ILLUMINATE YOUR DECK AND PATIO
Lighting determines ambiance. It’s the finishing touch that brings a patio together once the materials, railings, fasteners and furniture are in place. It’s also an art of subtle touches, which is why it tends to get overlooked.
Yes, visibility is priority, but deck lighting should function as a design tool as much as a necessity. Knowing when and how to utilize lighting can alter your entire backyard through simple and discreet stylistic choices.
With this in mind, here are a few AZEK ideas to embolden and sharpen deck lighting.
Utilize Existing Structures — There can be a tendency toward “band-aid lighting,” installing new fixtures wherever light is needed and thereby cluttering your deck. Instead, consider the pre-existing structures. Integrate lighting to existing constructions to make it feel part of, instead of added to, your deck.
Pergolas, for instance, offer fantastic lighting opportunities: hang lanterns to create a latticework of illumination overhead. AZEK also favors railings for integrated lighting; Lighted Island Caps, Post Cap Lighting, and Under-Rail Lights blend seamlessly into the overall aesthetic while giving off a soft, ambient glow.
Consider Your Color — Atmosphere is tricky; if done right, it provides a distinct sense of place without revealing the methods by which it’s made. Here, the quality and color of lighting play a critical role to establish the temperature and tone of the space.
Those looking for a more modern aesthetic might favor the crisp, clean white or light blue LED light (while toning down the intensity so as to avoid the harshness of office-fluorescent buzz). Traditionalists might favor a softer orange or tungsten glow, bringing an earthy warmth to the rich brown tones of the furniture and decking. Embrace and accent the style already built into the deck.
Less is more. A deft hand will choose soft hues rather than full color, setting the scene for guests without overwhelming them. The goal is to leave them an impression even if they can’t quite put their finger on the source.
Avoid Over-Lighting — A good view of the stars will always be better than a view of the house’s siding. A little restraint and a little shadow brings intimacy to a space; fight the compulsion to light everything and embrace the deck’s intrigue.
Shadow can also afford the opportunity to focus certain areas of the deck by highlighting a central light source. Those who have a fire pit may want the fire itself to be the key light source, implicitly encouraging guests to gather round. Then, lightly fill in the remainder of the deck with AZEK Accent Lights, which will give necessary illumination without drawing attention.
Add Dimension — Light, by nature, draws the eyes, allowing deck -owners to dictate how guests perceive the backyard. Accenting small lighting touches to distinguish new spaces will add dimension to the immediate patio area and beyond.
Spreading discreet lights throughout the garden, such as hanging lamps or LED tree spotlights, widen the scope of the yard without combating the main seating area. Guests enjoy the subliminal comfort of breathing room without ever leaving their deck chairs.
Also, multiple circuits for the deck lighting can customize the space for the occasion. Set the immediate sitting area on one circuit, then the area just around the deck on a second. Flick a switch and broaden a cozy get-together into a sprawling cocktail party by illuminating a previously un-lit area.
Safety — Despite all the exciting design concepts, creating a safe backyard is always the top priority. Seek out potential hazard areas and add lights specifically engineered for safety: In-Deck Lights and Riser Lights are perfect for illuminating stairs and steps to allow everyone to move around the deck with confidence.