskets at home, you could also transform them into hanging lamps simply by installing globe lights inside them. Then, hang the lamps in tree branches or by your porch if you want to. You can even place them in pathways or steps to make the paths easier to see at night. Another idea you can try is to use mason jars as hanging lights. They’re perfect for outdoor use and you can easily hang them using wire hangers.
5. Highlight Your Garden Better
Gardens with beautiful plants and flowers are so captivating in broad daylight. However, as soon as the sun is gone, most of them end up losing their allure because of the darkness that envelops them. However, you can do something about this predicament if you know how to strategically install lighting fixtures that’ll highlight your garden and its best features in a dark backdrop.
Outdoor lighting can efficiently turn your landscape into an enchanted forest at night. You can use cordless solar lights if you’re worried about how to connect the lights to a power source. Another tip that you can try is to add lanterns across the whole garden area. Lanterns can be easily placed in tree branches or pergolas and they’re also perfect for lighting up certain areas of your garden. If you have some prized plants that you’re so proud of, you can highlight them by placing a few lanterns around the plants.
A handful of stringed dainty fairy lights will also look mesmerizing in your bushes or small plants. They’re luminous and can be purchased in different bulb colors depending on how you want them. Fairy lights are more commonly used as decorative lights especially during the Christmas season. If you want to spice up your garden for winter, you can install these lights and let the colors dance beautifully through the night. You can set or program the time of the lights so they’ll automatically turn off when it’s already morning.
6. Be Sure Not To Skip The Pool
After you’re done with your patio or gazebo, garden, pathways, and porch, don’t forget that you still have one important outdoor area to light up—your pool. If you have one at home, it also needs an ample amount of outdoor lighting to ensure that it remains vivid and also functional at night.
You can hang lanterns and string lights in the pool area as well. Some homeowners like to use spotlights that go up and down to make the entire area brighter and warmer. This helps a lot during cold weather because warmer lights can somehow create a warmer environment.
Make sure to use splash and moisture-resistant lighting fixtures near your pool area to avoid the chances of accidental electrocution. As much as possible, place them at least a meter away from the immediate pool parameter area to be on the safe side.
DIY outdoor lighting is possible when you’re armed with extensive research and several tips and tricks up your sleeves. Although it’s laborious and can consume a lot of your time, the result of the project can be so rewarding, especially since you can attribute all the hard work to none other than yourself. As long as you’ve set up and checked your transformers and electrical wirings, you can go ahead and get creative with light fixtures and whatnots.
Your outdoor space should get the right care and maintenance it deserves. Installing proper lighting is a good way to make sure that its features and benefits are maximized to their full potential. Good luck with your DIY outdoor lighting home improvement project and don’t forget to have fun while at it!