By Laura Jackson
Outdoor lighting at its best greets you and your guests with an enchanting warm welcome as you enter its soft, romantic glow. It can create the perfect atmosphere for enjoying a night outdoors to relax and recharge at the day’s end.
Jerrica Jordan from Park City’s Elume Distinctive Lighting describes how the right lighting sets the mood for your entire home, both inside and out. Jordan explains that the first important step is to understand your goals and vision for your space, “Whether the yard is small and the goal is to add some simple accent lighting, or the space is large and needs task lighting as well as accent lighting, it’s important to first know what you want to achieve for the space.”
Her advice is to start closest to your home, “Food preparation areas will need adequate task lighting. Seating and gathering areas require ambient light for creating the ‘mood’, as well as adequate illumination for conversing—you want to be able to see the people you’re speaking to.”
Other early lighting decisions include choosing lights for safety reasons, “Path lighting is essential for yards large or small that have active walkways, especially if the material used for the path is uneven, as with many of the natural stone pathways common in our area,” said Jordan. There are also many outdoor options for stairway lighting to ensure a consistent and safe walking environment.
Decorative outdoor lighting can include everything from wall sconces, hanging lanterns, outdoor ceiling lights, post-mount fixtures, and even outdoor chandeliers. Elume continues to see a growing interest in more contemporary fixtures both indoors and out. “I would say the bulk of our recent projects have been geared toward the Mountain Contemporary style, perfectly blending the client’s contemporary taste while still incorporating a mountain resort feel,” said Jordan. Some of her favorite manufacturers include the incredible original designs of Hubbardton Forge, Ironglass Lighting and Hammerton.
As finding environmentally responsible, energy-efficient systems has become more important, the energy-saving lighting choices have exploded as well. “There are so many great outdoor fixtures now available with the LED option; they have the ability to fit almost any style and budget,” said Jordan.
Since homeowners often leave outdoor lighting turned on overnight, energy efficiency becomes even more of a priority. Landscape lighting may also often be found in tall trees or other hard-to-reach areas, so finding long-lived bulbs is an important feature as well. Jordan cautions that because there are now so many new and often quite technical LED products available, it’s important to understand exactly what you are purchasing, as well as confirming that your manufacturer warrantees their products.
Some other interesting energy-saving options include occupancy sensors for less active areas of
the yard that still need illumination for safety or pets, home automation systems that allow programmed lighting control based upon the time of day, and remote lighting controls that can be used in whole home systems.
Finding an inspiring and well-equipped showroom is a great way to start your outdoor lighting search. Because of its exquisite, unique selections and knowledgeable staff, Elume in Park City has been selected as a finalist for the Lighting Showroom of the Year Awards for the third year in a row, presented this year at the Dallas International Lighting Market honoring the top lighting retailers in North America.
Achieving the best outdoor lighting not only highlights the beauty of your outdoor living environment making a huge difference in the curb appeal of your home, but it extends the precious hours that you and your family spend outdoors together.