Archive | Outdoor Lighting

DIY Outdoor Lighting 01: Glowing Orbs

DIY Glowing Orbs Lights

Karen over at The Art of Doing Stuff has come up with a unique, simple and stunning DIY outdoor lighting idea. Using only opaque glass shades commonly found at secondhand stores for $1-3 (also available at hardware stores for $10-15) and old used string lights, she has made these decorative glowing orbs. There is really nothing to it: stuff the lights into the shades, plug them in and your done – all for $3. You can even use solar string lights and avoid the wiring completely. Or they would make for wonderful table lamps. We’ll be trying this out soon – maybe even applying a thin layer of green coating on the orbs to make them blend in with the plants during the day.

DIY Outdoor Lights

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L&L Design Guide: Outdoor Porch Lighting Ideas

The front porch is going to be the first thing people see when looking at your home. Therefore proper lighting is needed for a number of reasons: security, safety, creating an inviting home, and curb appeal (boosting your property value). Below you will find outdoor porch lighting ideas that cover all of those reasons.

porch lighting ideas

motion sensing lights

Motion security lights

Motion Lights – Motion lights adds in improving the security of a home.  They are also great for when you arrive home they will brightly light up the area making it easy to get around. When installing a motion light, make sure the light doesn’t spill into anyone’s house. If you plan on using one of these, it would be a good idea to install at least one more light on the porch so there is still some light when the motion lights are not on.

Flush Mount – The most common form of porch lighting would be a flush mount light. These are the kinds of lights that are fitted close to the ceiling. There are a number of styles to choose from, from the standard flush mounts, to lanterns and outdoor fans that have a flush mount light integrated into it (meaning you’ll only need one electrical outlet to install a fan and a light).

flush mount porch light

A flush mount porch light

Pendant Lighting – Pendant lights are a more elegant form of outdoor porch lighting. As they hang they bring light closer down to the porch surface. You wouldn’t want to use these lights in really windy climates though. You can find an easy DIY outdoor pendant lighting guide here: DIY Outdoor Pendant Lighting Using String Lights and Basket Frames.

fairy light outdoor pendant light

DIY fairy light outdoor pendant lighting

Or check out this related article: Design Guide: Ideas for Outdoor Pendant Lighting Fixtures.

Wall Lights -These can come as lanterns, sconces (where the light comes out of the top and bottom), or wall washers (the light just comes out of the top). These can be placed all around the house, but a simple idea is to have one on each side of the door.

front porch lighting

A wall light by the side of the front door

Recessed Lights – If you have a modern styled or newly built home, recessed lights would be a good front porch lighting idea. These lights will be fitted into the porch ceiling so all the parts will be hidden away creating a clean, sleek look.

Step Lighting – If you have steps leading up to your porch they would need some form of lighting. A few ideas include: using string lights and wrapping them around railings or lights can be fitted into the steps. For more ideas and pictures have a look at our guide here: outdoor stair lighting.

Decorative Porch Lighting – Here are more decorative lighting ideas that you can use to light up your porch:

String lights can hang down to make a curtain of lighting, or hung overhead to create a ceiling of light

Solar jars can line the edges of the floor and provide electricity free lighting at night. They can be bought on Amazon or there are DIY tutorials like this one: Simple and Easy Decorative DIY Solar Jar.

Uplights can be placed at the base of the porch columns, shining light upwards.

porch lights

Uplights lighting up a porch

solar cap light

A solar cap light

Path Lights – If you have a path leading up to your home, then it could do with some lighting. One of the simplest lighting solutions would be to use solar stake lights. These are simply planted into the ground – no wiring needed. Another idea would be to use solar cap lights that can be fitted on top of posts, or uplighting nearby trees or flower beds can provide indirect path lighting. For more ideas have a look at our post here: path lighting ideas.

One Light Bulb – It is surprise the impact one light bulb can have. In Stockton California there was a high rate of crime, so councilwoman Diana Lowery campaigned to get one light bulb onto everyone’s porch with the backing of the Police Chief. Having just one light on all night helps in deterring crime, hence the slogan: “Light up the night, Crime hates it bright”. Therefore it is a good idea to have lights fitted to the outside of the house all around, including on the porch.

Note: If you want to leave a light on the whole night, which is a good idea, then have a look at using energy saving light bulbs like compact florescent lamp bulbs (CFL). Or go a step further and install solar porch lights.

