When it comes to improving your home, we understand the importance. This is the largest purchase you’ll probably ever make in your life. You consider your house a home and rely on it not only for shelter from the weather and secure sanctuary for your family. All these considerations make any home improvement choice a serious one to make.

Illuminated Concepts prides itself on understanding outdoor lighting design better than most companies in Southern California. With over 30 years of designing landscape and architectural lighting in Southern California, we have designed and installed thousands of unique outdoor lighting projects. We have accented countless unique features in the landscape and architecture. Unlike others, we take special notice of the unique architectural features and are highly skilled in bringing these focal points to light.

With over 30 years of landscape lighting design, we have learned a thing or two we can share with you for your outdoor lighting project:

1. The motto in Outdoor Lighting Design is, “See the effect, not the source”. This means that you want all the illumination and beauty to be on the subject we are accenting and not the light source. We have plenty of ways to camouflage the actual lighting source so that the focus is on the unique feature you want to accent. For example, when you are lighting a textured stone wall, you will not be focusing on the light at all, rather how the illumination effect creates a dramatic textured look. Many homes look much better at night due to the texture and accented focal points.

2. Be sure to incorporate these 3 types of lighting: Ambient, Task, and Accent

a. Ambient lighting is also termed as, general lighting. This type of lighting is necessary in all outdoor lighting design plans as it provides an overall glow to your lighting area. It is the lighting that enables you to see and get around safely. Sometimes it also may double for task lighting. This type of lighting is great for patio and seating areas when you and your guests relax and socialize in the outdoor living spaces.

Patio Lighting Concept

This patio area in Laguna Niguel CA has downlighting from the eves of the house to create ambient lighting for this patio entertainment area. They are ready for a party.

b. Accent lighting features your statement pieces and complements ambient lighting in your outdoor lighting concept. It adds dimension and texture to your ambient lighting, which in any type of design always makes it more interesting and attractive. To be effective, accent lighting should direct at least 3X the light of the ambient lighting towards a statement focal piece, like a plant, feature wall, fountain, or artwork. It guides your eye to the beauty and not the lighting fixture.

c. Task lighting is exactly as it sounds, it enables you to do more detailed tasks, such as cooking, reading, crafts, and hobbies, which will require a bit more light than conversation lighting provided by our ambient lighting elements. You will want this type of lighting near your outdoor kitchen. We have an expression “Have you lit your BBQ yet” Task lighting requires careful placement of fixtures so that the actual light reaches the intended area and not blocked by shadows of people or structures.

outdoor kitchen area lighting

This San Juan Capistrano CA home has counter downlighting to for serving and eating food in this outdoor kitchen area.

This type of lighting is more localized and can be delivered by a variety of different lighting sources. You also want to have a switch or a dimmer on this type of light to use only the light level you need. You also want to ensure that you do not have glare coming from this light. Your lighting designer will have the expertise and know-how to pair your home with the proper task lighting for the space you you’re illuminating.

3. Outdoor Living Space lighting needs to take into consideration the soft lighting you want for conversation. You want to avoid harsh lights altogether as this will make for an uncomfortable conversation area, much like the sun in your eyes. You may want to look at lighting that also brings ambiance with its illumination, such as bistro lights, often referred to as, “String Lights”.

String Lighting concept

You may consider lighting fixtures that bring style to your living space, such as Carriage Lights and Sconces. When using these fixtures, it is crucial not to have bright bulbs in fixtures with a clear lens. This will cause unusually harsh glare and ruin any subtle outdoor atmosphere. It is important to note that some lights are for décor as they don’t have the illumination reach of other types of lights. An outdoor chandelier is another stylish lighting source to consider for décor.

And if you are unsure of design options altogether, you can feel confident that experts at Illuminated Concepts will have the design vision, illumination knowledge combined with product knowledge to design a gorgeous outdoor lighting system for your outdoor living space. Sit back and let us draw your dream outdoor entertainment lighting design. This extends your entertaining area after dark and being in Southern California, where would you rather be than outdoors in your own mini-resort sanctuary.

Illuminated Concepts offers FREE Outdoor Lighting Design on every job we do. With our experience, you’re getting a great value here. We have won awards for our design and had the pleasure of designing outdoor lighting concepts for some incredible homes over the years. Give us a ring at (949) 455-9914 and see how we can impress you and your neighbors after dark.