Tag Archives: patio string lights

Feminine String Lights

24 Dec

Feminine String Lights

String lights make a great addition to any home; whether they are to be used indoors or outdoors they really will turn the space that you live in from a generic cold interior (or exterior) into a place that radiates warmth and that you will want to spend time in.

The Importance of Lighting

You may have noticed from many of our other posts that we believe that interior lighting really can make a house a home. Regardless of the type or condition of the interior of your home if you get the lighting right it will hide a multitude of sins. The best way to get the right lighting is to use multiple light sources and in today world it has never been easier.

String lights used to be reserved for just Christmas and festive periods but this isn’t the case any longer. Whether they are wrapped around a bunch of willow in the corner of a room or all bundled up in a bowl, string lights look great all year round.

What sort of interior style are you trying to create?

It’s unlikely that if you are trying to create ultimate bachelor pad that string lights will feature in your lighting scheme. If you are female however and are trying to create the ultimate sanctuary string lights should be up there on your list of home accessories. Whether you own your home, rent a home or even just have your own bedroom in a place, there is no reason why you shouldn’t try to put your own stamp on it. Sting lights are the perfect way to do this, wonderfully feminine, string lights are the way to add some elegance, grace and warmth in to a room.

String lights also add a strong point of interest in a room, so if you are renting a place and can’t put things on the wall then you could try the methods that I mentioned before – let me recap on them and also add some new ideas.

How to use string lights to add interest to a room.

Many home stores now sell bunches of willow, by getting some string lights that have transparent cables you can weave them unobtrusively through the willow. When night falls and you switch on the string lights the light will bounce off the willow and will give the corner of your room a wonderful warm glow.

A plain glass vase and some battery operated string lights are all that you need to create a ‘wow’ focal point. Try and find some sting lights that are about 5 ft long and with a transparent cord. Stuff the lights in to the vase (making sure that you can get easy access to the on/off switch) and your done. The sting lights look fantastic at night particularly if you find some with a transparent cord as the light refracts through the cord creating a great spectacle.

Similar to the ‘bunches of willow’ tip is that of careful weaving some battery operated string lights through a plant. Instead of creating a warming glow you should get a slightly greenish tinge in the light from the plants foliage.

All three of these ideas are a beautiful way to use string lights to improve the appearance of your home.

Enhance Your Garden with Outdoor Patio Lighting

22 Nov

Enhance Your Garden with Outdoor Patio Lighting

I have always believed that lighting completes an environment. Whether it is a room in the house or outside, lighting without a doubt makes a difference on how relaxed you feel or how cosy it feels. Bearing this in mind it is so important to get it right.

If you look at any lifestyle shots in a magazine or on the television – you will be sure to find ambient lighting. The garden however is an area of the home that can get forgotten about and lighting it may not be at the top of your list. This is a mistake though because if you get the correct lighting it ‘forgives’ any imperfections or projects you may be chasing every year to finish. Your garden doesn’t have to look like something taken from the Gardeners World magazine a simple form of outdoor patio lighting will transform your space and make it somewhere you want to spend most of your time especially in the summer months.

Patio lights can come in many forms depending on your budget, taste and what style you wish to achieve with it. You only have to have a good look around your local garden centres on the internet and you will find a plethora of ideas to get inspiration from. One of the main differences in the type of lighting you choose is what sort of light you want them to give off. If you go for an LED option it more often than not will give off a white or blue rather stark light. This can look good in it’s place but if you wanted a more warm yellow light – plug in or wired options are a more suitable choice. You can get a warm LED light but this will cost you more ONLY on the outset as, once installed, the running costs will be cheaper.  LED solar patio lights are great for an environmentally sound option they do not add to the issue of light pollution. They are without a doubt easier to install due to the absence of a cable and they are much safer for children and pets to play around. With solar powered garden lights you will not have to remember to turn them off after you have finished outside either!

Once you have decided on the feel you wish to achieve with your lighting you need to think about whether you would like a single source of lighting or a string of lights for example. Here I shall outline the types that I can think of to help you.

