The right lighting scheme will allow you to enjoy your entertaining space long after the sun has gone down. It can create an ambience that you and your guests can enjoy – one that highlights the best features of your space, creates a warm and intimate setting, or a party atmosphere. And it is all easily achieved within the same outdoor space with the right lighting options.
Achieving an entertaining space that can tick all the boxes can be daunting with so many lighting styles to choose from. Consider our lighting tips to create your ultimate outdoor entertaining space.
Like any good lighting scheme, the goal is always to create an ambience and a statement that will both welcome and impact your guests. Unlike indoor spaces, where sometimes less is more, outdoor spaces provide much more opportunity to go overboard on lighting. The key, however, is to combine and layer lighting for style, impact and functionality, with each different form of lighting performing a different role.
Pathway Lighting will tick the safety box, and may include bollard lights strategically placed to illuminate pathways. They also invite your guests to follow a lit path.
Up and Down Pillar Lights produce a beam of light that shines either upward, downward or in both directions. These can be great to highlight features of your home, and are commonly seen on outdoor posts or home exteriors.
Adjustable Spot Lights are perfect for highlighting specific features of your outdoor space. Being adjustable allows you to also adjust to produce ambient lighting as required.
Outdoor Ceiling Lights help illuminate undercover areas, so play a very practical function. With advances in LED technology, however, you might consider tri-colour and/or dimmable options for ceiling lights to allow you to create the atmosphere.
Deck Lights serve a practical purpose from a safety perspective, however, also serve to create an ambience via a soft warm glow at that lower level. Available in a variety of styles, deck lights are great for adding a soft unobtrusive light.
Step Lights are the obvious safety feature in your outdoor space, however, can also create a warm stepped glow.
Spike Lighting is another great option for highlighting features of your outdoor space, especially if you have something special in your garden you would like to show off to guests. They also provide a warm glow across garden beds that can enhance an ambient feel.
Sensor Floodlights are not the obvious choice for ambient lighting, however, are great for lighting large areas, such as driveways, pathways, pool areas or large outdoor spaces.
At the risk of overdoing your outdoor lighting scheme, you may also want to include things like hanging string and party lights. These are a great way to add splashes of colour to overhead lighting and add to an entertaining atmosphere.
Like any lighting, the key to a successful outdoor lighting scheme is to select lighting that will both enhance and highlight key areas of your space, while still providing the practical functions required of lighting. Layering and combining lighting is a perfect way to do this, and allows you to be in control of the mood your lighting scheme sets.