More Porch Lighting Photos

porch string lights

String and wall lights lighting up a porch

recessed porch lights

A porch using recessed lights

image credits: Mayce Hodges, dreyboblue, Photo Dean 2Christian, Leia, Greg

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Simple and Easy Decorative DIY Solar Jar

Solar stake lights are some of the most common solar powered lights available making them pretty inexpensive. They are simply planted into the soil around the backyard – an alternative would be to fill a bucket or pot with soil/sand allowing you to place them around a deck/porch/patio/balcony.

If you want a more decorative solar light fixture then have a look at this DIY solar jar project by Creative Cain Cabin. They have simply removed the stem of the stake lights, and then hot glued the light part onto vintage Mason jars. And there you have it, inexpensive and decorative solar lights.

DIY Solar Mason Jar

DIY Solar Lighting

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L&L Design Guide: Indirect Lighting Ideas

Indirect lighting design helps make a room a comfortable and relaxing space, as it provides a soft glow and diffused light. There is a wide range of indirect lighting ideas catering to all areas of the home: from the bedroom, and living room to the outdoors. Here are a number of indirect lighting options to consider.

indirect lighting ideas

Cove Lighting Design

Cove lighting is the best form of indirect ceiling lighting. The most common type of cove lighting is a false ceiling that has light fixtures tucked away within it. The light is bounced off of the ceiling and walls into the room. You can even have multiple levels of cove lighting. This all requires quite a bit of remodeling work as the ceiling needs to be altered.

cove lights

Only a portion of the ceiling has been dropped down

A simpler option is to use crown molding for indirect lighting. This is when crown molding is installed usually a couple of inches down from the ceiling – creating a space above the crown molding where the lights can sit.

cove lighting

Cove lighting

For more, have a look at our cove lighting ideas post.

Using Downlights

Downlights are another indirect lighting idea. These are the same as recessed lights (lights that are fitted into the ceiling hiding all of the parts) except they tend to be smaller and are fitted closer to the wall to highlight a hanging art piece, textured wall, or a decorative piece on a side table.

indirect living room lighting

Downlights highlighting a wall in the living room

The Luxurious Touch of Floor Lighting

indirect lighting floor lamp

Indirect Lighting: A floor lamp and a house plant

Floor lighting is an elegant way of lighting a space. There are a number of ways to do this. A common idea is to install uplights close to the wall, which will wash the wall with light. Other ideas include installing lights at the bottom of cabinets.

Directional lamps can be placed on the floor and faced onto the wall. These can be placed next to a house plant – and the light will cast shadows across the wall, creating depth in the room.

For more, read our floor lighting ideas post.

Painting The Walls with Wall Washers

Wall washers direct light up onto the wall and onto the ceiling. Another way of doing this is to use uplights. Wall washers have a softer glow, while uplights are used more for accenting certain areas.

Accent Indirect Lighting Ideas

Another form of indirect lighting are lights that are used for another purpose like accenting areas, or showcasing items.

Here are some ideas:

    • Display Lighting: This is when a small space has been created within a wall to showcase décor pieces. These spaces will have a recessed light installed above them.
indirect display lighting

An example of display lighting

    • indirect recessed wall lighting

      indirect recessed wall lighting

      A recessed wall usually to house a bathroom mirror or a bed can house indirect light fixtures.

    • A decorative panel on the wall or an art piece can have lights fitted behind to create a glow around it.
wall panels lights

Wall panels being back lit

Other Indirect Lighting Ideas

    • In the bedroom lights can be fitted behind the headboard to create relaxing mood lighting.
romantic bedroom lighting

Lights behind the headboard

    • Lights can be installed behind Plexiglass or frosted glass to create a diffused and soft glow of light. This can be done in the bathroom, or under a desk.
bathroom lighting

A warm glow comes from behind the wall

    • In the living room LED lights can be installed behind the TV like in the picture below.
TV back lighting

Romantic living room lighting using lights behind a TV

    • Rope lights are great for creating indirect lighting. They can be stuck to the back of cabinets, bottom of the cabinets to create floor lighting, or underneath the lip of steps.
    • Don’t forget that mirrors are great in making a room appear bigger, and helps reflect light around.

