Four Ways To Light Up The Outdoors For An Event

We use lights for almost everything. It brightens up our homes, our businesses, or peripherals and has become one of the staples of decoration. But what kind of effects can be achieved with the many different kinds of lighting setups available for a yard, patio or big event? This will provide four creative ways to produce a particular desired effect.

1. Lighting Up Water


A fountain, pond or pool is a terrific way to illuminate your patio or event as a secondary or tertiary source of light. It creates atmosphere more than it satisfies the need to see. A light underneath water creates a neat effect. The translucence of the water refracts and scatters the light as it comes to the surface of the water, creating a wavy ripple effect. This kind of light can satisfy a desired mood of exclusivity, elegance, mystery or a romantic evening.

2. Spotlights

 spotlights- on-house

Integrating spotlights into the ground of your landscape or event creates a unique mood as well. Spotlights are sometimes placed on the landscape at equidistant intervals to serve as markers or to highlight shrubbery and flora. In other situations, spotlights may be placed in the ground around the perimeter of an object, bathing it in light. This is most commonly seen with statues, trees or yard sculptures. This not only creates a focal point, but a presentation or illusion because as the light comes up from underneath, it becomes increasingly more faint. What this does is shroud the object in mystery, create shadow, depth and leave some parts of it to the imagination. Spotlights can also be placed inside planters and hidden from view, so as to conceal the source of light. Not having the spotlight in direct view enhances the desired effect.

3. Fire


Using fire as a means of illumination creates a very particular atmosphere. The sources must be placed strategically and closer together than focused light since fire does not focus a beam a light in any particular direction, but wanes from a very concentrated source to a soft glow rather quickly. Outdoors, fire is usually used as light via Tiki torches, lanterns, a fire pit or a bonfire. A fire planter is also a very fashionable fire source, but it must be fueled with propane or natural gas from pipes that come from underneath. For events such as a luau or a summer pool party, fire works well as a supplement to other light sources to create a festive celebratory mood. Always be sure to keep open flames away from everything else, especially flammable objects.

4. Bulbs And Diodes


Depending on the size and number of the bulbs used, they can be used as a primary or supplemental light source. If enough bright bulbs are used, it can create very thorough soft lighting. Many people choose to use bulbs to hang around the perimeter of a patio overhang or even hang down from an object in strands, giving the appearance of something like icicles. This works well in more elegant events like weddings, anniversaries or galas. Diodes are a terrific way to “polish” your lighting. They’re small strips of LED lights that are designed to adhere underneath counter tops, cabinets, and behind things like stereos or televisions. Diodes often have the option to cycle through a whole library of colors, fading from one color to the next. This is valuable in a multitude of outdoor events, or simply if you’re entertaining in the backyard. Speaking of cabinets, there’s this company called “Lake Hallie Cabinets & Design,” they are dedicated to bringing you the custom kitchen with beautiful cabinets, visit their website–

Putting It All Together

For more informal outdoor events, like summer BBQs or pool parties, I always try to integrate Tiki torches or invoke some sort of tropical style while there is still residual light in the sky from the sun, and it hasn’t gone completely nighttime yet. It puts out a vibe of “We’re here to relax and celebrate summer”.  Citronella candles work well too, as summer doesn’t feel like summer without mosquitoes. As it gets darker, I would turn on the pool lights to invite my guests to swim at night, something not a lot of people get to do on a regular basis. This is also the time to turn on the spotlights if you have them. Bulbs and diodes are best use as it gets later into the evening, when things might need to get into full swing or when a jolt of liveliness is needed. The last thing I would do with an outdoor outing as far as lighting is turn on the fire pit as the evening dies down. Using the correct form of lighting can put the perfect ambiance over the whole night, so experiment.