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Inspiring outdoor lighting ideas for beautiful patio and garden design.

Outdoor lighting is an essential element of all good patio and garden design, or for any built outdoor spaces like decks, pool decks and gazebos.

 Lighting your outdoor spaces at night not only makes your house and garden more beautiful, you can make traffic areas safer to walk through, and your home more secure.

Planning your own outdoor lighting design for the patio or garden is not as complicated as you may think. There is a huge range of lighting fixtures available to suit any architectural or garden design style. Choosing the right lighting fixtures and deciding where to put them requires a little knowledge, but ultimately it comes down to your own personal style and taste.

Most outdoor lighting fixtures work on a low voltage system. This means that they radiate a soft, ambient quality of light which looks very attractive in outdoor spaces. Low voltage also means the system is very safe, even in and around water features or around the pool, and uses a comparatively small amount of energy.

For a really subtle, romantic lighting effect, oil or candle lanterns radiate the warm glow of a natural flame. Or if you need to light a large area, more intense sodium or halogen floodlights may be the best choice.

Outdoor lighting design basics.

The best way to begin is to think about whether you want to light your garden, deck or patio primarily to make it look attractive at night, for safety and security, or so that you can make use of the outdoor spaces in the evenings.

There are outdoor lighting products designed for specific purposes, such as highlighting attractive garden features, bathing large entertainment areas in light, or illuminating potential hazards like stairs, steps, level changes, doorways and water features. If you want to enjoy your deck, patio and garden into the cooler months of the year, you may even consider an outdoor heater.

A good approach is to simply set up the lights in the positions you think will work best, and switch them on to see how they look before you install them permanently. Ideally, the light should be even and indirect. The fixtures themselves should not be visible, and there should be no harsh glare from strong light bouncing off hard surfaces.

For more ideas, please read the following articles:

How to install outdoor low voltage lighting

Comparing different kinds of tiki torches

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