Serving the Naperville Community
If your driveway is illuminated by a single light set atop a post - or a garage-mounted floodlight - and you feel that look is boring or outdated, then you’ll be glad to know that there are alternatives that look better and perform better, to make your driveway more appealing. Here are 10 creative outdoor lighting ideas to light up your driveway in Hinsdale, IL.
Related: Extend Your Wheaton, IL, Patio Time With These 6 Outdoor Lighting Ideas
Driveway lighting can be hard-wired or solar-powered.
The pros to hard-wired lighting is that you won’t have to replace the fixtures, only bulbs (and with modern LED lighting technology, this is something you won’t have to worry about for many, many years). The cost of adding lighting along the length of your driveway isn’t huge, either up front (the cost of the fixtures plus installation), or long-term. Outdoor LED landscape lighting technology is extremely efficient and bulbs last into the tens of thousands of hours, which translates to worry-free lighting for 5-10 years.
The pros to solar lights is that there is no electricity cost, and no installation cost (many are set on stakes you simply push into the ground); however, they may not have replaceable bulbs, meaning you will have to replace the entire fixture, which could be a hassle if a particular style of light has been discontinued.
1. String lights add a festive flair to your driveway. A series of lights along the length of your driveway offers plenty of illumination, but with a more fun vibe than fixed lighting. The downside is that they will need to be replaced every couple of seasons.
2. Up-down lights at the garage: this chic approach adds curb appeal while adding light to the area immediately by the garage - this is a good solution for a short driveway and adds a focal point for visitors that says, “You’ve arrived.”
3. In-ground lighting: Runway-style lighting integrated into the driveway’s surface (along the slides) can be a dramatic way to add light; the look is unobtrusive during the day, and show-stopping after dark.
4. Post-mounted solar lights: if your driveway has a fence along its length, you can add solar-powered fixtures to each post (no wiring needed).
5. Path lighting. Knee-high path lighting doesn’t just illuminate walkways or stepping stone paths; in fact, you can create an integrated look by using the same lights on your front walkway as you do your driveway.
6. Barn light: add some farmhouse chic to your garage with a rustic downward-focused barn light, to offer plenty of illumination at the garage. You can echo the look at the front door, or even where your driveway meets the road.
7. Add more post lights. If you already have one post light, adding several more along the driveway will add elegance; you can also continue this along the walkway to the front door. Keep them the same style for elegance, or mix styles for a fun boho look.
8. Outdoor-rated rope lighting works in the same way as fixtures integrated into the driveway’s surface, although it’s a more temporary solution as the ropes will need replacing every couple of seasons.
9. Pillar lights: if your driveway entrance is defined by masonry pillars, you could continue this look along its length with attractive pillar lights. This is another technique that could also be used to create a warm welcome along your front walkway.
10. Add drama and interest with spotlights integrated into shrubbery, rock gardens, or other landscape features that line the driveway.
Related: Why Adequate Outdoor Lighting for Your Naperville IL Driveway and Front Yard Is So Important
The Benefits of Making Sure Your Landscape Design Includes Both a Patio and Fire Pit in Naperville, IL
Summer is coming soon and you’ll want to be ready to get the most out of your backyard all season long. Gathering with loved ones in your backyard is best enjoyed with an elegant patio that’s adorned with a gorgeous fire pit made from stone masonry. As you set up contracts with landscaping professionals this spring, make sure you’ve got a fire pit in mind. Here are the benefits of making sure your landscape design includes both a patio and fire pit in Naperville, IL.
Related: Designing a Brick Patio Around Your Fire Pit In Hinsdale, IL
Even if you use an open plan as a patio design, you should still have some space set aside for different purposes. A communal gathering place is absolutely essential for summer enjoyment in a backyard. Everyone needs a place to rest, and everyone needs a central hub where they can gather and share conversation. The heat of the summer is fleeting and can even disappear on the calmest nights, so it’s best to center your gathering space around a masonry fire pit.
A fire pit prominently placed in your patio will give your backyard a strong sense of intent. Using masonry for your fire structure is not only practical, but it sends the message that warming up by a fire in your backyard with loved ones is a long-standing practice in your home. The stones, blocks, or bricks used to build your fire pit will last for generations and continually beckon friends and family as the years go on.