Indirect Outdoor Lighting

There are a number of ways to create indirect lighting for outdoor spaces:

    • Wrap string lights around trees, railings or overhead beams
    • Uplights shining onto trees, bushes, plants, and the walls of the house
    • Swimming pool lights acts as indirect lighting for patios, and decks

For more outdoor ideas have a look at our post here: home outdoor lighting ideas

 

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L&L Guide on Romantic Lighting Ideas: From the Bedroom to the Outdoors

 

image credits: favaro JR., John, Christian, Viet Hoang

 

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L&L Guide on Romantic Lighting Ideas: From the Bedroom to the Outdoors

Nothing creates romance faster than being together in candle light. Or maybe you are looking for romantic lighting ideas to create yourself a relaxing and comfortable home. Either way, every space within the house can be turned into a romantic area, from the bedroom, bathroom, to the dining area and living room. Here are a few romantic lighting ideas (including using candles) that you can do around the home, indoors and outdoors.

romantic lighting ideas

    • The key to romantic and intimate lighting is to have dim lights, avoid lighting the ceiling, and have light as close to the floor as possible. So instead of using ceiling lights, use floor lamps for example.
    • Low lighting makes a space more comfortable. Your vision is impaired (so your pupils dilate making everything around more attractive), and your other senses are heightened too…ooo lala.
    • Privacy: Don’t forget the importance of privacy. Blinds and curtains can block out outside light and noise filtering into the house and helps create a secluded and intimate setting.

Living Room Lighting Ideas

The key with the living room, the space that will be used most often in the house, is to use a number of different light fixtures to create different lighting effects. If you use just table lamps all around the room this will look weird, and create a monotone/dull look. Instead mix it up: media cabinet lights along with behind the couch lighting, and lamps on both sides of the TV will create a well balanced space.

Some ideas include:

    • Floor lamps besides the coach for easy access
    • Behind the couch lighting
    • Behind the TV lighting
    • Small lamps on both sides of the TV
    • Floor lighting
    • A coffee table centerpiece: this can be in the form of candle light, flameless candles, or LED lights – which we go over in the centerpiece section below.
living room lighting

Lights behind the seats add a nice touch to the room

TV back lighting

TV back lighting created by using an IKEA DIODER 4 piece light strip set

Romantic Bedroom Lighting Ideas

As always you want to have dim lights that stay away from lighting the ceiling. You always want localized lighting, focused on specific areas in the bedroom, like around the bed. Ideal romantic bedroom lighting ideas include:

    • Installing lights behind the headboard of the bed
    • Side table lamps
    • More ideas can be found in the decorative floor lamps, cove lighting, and mood lights sections below
romantic bedroom lighting

Lights fitted to the back of the headboard

bedroom lights

LED lights embedded in the headboard

The Bathroom

Candles are always a popular option for romantic bathroom lighting. An alternative would be ‘spa lights’. These are small battery powered lights that can be sprawled out around the bathroom, or attached to the side of the bathtub. Or they can even float around in the bath – however you choose to use them, they will create a warm and soft glow in the bathroom.

romantic bathroom lighting

Spa lights

To find out where you can buy these spa lights, have a look at our post here: LED Spa Lights: Creating The Spa Experience In Your Bathroom.

Kitchen / Dining Room Lighting Ideas

If you want to create intimate and romantic dinners then have a look into the lighting within and around the dining area. A good way of lighting this area is to have a focused light above the dining table. This way, you can dim or turn off the lights in the kitchen, living room, and have an intimate dinner setting.

You can do this by using pendant lighting, like a drum light hanging low down from the ceiling right above the dining table. How about a low hanging mini chandelier? There are also centerpiece ideas that you could place on the dinner table that uses some sort of light.

kitchen lighting

Low level lighting in a kitchen

Centerpieces

Light based centerpieces can be used on a dining table, a coffee table in the living room, or the side tables in the bedroom.

For a range of romantic centerpiece ideas, everything from using floating candles, wrought iron lanterns to floating LED lights, have a look at these posts from our wedding section:

Enchanting Wedding Candle Centerpieces – Ideas Collection

Ideas for Romantic LED and Candle Beach Wedding Centerpieces

Decorative Floor Lamps

lighted twigs

Lighted twigs

Floor lamps can also be used to create intimate lighting in any room. These can be the standard floor lamps you see everywhere, or there are more decorative and romantic lamps to consider. One of these decorative lamps is the lighted twig. There are modern versions that can be store bought, or you can make your own at home. Grab a few tree branches, plant them into a pot of soil or sand, and then wrap string lights around them. You can even paint the branches a color to suit your décor style, like the white ones in the picture below.

You can make use of shadows in creating a romantic setting by using floor lamps and house plants. Place an uplight besides a house plant (these can be hidden behind couches, etc.) and the plant will cast shadows adding some depth to the room.

