Carolina Living: Summer Outdoor Spaces
Thereâ€™s no better place than your own backyard for relaxing, entertaining and enjoying the outdoors. And, thereâ€™s no better time than Summer to spruce up your space.
If youâ€™re looking to upgrade a humdrum yard into something special, here are some things to consider:
Trees and awnings arenâ€™t just great adornments for your yard; they provide much needed shade for you to sit outdoors comfortably and safely.
Avoid summer mosquito bites by placing birdbaths and other standing water structures far from lounging and eating areas. Install LED yard lighting for night, which is less likely to attract mosquitoes than incandescent lights.
When planning your space, make safety a top priority. Since evenings are prime-time for Summer entertaining, lighting is an essential safety measure.
Start by considering where you need to increase visibility. Choose post-mounted lanterns near driveways and wall-mounted lanterns next to doors for ease of access and to welcome guests. If underground wiring is required, consult an electrician or experienced landscape lighting contractor.
For deck stairs or terraced paths, donâ€™t forget step lights to aid in navigation.
And, thoroughly check outdoor railings, steps, decks and porches to make sure they are steady and that no nails or boards have come loose.
Your yard is an extension of your home, so donâ€™t let design and style fall by the wayside when planning its look.
For a touch of natural beauty, consider planting a flower garden to attract butterflies and humming birds.
â€śIlluminate paths and define edges where the garden or grass meet walkways,â€ť says Jeff Dross, corporate director of education and industry trends for Kichler Lighting, a leading supplier of outdoor and landscape lighting for consumers and contractors.
The interplay of light and shadow adds magic to the night. By carefully placing accent lights at upward or downward angles and using wall wash lighting, you can silhouette trees and direct shadows. Capture the nighttime loveliness of water features like ponds with LED lights specially built for underwater illumination. For best results, consult a landscape lighting expert.
More information on landscape lighting can be found atkichler.com or landscapelighting.com. You can also receive referrals to Kichler-certified landscape lighting contractors by clicking â€śNeed a Contractor?â€ť
Donâ€™t let your exterior spaces drive up your homeâ€™s energy bills. New LED deck and landscape lights are low-maintenance, cost effective options. Lasting up to 40,000 hours â€” about 15 years â€” these fixtures use 75 percent less energy than incandescent lights.
â€śSince outdoor lighting is often left on all night or for many hours at a time, savings from LED lighting can really add up,â€ť Dross says.
Remember to avoid cheaper LED lights with a bluish cast that many find unattractive. Opt instead for a warm white light, such as Kichlerâ€™s Design Pro LED landscape lights.
Donâ€™t just dream about the perfect outdoor space. For a great season, transform your yard into a beautiful, fun place. : :