No Fall Men, Please: Suggestions for Lighting Your Outdoor Measures

The backyard at night can be charming. But we humans are not the best at viewing in the dark, so it also can be dangerous, especially if you own stairways, steps or uneven surfaces. With the ideal lighting, though, you can turn these potential problem areas in to highlights of your night landscape.

Ideally you should have enough lighting combined stairways and near steps to allow you to walk safely, but not so much light that your lawn ends up resembling a well-lit parking lot. It may be as simple as adding a row of lights along one side. But if your lighting can add interest and a sense of design to your overall space, so much the better.

When you’re looking for stairs and measures to your walkways and outside rooms, take into consideration the lighting choices — out of downlights and sidelights to those set from the risers or constructed into the railings and banisters — that might make your landscape even more special.

The Taunton Press, Inc

Rising to the event. Stairway lighting can be ordinary — it can be a work of art. Geometric cutouts in each riser allow plenty of lighting through to light up the measures here, but whatever you notice are different patterns. Repeating one pattern on every other riser retains the design from becoming too active.

Pinney Designs

For a narrow stairway, a single light centered in every riser may be adequate.

Karen Garlanger Designs, LLC

But if you’re light a wider expanse, then spacing a succession of lights along every riser is a better option.

Clemente style studio, llc

Long, low measures can be especially tricky to navigate at night. Including a mild that extends the duration of each riser ensures that you and your guests will not trip over an unexpected step down or up.

Andrew J Coleman

Keeping things easy. Sometimes all that’s required are light fixtures alongside the measures. The style of those outdoor lights fits in well with the overall backyard, so they are equally decorative during daylight hours.

RJK Construction Inc

Archadeck of Suburban Boston

Other simple-to-install choices that work especially well for decks include banister cap lights, rope lighting and downlights constructed into the articles. The majority of these accessories are easy to find, and retrofitting an present deck stairway should be relatively easy.

Daryl Toby – AguaFina Gardens International

Looking down. Lights that shine downward instead of up or outside create soft pools of light along a stairway. There’s enough light to allow you to see where you’re going, but it is not jarring or shining in mind. You do not need to light every jog. Instead, aim for only enough light to keep things secure while enabling the next lit place to draw you further up (or down).

John Kraemer & Sons

Looking sideways. Sidelights will cast a glow across the measures. The ones in the very low wall lining each side of those steps are unobtrusive but provide adequate lighting at night.

2. ink Studio | Landscape Architecture

Mixing things up. Don’t limit your choices when planning your lighting. Sometimes combining different types of lighting works best.

The dramatic steps climbing above this bud backyard and turning from the water attribute are completely lit instead of simply bathed in a light that blurs the borders. This light scheme not only highlights this architectural feature along with the surrounding landscape; it is a necessity with the nonuniform measures and absence of handrails. In contrast, the long stairway behind only requires sidelights set periodically to the wall to help keep it lit and secure.

Integral Lighting

Single lighting in the center of each riser provide the key lighting here, but the additional lighting throughout the room, from the lights from the doors to those at the borders of the paving, create enough light to keep people secure and enough shadows to keep the appearance intriguing.

Gast Architects

A clean of light throughout the whole entrance makes a sense of welcoming here. The appearance is achieved with a mix of downlights and a traditional porch lighting that ensures the house number is visible. The result is a warm and inviting glow.

├╝ber iron

Make it your own. Sure, downlights would most likely be adequate with this stairway, but in this case the lamps specify the upper and bottom of the staircase, add a solid decorative element and provide plenty of light. The white glass allows the light to shine through but protects the bulbs themselves out of sight.

Super Bright LEDs

The preceding examples have all been fairly subtly lit, but when it suits your style, why not go bold? Lights in blue, red, green, purple or other colours may be more effective than those in tones of white and yellow. You’ll certainly notice them!

Tell us: Are you working on an outside lighting scheme this season?

More: Spectacular Landscape Lights Dazzle from the Dark

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