As it approaches summertime here in Connecticut amongst the COVID-19 pandemic, and many of us are exploring ways that we can optimize our outdoor living spaces. One key element that brings a warm ambience to a space in which we enjoy meals and spend time together, is lighting. Just like indoor lighting, outdoor lighting offers a wide variety of fixture options; from overhead and wall sconces to table fixtures and string lighting. Our quick tips will help you choose the right type of lighting for your outdoor oasis.
Pendant & Flush Mount Lights
Pendant lights in an outdoor dining space should be about 32” from the top of the table. Of course, you may not have a ceiling in your outdoor space. Pendants can alternatively be hung from a large tree branch. Be sure to make sure it is at least 7’ off the ground if people will be walking under it! If clearance is an issue, then a flush mount fixture is a great option (less than 8’ of clearance). These are very popular options for covered outdoor spaces since they are not a concern when a gust of wind rolls in.
Sconces are a very versatile fixture that can create a defined space in the area they are hung. So, you may ask, how should a sconce be hung? They can be installed in either as a singular fixture, as a pair or three or more (eliminating the need for overhead lighting).
Tip: For overall lighting using sconces, choose a fixture that has exposed bulbs. For illuminating pathways, choose downward facing fixtures that guide light on the walkway.
Table Fixtures and String Lighting
These fixtures provide a trendy and natural alternative to the other fixtures listed above. These options are also DIY capable, whereas the others really require the installation of a licensed electrician because they often operate off battery or solar power. Often, they are simply wired fixtures with a plug.
Safety Tip: Make sure that the fixture is rated for outdoor use in the instance it begins to rain. This is important to remember for extension cords as well!