To get even more use out of your outdoor space, why not consider installing some additional outdoor lighting?  By adding lighting outdoors, you'll create living space that you can use well into the night.  Here are some things to think about when you decide to purchase your outdoor lights

Understand the Purpose of Your Outdoor Lights

Why would you like to install additional illumination in your yard?  Do you want to set a soft, romantic tone for evening dinner or conversation?  Do you have a bench in a shadowy corner of your yard you need to light for safety purposes?  Perhaps you have a path whose edges need defining at night.  You may even want to highlight some features in your yard such as a beautiful tree, a water fountain, or a piece of landscape sculpture.  By understanding the reasons you need your outdoor lighting, you'll be better prepared to choose the fixtures that are appropriate for that purpose

Sketch Out Your Yard

Once you've defined why you need outdoor illumination, it's time to make a sketch of your yard.  This will help you to see not only where you already have existing lights, but where you would like additional lights to be installed and how many you will need.  You don't have to be an artist - a simple outline of your home and yard will do.  Include in your sketch any lights you already have outside, additional structures on the property such as a garage or shed, benches and other outdoor furniture, large trees and shrubs, as well as any plants and flowers in your garden.  Estimate the height of the objects and foliage.  Think about how each of these items will either reflect or absorb the light

Decide Where to Install Your Outdoor Lighting

Once you've made the sketch you'll see where you can use additional illumination.  You can then match the reason for the lighting to each of the specific locations in your yard.  For example, if you want to light a bench along a path in your backyard, you can install a pole-style lamp behind it to provide directional lighting for your seating area.  Perhaps you have a magnificent, old tree in your front yard - you can use lights made to look like landscape rocks that point the light up and into the limbs of the tree for a dramatic nighttime effect.  A pathway can be illuminated with a series of short stake lights around each edge, and a flower bed can be enhanced by hiding landscape lights underneath the shrubbery.  A soft mood can be created in a patio area with outdoor lamps and festive string lights

Once you've got your plan, you can head to your local home improvement store knowing just what you need.  By taking time to consider why you would like some additional outdoor lighting and just where it will be placed, you'll save yourself time and money and in the end have an enjoyable outdoor space you can use all evening long