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The fire pit is often the hub of outdoor gatherings, especially when the evening takes on a chill. As such, it’s a backyard focal point; but the fireside space can be made even more dramatic with a few key lighting strategies. Adding a new fire pit in Hinsdale, IL? Consider these outdoor lighting ideas too.
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Keeping the area around your fire pit safe is a top priority, especially when the fire goes out. Subtle path lights could be used to provide just enough lighting to make the space comfortable and safe; and you can also use these other lighting strategies to create a welcoming place for your family and friends.
To avoid a stark contrast between the light that the fire pit gives out and the darkness of the surrounding landscape, consider placing a few low-lying lights more or less randomly throughout the landscape to create subtle illumination that gives your backyard more dimension. For this purpose, you could use pathway light fixtures, or bullet lights, and place them under shrubs or within a plant bed. Be sure to use subtle lighting to create a layers effect: just enough to add interest without taking away the magic of the night time atmosphere.
Choose one or two prominent landscape features, such as a mature tree, a sculpture, retaining wall, or even the side of the home, and illuminate it from below using a spotlight. This technique places a light fixture at the base of the structure and points it upward to dramatically highlight the textures and cast some ambient light around it as well, as the light will bounce off onto nearby objects.
If your fire pit area is close to the home and that part of the home features a relatively blank wall, consider a technique called washing. Similar to spotlighting, this method directs light at the vertical surface but from a greater distance and less of an angle. The resulting effect is softer and the light bouncing off the surface will do a great job at providing ambient light.
Modern light-emitting diode (LED) light fixtures are small and can be integrated into any vertical structure: a retaining wall, a privacy fence, or any permanent seating around your fire pit. This reduces the visual clutter of having a lot of freestanding light fixtures around your outdoor living space. In general, you want to orient these lights downward so that the light energy is directed where it’s most needed: the ground; and to prevent a blinding effect.
If your backyard features any large, mature trees, you could add magic to the setting with a lighting technique called moonlighting. This involves placing a bluish-white light fixture high in the tree canopy and pointing it downward. The effect is that of moonlight filtering through the tree, and some amazing dancing shadows on the ground.
Today’s string lights are a wonderful way to add a festive atmosphere to your outdoor living space. There are many styles available, and today’s string lights often come in an LED format for significantly longer bulb lifespan. This means that once they’re installed, you can forget about them for many years: so have string lights installed anywhere you like: within a pergola, between trees, or anywhere around your fire pit area that you want to create a fun atmosphere.
Related: Why a Fire Pit Becomes the Prime Destination of the Backyard Patio in Hinsdale, IL