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Brightening the Backyard: New Lighting Options for Outdoor Living

(ARA) - Outdoor living spaces are turning as warm and cozy as the family room, whether you can enjoy them for two months or twelve. In the latest outdoor makeovers, indoor style has fast become an outdoor phenomenon, from growth in exterior kitchens to advancements in outdoor furniture, lighting solutions and more.

"As consumers continue to 'nest' within the comforts of their homes, outdoor sanctuaries have become the new rooms to live and entertain in, from dawn to dusk and well beyond," said Maria Burk, Kichler Landscape Lighting product manager. "When you invest in beautiful outdoor areas, you should incorporate your own personal taste, and highlight the best features of your home and garden."

To ensure the functionality and flair of outdoor spaces, selecting lighting is among the most important outdoor décor decisions a homeowner can make. Fortunately, an innovative array of outdoor lighting options have evolved to complement a variety of tastes, making outdoor illumination a walk in the park.

1. Coordinate lighting styles throughout the yard for a cohesive look.

Matching deck lights, path lights, garden accessories and other specialty landscape lighting fixtures helps create a cohesive look that both enhances your investment and heightens the enjoyment of outdoor living. Think about the style and mood you want to create outdoors, and purchase lighting solutions that follow that theme.

Kichler is the first to offer coordinating outdoor lighting fixtures and accessories with the introduction of Garden Collections, six complete outdoor lighting families made with the most durable materials and finishes to withstand the harsh effects of both time and weather. From an English garden to a rustic lodge to a relaxed tropical setting, the Collections include everything you need to set the stage, including lamppost toppers, path lights, lighted bird baths, lighted obelisks and statues, and even a spin on the popular gazing ball.

2. Create a focal point that highlights your outdoor motif.

Just as a chandelier creates focus in your foyer, build a centerpiece for your outdoor décor. Think about where you'll be spending the most time and which areas may need more light. If you'll be spending a lot of time on a covered outdoor patio, outdoor chandeliers create a beautiful focus by bringing functionality and building aesthetic appeal. Kichler offers a wide array of outdoor chandeliers with enclosed, waterproof glass shades, all U.L. listed for damp locations.

3. Install sconces approved for indoor and outdoor use.

Sconces have long added the perfect amount of glow to frame large rooms and doorways indoors. Why not apply the same concept outdoors? Exterionce outdoor sconces, exclusively from Kichler, are U.L. listed for wet locations and come in a range of designs and sizes to enhance the appearance of decks, porches and entranceways. With matching chandeliers, these outdoor-friendly pieces take exterior living to the next level.

4. Let accessories shine - in more ways than one.

Outdoor accessories regularly add beauty to your lawn and garden, but let the accessories really shine by selecting elements that highlight themselves or serve dual purposes. Instead of opting for a traditional plant potter, try something like Kichler's Gate House lit urn. Complete with a water pump, this elegant urn adds beauty to the garden by illuminating live potted plants. If it's a touch of Zen you're looking for, add a little bit of glow to the traditional figure with Kichler's Zen Gardener figure, complete with a 12-volt lantern in hand.

5. Use outdoor lamps to add atmosphere and build ambience.

For an updated look with flexibility, outdoor portable lamps are the perfect option. Westwood Collections offers portable lamps with whimsical designs and nature-inspired themes. U.L. listed for wet locations, there's no need to bring them indoors when it pours.

6. Opt for easy-to-install, low-voltage lighting systems.

For the best results, install low-voltage lighting systems rather than solar lighting. Using just 12 volts of electricity, low-voltage lighting out-shines solar lighting because it "throws" the light better, so you notice the lighting effect, not just the light itself. Also, solar lights fade, but low-voltage systems allow you to control when the lights will be on or off. Best of all, they're relatively easy to install.

So, are you ready to get to work? With these helpful hints in tow, feel free to take a breath of fresh air. Your yard will soon be the talk of the neighborhood, and you'll quickly find why outdoor living has never looked so good.

For more bright ideas on outdoor lighting or to find a Kichler dealer near you, visit www.kichler.com or call (800) 659.9000.

Courtesy of ARA Content

For more information on lighting your deck and patio, please read this article on accent path lighting.

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