7 Unique Patio Lighting Concepts
In Southern California, outdoor living spaces have become increasingly more popular. Outdoor patios, BBQs, kitchens, fire pits, and fireplaces are turning these residential outdoor patios spaces into mini luxury resorts where you can entertain your friends and family not only during the day but after dark. Lighting these spaces makes it even easier to get more use and enjoyment of your real estate. We now call these spaces our mini resort, an essential key to maximizing these unique patio spaces, extending the use and enjoyment into the evening hours.
Outdoor patio lighting is crucial in maximizing the utilization and beauty of these spaces. Planning outdoor and landscape lighting for your mini resort reaps many benefits. Proper planning for the patio outdoor lighting is key because you don’t want to forgo options due to not having the ability to bring landscape lighting cable to certain areas due to hardscape construction. As experts in the industry, we have many solutions to overcome what may appear as barriers to designing a beautifully well-lit and safe outdoor lighting installation. Our clients have enjoyed and appreciated the added value and beauty that our custom lighting designs have brought to their outdoor oasis.
7 outdoor patio lighting techniques that we have implemented in hundreds of mini resorts throughout Southern CA for the last 3 decades:
- Table lighting
- BBQ Lighting
- Countertop Downlighting
- Countertop Under glow lighting
- Fireplace Accent lighting
- Unique String lighting
- Firepit lighting
This Coto De Caza CA estate features the following outdoor / patio lighting types:
Downlighting from the upper beams that are used to illuminate the patio table and countertops.
Soft ceiling bounce lighting to accent the wood beams.
Downlights to accent the potted plant.
Under counter glow lights.
This Tustin Ranch CA estate features the following patio lighting types:
Downlight from the palm tree illuminates this patio table.
This light is on a switch.
The features of this Oceanside CA home include 2 Mircobullet lights to create soft illumination on the coffee table and sofa.
Most patio areas have dining areas with tables that family and friends gather to eat and socialize. Nothing can ruin the atmosphere more than an obnoxious glaring light, blinding people sitting at the patio table. Very often, bright flood or carriage lights on the side of the house are used, which are unattractive and obnoxious to people but very attractive to bugs. Good patio table lighting is best done directly above the table with small LED fixtures with glare shields. I have designed special shields that can optimize glare protection and create a soft pleasant illumination on the patio table. We put these downlights on a switch so they can be turned off when not in use.
BBQ lighting “Have you lit with your barbecue yet?“
How many people have seen this scene? Barbecuing at night while holding a flashlight to see if the meat is properly cooked or shop lights jerry-rigged near the barbecue so there would be some illumination on the grill.
If you are barbecuing at night you must have good task outdoor lighting to see while you’re cooking. Spotlighting focused on the BBQ is the best option because a light mounted on the BBQ counter area can take away valuable counter space.
Lights installed on a structure, wall, or tree near the barbecue area are the best solution. Barbecue lights must be installed correctly so that the person barbecuing or the lid of the BBQ doesn’t cast shadows on the grilling surface. Designing barbecue lighting, there is a small window or angle at the barbecue light that must be placed to effectively illuminate the barbecue grill surface. . This is where strategic design and installation of this type of outdoor lighting is essential.
Bar and Countertop Illumination
Bar and countertop are very important in patio areas. Since these areas are a favorite spot for guests and family to sit, soft soothing outdoor lighting is essential. Nothing can kill the atmosphere of your mini-resort more than obnoxious outdoor glaring lights.
These lights are on a switch.
SEE OUR LANDSCAPE LIGHTING SIMULATOR FOR AN EXAMPLE OF ABOVE AND BELOW BAR TOP COUNTER LIGHTING.
(Click here and you can turn on and off different patio lighting effects. Have fun.)
Below Counter Glow
Creating a soft glow under countertops is an awesome effect. By placing lights under the bartop you can create a soft accent of the stone, brick, or stucco.
This Trabuco Canyon CA home has under-counter LED linear lights to accent the texture stone face of the BBQ area.
This home in Newport Coast CA has linear glow lights under the bar top.
These glow lights create this soft accent on the stonework and a micro spotlight is used to bounce light off the underside of the umbrella creating soft ambient lighting. A flexible BBQ light on a gooseneck post was used to illuminate the BBQ.
Fireplace Accent Lighting
California outdoor living spaces now include outdoor living rooms that are very often equipped with fireplaces. This special outdoor feature can be a gathering area for family and guests. Dramatic outdoor architectural features with custom stone or brick and they add a lot to the outdoor ambiance in the day. But unless the fire is lit this beautiful outdoor architectural feature is lost in the night.
“If it’s an outdoor visual asset in the day it should not disappear at night”
Strategically placed low voltage LED spotlights can accent this great outdoor feature, it takes planning and experience to install these accent lights.
This estate in Coto De Caza CA has a fireplace accent light making their patio warm and inviting after dark.
The fireplace has a spotlight mounted on a tree, custom colored amber lights in the firewood nitches and uplighting on trees behind the fireplace making a nice backdrop. The fireplace structure can also often be viewed from the inside of the house by illuminating the fireplace its beauty can be enjoyed both from the patio areas and through the windows of your home.
String Lighting for Your Patio
In recent years Patio String lighting has become very popular, also called Bistro Lights, Cafe lights, or Party lights.
This is a great way to add a festive ambiance to an outdoor area while also provide soft general illumination. String lighting that we used are commercial heavy duty strings of individual bulbs and usually suspended with a guide cable. This type of installation requires some planning and engineering in order to achieve the desired look.