Cove Lighting
The main rule in creating romantic lighting is to avoid lighting the ceiling. This rule can be broken with cove lighting. This is a form of indirect lighting where a false ceiling is installed. Lights are hidden away in the false ceiling and bounce light off of the ceiling and into the room. Have a look here for more cove lighting ideas and pictures.

cove lighting

Cove lighting

The Magic of Dimmer Switches

Dimmers are great fixtures to install because they allow you to have absolute control of the lighting in a room. A room can be used for reading, or other tasks, and then with the dimmer you can instantly create a romantic setting by dimming the lights. This can be used in all rooms. There are even remote controls that will dim the lights for you so you don’t have to get up.

Candle Light

Nothing beats candles in creating a romantic setting. If you are worried about it being a fire hazard then look into candle lanterns which shields the candle’s flame, or use floating candles  that are surrounded by water.

candle lanterns

Candle lanterns being used on the dining table and in the bedroom

An alternative would be to use LED flameless candles. There is no fire hazard, no messy wax to clean up after, and you can control a number of them with a remote control. Some will even flicker to mimic the real thing, have wax bases, and some are even scented. [affil link]

Mood Lights

The JellyFish is a modern home mood light. It looks like a mixture of a jelly fish and an iPad! It uses LED lights which means it can change into thousands and thousands of different colors. There are different light settings from setting it to your favorite color, or it can fade to different colors. With the touch pad which uses gestures to control it (just like the iPad) you can also control the level of brightness, the saturation and the speed that the colors change. It’s an all in one, stylish mood lamp.

Other modern and romantic mood lamp options include the Philips LivingColors or Cielux Lune.

mood lights

    • An alternative to using mood lamps is to change the color of your lamp shades. Changing them to a deep color like purple or red, will create a soft glow of that color in the room.

DIY Ideas

Romantic lighting does not have to be expensive or complicated. Here are two simple and romantic DIY lighting ideas.

Paper Lanterns: these are inexpensive and are lightweight which is why you’ll see so many people using them in their DIY projects.

paper lanterns

Have a look at our posts here to see what other people have gotten up to with paper lanterns:

It’s so FLUFFY! DIY Coffee Filter Lantern

A Simple DIY Idea: The Vintage Map Paper Lantern

DIY Paper Fortune Teller Lights

Paper Punch + Paper Lantern = Flower Light

String lights can look a little bit tacky on their own inside a home. So why not use LED string lights (as they give off less heat) and wrap them in drapes. The drapes diffuse the light, creating a softer glow. The drapes also break up a room creating more intimate spaces. The same can be done with canopies in the bedroom.

Romantic Lighting Ideas for Outdoor Areas

An outdoor space can be one of the most romantic areas at home.

String lights always create a whimsical and enchanting outdoor setting. They can be wrapped around railings, beams, or trees. They can be hung overhead from the wall of the house to a pole or arch creating a starry night effect.

string lights

String lights hanging from a tree lighting a path

L&L LOOK BOOK: Beautiful Uses Of Outdoor String Lights [Lighting Ideas Photo Gallery]

The soft glow of a fire creates a romantic backdrop. Candles are a go to choice. There are also tiki torches, fire pits, tabletop fire bowls, oil lanterns or how about the modern fire glass pits. Also, have a look at our post here on creating your own DIY oil lamps.

There are more modern romantic outdoor lighting ideas, like using Sun Jars for example. These are mason jars that have been reconfigured into solar lights. When they light up at night, they look like they have a little sun floating inside of them.

sun jar

For more romantic outdoor lighting ideas have a look at these related posts:

Deck lighting ideas

Patio lighting ideas

Path lighting ideas

Pergola lighting

Home Outdoor Lighting Ideas

image credits

 

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Color The Night With Colored Tiki Torch Fuel

Colored Tiki Torch Flames

Tiki torches are already so majestic just the way they are, but have a look at these tiki torches that have colored flames. We like the more natural colors – our favorites are A) the original flame (can’t beat that one) and B) the blue flame.

The colored flame is created through burning a metal or salts like calcium chloride (bleaching powder) to create blue flames or magnesium sulphate (Epsom salt) for white flames.

Colored flame torch fuel by ‘Tiki Brand’

Amazon has a range of canisters that are ready filled with colored tiki torch fuel which you can find here:

tiki torch fuel colored

Instructables has a number of tutorials on how you can make your own colored flame fuel:

Don’t forget about citronella tiki torch fuel as an alternative. A cousin of the lemon grass, so it is an organic substance, citronella oil burns with less smoke and also acts as a natural insect repellent.

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