The Bright Ideas Blog

Design inspiration and outdoor lighting tips and advice for homeowners

Entertaining & Why Lighting Your Outdoor Living Space is a Must!

Get the party started this summer with lighting your patio, pergola, or deck. Create the best atmosphere for your guests or simply a romantic outdoor living space for two. Who says you have to go out to find the best eats and ambiance? With Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah's tips and ideas, you can create an atmosphere to enjoy right in the comforts of your own outdoor living space.


Lighting can make or break any atmosphere; it is critical that your outdoor lighting produces a desirable atmosphere; you only want your evening enjoyment to get better after dark. Outdoor living spaces should never be overly lit., this is why less says more has always been our focus. Task and safety lighting is always a big concern, however, keep in mind that task and safety lighting can still be achieved without sacrificing ambiance. When we create a plan for a landscape lighting project, we are always certain that the ambiance is oriented around the places where people will be, which incidentally is often where the safety and task lighting concerns are as well. Consider how stairs, pathways, work areas like outdoor kitchens, barbecues, etc., are where people will need lighting. It may seem difficult to light these places well without sacrificing ambiance, but with a little creativity and imaginative engineering, a romantic inviting environment can still be made a reality. 


Pergola Lighting

These days pergolas are being added to just about every landscape. They are the perfect way to allow you to enjoy the pool or the patio on those hot summer days with friends and/or family, or to simply enjoy an evening sunset and romantic dinner in the backyard. Many pergolas are built with heavy timbers and provide a perfect location to hide or conceal small lighting fixtures with low wattage LED lamps. Our technicians pride themselves, and consider it an art form to conceal and completely hide these wires from view. One of the incredibly nice things that we can do in the age of technology is put in switches that can control the brightness of the lights; higher levels for dining or entertaining, and lower light output for quieter times.

Liven up the party alfresco style with Bistro lights. Draped below the upper beams of a pergola, these lights are a very popular and festive way to liven up the party.


Patio Lighting

Cascading soft moonlight over your patio can set the mood for entertaining or casual dining anytime. Often, we will visualize what it is we want to achieve at night when designing a professional lighting system, then figure out how to make it happen; this is where creativity can really pay off. Down lighting can have a huge impact when done properly. Down lighting is best used when mounted to established trees, soffits, pergolas, etc. Incorporating visual elements of the landscape such as Water Fountains, Japanese Maples, etc. can also enhance the scene around your patio.


Deck Lighting

Many of the elements mentioned above can, and should, be applied to deck lighting. Often a combination of the above pergola or patio designs may be part of your deck construction or design as well. Though stair and hand railings can accompany decks as well, the materials can vary from steel, to wood, to even stone. Regardless of the design, the materials, or specific concerns, our technicians really put their skills to work to conceal and hide wire in all custom installations. Often we will install fixtures that assist in lighting stairs or walkways, which always vary and require a different approach. When you know that fixtures are going to be integrated into the design, it may be best to pre plan some of these applications throughout the deck construction. However,  a skilled technician has the ability, even after the deck or pergola has been assembled, to properly conceal wiring and hardware.

The Best Outdoor Kitchen Lighting

Imagine the scene: a group of your best friends have come over to check out your great new outdoor kitchen. You have the menu planned, the music selected. Ice cubes clink festively in the drink glasses.

Dusk settles over your party scene, as you tend to the pork tenderloin on the grill. Except you can’t quite see if it’s perfectly done. Should be OK, you figure, so you serve it up. Later, the sound of your guests’ illness is overshadowed only by the sound of them tripping on the patio steps because they can’t see where they’re going. 

Sure, your outdoor kitchen is for cooking and entertaining, but without the right lighting, your evening could be ruined by undercooked meat and guests flat on their faces.

Artistically designed lighting can not only illuminate the tasks at hand, but also transform your outdoor kitchen into a magical entertaining space.


To learn more about how to light your outdoor living space, call us at (801) 440-7647 to schedule a free consultation, or feel free to simply fill out a contact form.

Located in Midvale, Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah serves throughout Utah's residential areas, including Salt Lake City, Park City, Draper, Davis and Utah Counties. Our outdoor lighting portfolio includes projects throughout Utah and beyond.

Free Landscape Lighting Design Guide

Landscape Lighting Design