A Guide to Backyard Lighting
By Victoria Figueiredo
As the summer winds down and kids face the prospect of going back to school, adults can focus on squeezing in a few more get togethers before returning to scheduled days and early nights. If you really want to make the most out of your summer gatherings, it might be time to bring in a little outside help. Literally. Keep your parties going until you drop by incorporating some outdoor lighting into your backyard setup! Choose lights based on functionality or style, but for the love of all things lit and cozy, choose something!
Use string lights with a low wattage to create a warm, cozy glow over your seating area or outdoor dining set up. Go with Edison bulbs for a trendy minimal look or use lights in fun shapes and colors to add a quirky detail to a themed party. You can string them in a zig-zag pattern for added visual interest, shoot for horizontal lines at regular intervals if symmetry floats your boat, or string them along your fence and deck rails to illuminate all corners of your little slice of heaven.
For more formal back yard dining, consider investing in an outdoor chandelier! Have you ever seen the scene in Marie Antoinette where the doomed queen and her crew are having a “picnic”? It was absurd, but pretty! While we don’t suggest going for a full-on crystal chandelier for purely practical reasons, you can take a page out of the French monarch’s book and hang a more reserved candle chandelier from your pergola or porch ceiling to create an impressive and unexpected focal point while lighting up the dinner table below for your guests. Use real candles at a safe distance from anything flammable, or stock up on battery powered pillars and tealights for a safer alternative that achieves the same glow. Just keep an eye out for torches and pitchforks, please.
Interested in taking your guests to a far-away destination for just one night? Lanterns are your new best friend! Look for Moroccan-inspired hanging lanterns in all different shapes, colors, finishes, and sizes to add something really special to your next gathering. For something more casual (and affordable), choose paper lanterns and hang them at different lengths to create a casual vibe that still feels occasion-worthy. You can go all white, choose a variety of colors, or even hand-paint your lanterns for a one-of-a-kind result! The biggest benefit when it comes to lanterns is you can hang them anywhere. String them onto your trees, from your fence, from your porch roof, or even set up your string-light rig and layer your light-scape! The possibilities are endless.
Want to save a few bucks but still light up the night? Invite your floor and table lamps to the party. Set them up around sitting and dining areas with extension cords or plug them into your outdoor outlets to enjoy a cool vibe that you can just bring back inside at the end of the night! Group together lamps of different heights for a funky light source, or space them out to create little spots for people to gather around to share stories and late-night drinks. One might say it’s a…… bright idea?
Bust out your extension cords and start planning a menu, because you’re ready to throw an amazing outdoor party with the perfect end of summer vibe! Did we miss any cool lighting ideas? Do you have photos of a cool outdoor setup? Share it with us in the comments!