Pairing With Pavers
The stones used in your fire pit could and should pair with your patio pavers, the home, and the surrounding landscape as well. The color scheme used in your overall landscape can guide the look of the fire pit, though there’s always room for a little contrast and juxtaposition. Whether the look of your home and landscape is rustic or contemporary, fire pits can be built from any natural or manufactured stone that fits. Your fire pit will only enhance the atmosphere.
High-Backed Seat Walls
Further emboldening your patio’s sense of permanence, high-backed seat walls will make an elegant impact on your entire landscape. Fire pits are commonly built in the form of a circle, not only to allow everyone to gain equal access to the warmth but for giving everyone a common purpose of gathering together. High-backed seat walls will complement your fire pit and patio, creating a structure that defines the space, shields the area from harsh winds, and helps keep the warmth inside the circle. The seat wall can also offer a substantial amount of storage space for blankets, cushions, pillows, firewood, and more.
Surrounding Additional Features
The construction of a fire pit and adjoining high-backed seat walls on your patio will give you the opportunity to further bolster the area with conscious design choices. This could include stunning native shrubs and flowers, water features such as gentle fountains or waterfalls, and a more strategic lighting program. As the fire pit helps bring loved ones to your patio more and more often, you’ll have more inspiration for what to build next. Let the refined space inspire you to keep dreaming; it’s just the beginning of the rejuvenation your backyard needs!
Related: Warm Up Your Wheaton IL Brick Patio With a Traditional Fire Pit
Your patio is an extension of your home and bringing a feeling of outdoor living isn’t possible without proper nighttime lighting. Using certain lighting techniques, you’ll be able to evoke different moods for you and your loved ones to have the best experiences in your backyard. You can include strategies such as spotlighting, moonlighting, backsplashing, submersible lighting, and string lighting to create these moods. The best idea for lighting your patio, however, is by using a combination of these tricks. Here’s how to extend your Wheaton, IL patio time with these six outdoor lighting ideas.
Related: Rethinking the Traditional Brick Patio in Wheaton and Naperville IL Areas
Surely one of the more dramatic lighting strategies, spotlighting creates sharp and striking visuals by placing a light directly at one of your patio features. If you have a statue or a gorgeous gnarled old tree, this is a great tactic to create visual texture at night. Since the direct light of spotlighting can be very intense, it’s best to ensure that the feature isn’t in the center of the patio so those walking on the receiving end might receive some harsh flashes at night.
This wonderful lighting tacting is perfect for creating soft shadows on the ground as if it were filtered moonlight. By placing a single bluish light within a tall tree and pointing it towards the ground, you can mimic the tranquil blue light of the moon. The light will shimmer down through the branches and leaves to create dancing shadows in the slightest breeze. This also makes the tree seem larger than life, creating a truly dramatic atmosphere for your patio and outdoor living area.
This lighting technique is perfect for creating an ambient light. Pointing a bright light source at a blank wall or solid, flat object and allowing the light to bounce off will wash the patio and surrounding area with soft light. Depending on the color of the wall and the light source, this will let the area glow in warm or cool light. It is possible to combine this technique with spotlighting to achieve a similar effect of showing off a striking feature that’s attached to the wall.
Every water feature should utilize lighting to come alive at night. This type of lighting is especially useful in pools where any illumination improves safety. The underwater lights create a soft, ethereal blue glow that washes over any nearby patio surfaces. Any ripples on the surface create dancing shadows that provide a dramatic visual texture to enhance a calming environment or bolster a fun gathering.
This technique is relatively simple to install but makes a huge difference in the ambiance of your patio. Typically they’re for a more fun atmosphere, as everyone cheers the moment they come on at night. String lights are unobtrusive and can be easily concealed when they’re not in use as they typically consist of LED lights. Install them along the border of the patio and possibly crossing through the center at a height of about 12 feet and you’ll quickly create a festive environment.
Again, your best option for enhancing your patio experience is combining several of these techniques. This will give you a varied atmosphere with a lot of visual depth. You’ll avoid the harsh contrasts that come from the shadows of a single bright light source and the safety concerns that come with these contrasts. You’ll have a carefully calibrated lighting strategy that ensures your patio will be the center of all the fun.
Related: Why Adequate Outdoor Lighting for Your Naperville IL Driveway and Front Yard Is So Important