July 29

10 Tips and Ideas for Lighting Your Outdoor Enclosures

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We all enjoy being outdoors enjoying nature and time with family. However, many days during the summer are just too hot. Waiting for the sun to go down is ideal if you have good lighting in your backyard. If you’ve already invested in an outdoor enclosure for your backyard, why not add some lighting to continue enjoying the outdoors in the evening?

Lighting Your Outdoor Space

lighting outdoor enclosures

Outdoor lighting placement is not just an aesthetic choice, but also a practical one. Everyone wants a gorgeous outdoor space and lighting can enhance your outdoor design.

When choosing where to put your outdoor lights, you’ll want to ensure that the fixture is suited for the intended area. Here are a few tips to help you make your outdoor space glow.

1. Lightbulbs

Wattage and bulb base requirements will vary for individual outdoor lighting fixtures, but for better energy efficiency, select LED bulbs. These bulbs use much less electricity and last for many years. They are available in a range of colors to best suit your needs.

Warmer, dimmer bulbs are best for outdoor settings because they illuminate your outdoor space perfectly. When it comes to colors, consider white for everyday events and multicolor for the holidays.

2. Enclosure Materials

The material your outdoor enclosure is constructed from will affect if and where the light fixtures can be placed. Aluminum is a strong material that can support different lighting features. Screens and glass are also common materials used in outdoor enclosures.

3. Wet Rated vs. Damp Rated

To be considered safe for use outdoors, a lighting fixture must have either a wet or a damp rating. Damp fixtures are suitable for use in covered areas where direct contact from rain, ice, and snow will be minimal. Wet-rated fixtures, however, can be safely exposed to the elements without fear of damage or malfunction.

4. Size Matters

The light fixtures must be an appropriate size for the outdoor space they’re illuminating. For example, outdoor lanterns should be one-fifth the height and width of the doorway.  String lights are good for different types of events. If you’re going for an intimate mood, opt for strands with small bulbs.  For larger parties with loud music, consider string lights with bigger bulbs to make a statement. 

5. Installation

Most lighting installations require a professional for safety reasons. Hire an experienced electrician to install lighting for your outdoor enclosures.

Types of Lighting for Covered Outdoor Spaces

How the outdoor enclosure will be used is key to planning your outdoor lighting. You do not need the same level of light outside that you have indoors. Bright lights will make it harder to see and cause your guests to squint in a nighttime environment. There is a wide range of styles and types of lighting to fit every outdoor enclosure.

1. Overhead Lighting

A well-lit enclosed patio has light directed just where you need it. When it comes to ambient lighting, overhead lighting is a great option. For outdoor entertainment or dining, pendant lights work great. You can also hang string lights to give a cozy atmosphere.

For more formal events, consider installing a chandelier. Other overhead lighting fixtures include flush mount ceiling fixtures and recessed lighting.

2. Wall Lighting

Wall sconces can add to the ambiance of your outdoor space. This kind of fixture will help define the borders of your outdoor enclosure.


3. Ceiling Fans

If a fan is needed, there are plenty of outdoor fans that include lights. Although not as aesthetically pleasing than other lighting types, this is perfect for environments where temperatures at night are still high.

4. Task Lighting

Outdoor activities like games or grilling require brighter, more direct lighting. Look for targeted fixtures to give you the light you need, such as barbeque lights for grilling.  

Portable table or floor lamps can also work.  There are well-designed chargeable table lamps that will give you hours of entertainment. Plug-in floor lamps are also growing in popularity, if you have outlets for them.

5. Accent Lighting

To complete your light layering in an outdoor space, don’t forget accent lighting. Low-level accent lights are perfect for defining areas and highlighting spots where a misstep may happen. Small deck and step lights are perfect for highlighting stairs or defining a boundary. This is also where you can expand off the patio and into landscape lighting if needed.

Outdoor Living Rain or Shine

Lighting your backyard can expand your horizons. Having an enclosed outdoor space can increase your enjoyment.

Ready to upgrade your backyard space? Consider installing an outdoor enclosure from Raintight. Our experienced professionals can use your existing patio or build a custom enclosure for you. Contact us today for a consultation.


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