Dining al fresco is one of the many joys of summer. But eating in the dark isn’t quite as enjoyable. Elevate your outdoor dining experience with the addition of outdoor lighting to your Lebanon, PA, dining area. Outdoor lighting not only allows you and your guests to see your meal, it also creates a lovely atmosphere for outdoor entertaining.
Light the Way
For a perfect outdoor dining experience, guests first have to find the dining area. Make sure everyone can navigate safely to the table by ensuring that arrival areas and pathways are well lit. Motion sensor lights in the driveway and path lights along the walkway can also help. Proper path lighting should be evenly spaced, with the lights placed far enough apart to draw visitors forward to the next pool of light. Path lights can be nestled among plants to help conceal the fixtures.
Create a Romantic Atmosphere
When we picture outdoor dining, we often imagine a softly lit table under the stars. This romantic setting is easy to create with hanging outdoor lights. And hanging lights are also a good solution for dining areas that don’t have electricity readily available.
String lights that hang in a tree or are draped over a pergola create a beautiful atmosphere and will provide enough light to eat by. If you don’t have anything above your dining table to hang lights on, consider having them strung between posts or pillars to create a ceiling of lights. A patio umbrella also makes a convenient location for hanging lights if your table is in an open area. Supplement hanging lights with candles on the table for a cozy glow.
Add Flair with Fabulous Fixtures
If you’re lucky enough to have a covered outdoor dining area, your lighting options are excellent. A covered dining area provides a place to mount fixtures and allows for a wider range of lighting choices. A cabana or covered patio offer enough shelter from the elements to allow for less durable lighting. Make a statement with a gorgeous chandelier or enhance your landscape design with stylish pendant lights.
A pergola or gazebo will help define your outdoor dining area and also offers a spot to hang outdoor lighting. For open structures, weatherproof lighting is important. Ask your landscape lighting experts about watertight lighting options that can withstand the temperatures in your area.
For a natural lighting effect, lights shining down from above can create the appearance of soft moonlight. We achieve this effect by placing lights high up in a nearby tree and aiming them towards the dining area. This washes the area in a gentle light, while shadows from the tree branches add to the effect.
A fire feature is the perfect way to enhance natural lighting—or the lack of it. Whether you opt for a modern fire table or a traditional fireplace, the flames will add a beautiful golden, flickering light. A fire feature will also help keep guests warm and ensure your gatherings aren’t cut short by a cool evening.
Light doesn’t have to come from above to be effective. LED lights mounted on vertical features such as retaining walls or seating walls can provide subtle lighting for your dining area. Mounting lights under a table or on benches will make it easy to find dropped items and increase safety around the table.
Image courtesy of Unilock.