Inspiration Spaces

Modern Outdoor Design, After Dark

Written by Cody

Keeping a outdoor space well lit is a great way to make your backyard more livable, up the curb appeal of your front yard and keep away sprained ankles. Planning can be tricky. But when done correctly, light will not just keep you seeing in the dark, but can even improve your spaces in new and unexpected ways. Take a look through our round up of some outdoor spaces on Instagram, and see what will work best for your space.

Little lights can make a big difference. Even the subtle step lights used here serve multiple purposes. First and foremost, safety is key. A nighttime stumble down stone steps would be a ticket to the hospital. These little lights help to keep the steps in focus and play up the raw edge.

Steps are not the only thing that needs light. Here, safety is taken care of in bolder strokes with an overhead pendant and plenty of light spilling out from the glass door and windows. They take a bolder approach to featuring the design of their facade. The petite uplights make the bracketed beams pop, creating depth and interest.

Sometimes lighting is the main feature of a yard. This dramatic globe throws a fantastic spiraling pattern on the surrounding lawn, elevating it to a whole new level than what you see during the day. The subtle uplight washing on the surrounding trees elevate the overall effect and frames the effect of the orb.

While a gorgeous starlight pool may not be an option for all of us, there are some great ideas in this glamorous backyard. The wash of light across the line of illuminated planters and hedges creates a bold bookend to the starlit pool area, transforming the space once the sun is down.

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Another option for sage step lighting, with a more dramatic tone. Placing the step lights under the lip of these floating concrete steps creates a dramatic architectural statement and enhances the awesome ethereal floating effect.

Lighting for waterfront spaces is an aesthetic and safety necessity. This pond front keeps the lighting stylish and keeps you from tumbling down the tiers. Tucking the lighting under the steps keeps the light shielded for glare when moving back up the steps, and the spots on the dock create a visual boundary to keep you dry.

Dramatic design deserves dramatic lighting. This space is a tour de force of both. The uplight washes the gradating spaces between the concrete walls. This is a perfect example of how lighting can create a wholly new version of a space, filling the voids with welcoming warmth.

With its rustic textures and soft, neutral color palette, this Mexican courtyard offers a tranquil setting perfect for enjoying your evening sangria. Strategic pools of light highlight conversation areas, while spotlights accentuate the interesting textures of the building’s walls.

Dramatic designs require a delicate hand when it comes good lighting. The under lighting here provides enough light to use the space and brings a whole new dimension to the curving lines of the benches.

When everything works together, you can get the full package. Here, you have a combination of decorative and way-finding lighting. There is no question about where to go when you arrive at this home; the floating steps are safely lit and dramatic. In addition, they are doing a great job highlighting the sculptural plants with uplights. All together, this creates an dramatic and well styled outdoor space.

Now that you’re feeling good and inspired to add safety and drama to your outdoor settings, check out this selection of outdoor and landscape lighting.

About the author



Cody Torgersrud is part of the sales team, which works directly with customers who call and email in. When not remodeling his 1950s bungalow, Cody enjoys refinishing vintage and antique furniture as well as binging on British TV.

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