2018 Outdoor Lighting Trends for the Early Bird

Maybe there’s still a chill in the air, but a season of patio parties, barbecues, car washes, and gardening lies ahead. If you’re excited and want to start early, think about upgrading your home’s exterior lights. To make the most of warm weather, you’ll need a well-lit yard, driveway, porch and sidewalks. Proper outdoor light fixtures also keep suspicious activity away from your house and prevent trips and falls as you’re bringing in the groceries and party supplies.

2018 Outdoor Lighting Trends

Many homeowners neglect to explore today’s lighting options, allowing their exterior fixtures from decades past to rust and eat up energy dollars. Smart lights, solar power, durable materials, and new designs that protect the environment and make your landscape more beautiful are available and affordable. Installation is also easier than ever before. With a range of sizes, shapes, and materials to choose from, you’ll find styles that go up in a snap with a few simple tools. As the spring early birds arrive, learn more about the outdoor lighting trends we’ve collected and get a jumpstart on shining more efficiently with environmentally friendly light for the warm season that’s on the way.

Designer Worthy Wow Pieces

Outdoor lighting isn’t all about gardens and walkways and, in the Pinterest/HGTV world, we all want something special. Today’s trends make use of sunrooms, covered porches, and gazebos to feature wow pieces that impress your guests and show off other elements of decor. Outdoor chandeliers are usually galvanized or protectively treated to endure harsh conditions, but they’re just as magnificent as indoor models.

Hang a geometric sphere near a bamboo screen, a set of elegant lanterns from a porch ceiling, or a trio of metal-framed pendants over a wrought iron and frosted glass patio set. With the right balance between space, shine, and style, the outdoor space will soon become your family’s favorite warm-weather hangout.

Dark Sky

Imagine the joy of reclining on your patio to gaze into a dark, starlit sky. If you live in a populated area, however, the upward shine of the many lights around you screens the stars from view. Help preserve darkness with fixtures specifically designed to prevent the problem known as light pollution.

These “dark sky” fixtures point downward, capturing their glow inside protective shields of metal or glass, thereby reducing light trespass without sacrificing the wattage you need. The sleek, elegant design of dark sky lights also makes your house look chic and updated. Traditional homes aren’t excluded from the trend — shop our catalog for colonial and Victorian fixtures that meet dark sky guidelines. You’ll find styles in a variety of materials, shapes, and degrees of light intensity.

Moonlighting (Downlight)

The term “moonlighting” sometimes means having more than one job, but in the world of landscape design it’s a reference to downward light hanging from a tree or some other high space. With one or more strategically placed moonlights in your yard, you can create a serene spotlight that also protects your home against intruders and puts flower gardens, ponds, and fountains on display. Since a moonlight should be hung about twenty or thirty feet up from the ground, take precautions during the installation. Use stand-off hanger bolts instead of staples when affixing the fixture to a tree. And, of course, call in a professional if you have a fear of heights or feel wobbly on a ladder.

Social Influences

Entertaining is not always about what, but sometimes about why. Social media makes it easy to invite friends over for impromptu picnics, patio gatherings, and pool parties. Be prepared with a well-lit entertaining space designed for selfies, videos, and the ongoing digital documentation of #fun. Transform an unused portion of your backyard into a welcoming mood-lit space complete with a rustic bench positioned under a tree strung with tiny electric lanterns or crystal balls.

Creating Texture

Take a tip from professional landscape designers and put together an outdoor lighting scheme that creates texture in key areas. Install a series of warm amber lights along the edge of a grassy lawn or use them to highlight bricks, stacked stone, or stucco. The play of light and shadow against interesting textures makes your landscape look beautiful from any distance.

In the back yard, try solar or LED lights near a pond or retaining wall. Plant ornamental grass or small hedges nearby to capture the projection of moving foliage when the wind blows. Try a set of underwater lights in a pool or fountain to make the water shine and sparkle in the darkness.

Landscape Lighting

The longer you own a home, the easier it becomes to forget about dark, underused areas of the landscape. Take some inspiration from the trend toward sophisticated and modern outdoor lights that illuminate hedges, fences, walkways, and all points of entrance. You can’t go wrong with a guest-centered approach — try high-end landscape lighting to feature a winding path or incorporate fixtures directly into a wooden deck’s staircase.

Get creative with a well-lit lawn sculpture, such as a concrete sphere, that makes your house stand out in the neighborhood. Treat your guests to a set of bollards along the front walk — the calm, steady light will ensure they arrive to the door without a missed step.

Outdoor, So Much More!

As an early bird looking to light the spring and summer ahead, you’ll have plenty of time to choose, install, and enjoy your outdoor lights. Start with both a game plan and a goal to increase safety, protect the night sky, and save some money with energy efficient fixtures. Select your style from our catalog, which offers a range of choices that speak to today’s trends and technological innovations like smart lighting, solar power, and dark sky design. Shop around and gain some inspiration for creating more texture in your landscape and opening up unused areas of the yard. With light on all the right places, you don’t even need a patio or pool to get the party started.

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