POOLS, DECKS, & PATIOS Lighting Solutions
POOLS, DECKS, & PATIOS
Landscape lighting around a pool, deck or patio is a great way to increase the usability of the space, making it a beautiful place to be at night. It also makes it safer, as you can use lighting to illuminate steps, edges and other hazards.
ADD A LITTLE SURFACE LIGHT TO BALANCE OUT YOUR UNDERWATER LIGHTS
There’s something magical about the blue-green glow of a pool with its underwater lights on at night. With landscape lighting, you can build on this magic by lighting the plant life around pool. Accent lights on trees, shrubs, grasses and other ornamental plants will create a kind of natural splendor around your pool at night. It will also create indirect illumination for the pool deck.
A few well-placed path lights can illuminate the pool deck and make it easier to move between the pool and the house, so you won’t have to step carefully over rocks or feel out steps with your toes. When planning the lighting for the pool, identify potential hazards around the pool, and make plans to illuminate them. Use path lights, hardscaping lights, under-deck lights or wall lights to illuminate hazardous areas and lighten up walking areas.
One thing to keep in mind about lighting around pools is that all landscape lights must be placed at least ten feet away from the water. If you need illumination closer to the water than this, consider using a tree or wall-mounted accent light to give you the light you need from above. Aiming an accent light through branches can create a decorative light-and-shadow effect on the ground.
SET THE MOOD WITH AMBIENT DECK AND PATIO LIGHTING
With a deck or patio, the first thing to attend to are steps and edges that could be potential safety hazards. Lighting these areas allows for easier movement around the space and creates a good base for your lighting installation. Working from here, use accent lights to illuminate trees, shrubs and other plant material around the deck or patio and create more indirect illumination for your outdoor space. Accent lights for water features and a down light above the grill are great additions to complete a deck or patio lighting plan.
When working with decks and patios, fences and retaining walls, there are lots of specialty lights that can be useful in creating interesting lighting effects. Hardscaping lights can be inserted between patio paver or retaining wall blocks to provide illumination and create interest along the wall. Wall lights are small decorative fixtures that can be fastened to benches, fences, walls or along stairways to add a decorative flourish and provide added light where you need it.
With decks and patios, the key to a good lighting installation is to keep the lighting low and indirect. This keeps the safety hazards illuminated while providing a low-key atmosphere for socializing. It creates a great ambience for social gatherings or for time with the family at the end of the day.
FIXTURES THAT ARE PERFECT FOR DECKS, PATIOS, & POOLS
1. Hardscaping lights. These lights slide between two blocks in a retaining wall. Just run the wire through the back of the block and connect to a wire run behind the wall. Minimal and easy to install, these are great options for retaining walls and patio paver outdoor living areas.
2. Under-deck lights. These work in the same way as hardscaping lights, without the metal plate to slide under the blocks. You can just screw the lights in, run the wiring under the deck, and you’re ready to go!
3. Wall lights. Often small and unobtrusive, these fixtures mount easily onto walls or next to deck steps to cast light in important places.
4. Inset lights. Some fixtures are designed to be set into stair risers so that they’ll illuminate the stairs but don’t protrude and cause a trip hazard.
5. Underwater lights. If you’ve got a water feature, be sure to light it! Underwater lights in and around the water feature add great variety to your lighting plan.
6. Accent lights. Accent lights are the foundation of landscape lighting, and will be an important part of lighting your deck or patio. Placing accent lights under trees and other plant material will not only create indirect illumination for the deck, but energize the space in the back yard as it recedes from the deck.