Post Patio Light

This type of lighting is usually a stand-alone single source option. This type of light will mimic the old fashioned traditional style of lamp post and usually fairly ornate and finished in black. This light is ideal if you wish to create an oldy worldy feel in your garden. It will need a bulb and will also need to be wired in, the cable will have to run under the ground to a socket. Be careful if you chose to do this and you could get advice from your local authority or alternatively do a bit of research if you want to know how deep to bury the cable. I better idea may be to bury the cable under the patio slabs – that way you know it will be safe and it will look more concealed than if you were to dig channels out of your precious lawn!

Patio String Lights

There are plenty to choose from. Some battery operated, some LED functioning and some solar – all give fantastic looks. These string lights come in various lengths so think about where they are going to go before you part with your cash! There are also plenty of fun choices of patio string lights out there too! It is worth thinking about the fact that they will invariably stay outside for the most part so you will need to go for outdoor string lights specificaly designed to endure the outdoors. These look great draped over a shrub or intertwined on a willow fence – they bring a little bit of magic in to your summer garden.

Patio umbrella lights

Patio umbrella lights are relatively new to the market. They look like a UFO but absolutely fantastic once installed! They fit around the top part of your parasol or umbrella and cast a beautiful light onto the table. These light are usually battery operated but the lifespan of them is quite good considering.

Patio rock lights / mini post lights

Again, these can be solar, wired or LED options. These can be dotted around your garden and patio to accentuate specific plants or areas of interest in your space. The rock lights in particular are more dramatic and add depth to your garden because of the fact that they can be angled. Remember if you do want the flexibility of having no wire the light will be whiter and a little colder as opposed to an amber light that you get from wired lights. It is possible to obtain amber hues with an LED source but you may have to be prepared to spend a lot more.

Outdoor String Lights – Which Type are Best

17 Nov

Outdoor String Lights – Which Type are Best

Like most outdoor lights, string lights for the garden come powered by three main power sources. Regardless of the power source delicate string lights in the garden make a fantastic addition at any time of year. The three main power sources for outdoor string lights (or in fact any type of garden  light should they be driveway lights, patio lights or pond lights) are solar power, mains power or mains powered but low voltage and battery power. Not all of these power sources are suitable for year round use though, so if you want to use your string lights outdoors all year round then you will need to consider your power source carefully.

Solar Powered Outdoor String Lights

The most popular choice of power source for garden lights at the moment is that of solar power. Manufacturing techniques and the introduction of LED light sources means the solar powered garden lights have flooded the market. Although great in the summer (depending on where you live)  winter performance of solar powered garden lights may leave a lot to be desired. If you only want to use string lights in your garden in the summer then solar power is the ideal choice. The wire free solution of solar powered string lights really does give rise to some creative thinking as to where you can position the lights. There are solar powered string lights on the market that have the solar panel remotely located and this gives you even more flexibility in terms of where you can position them. The solar panel can be positioned in the sun and the lights positioned in a shaded area.

Battery Powered Outdoor String Lights

As with solar powered string lights the effect that LED’s have had on the battery operated lighting market has been astronomic. You are spoilt for choice as to the number of battery operated string lights you can get now although the most popular is still the traditional white string lights. The choice of battery you use in your lights is very important and not many manufacturers will explain this to you. Most battery powered string lights will run on AA batteries and these tend to come in two ‘flavours’ alkaline and lithium. If you only want to use your lights in the summer then just use cheap alkaline batteries. If however you want to use your string lights in the winter then you really should use lithium batteries. There is a very simple reason for this: lithium batteries will work in sub zero temperatures, alkaline will not. Battery operated outdoor string lights come in various guises – one of our favourites are patio umbrella lights that wrap around or clip to the arms of the umbrella.

Mains Powered String Lights

Mains powered outdoor string lights are certainly the most reliable, however they do have one very big constraint – they have to be plugged in. Having to be connected to a mains power source does give you year round lighting, regardless of the weather, however you will be severely restricted as to where you can put the lights. There are also some very important safety considerations that need to be taking in to account before buying and installing some mains powered outdoor string lights. You will find that the vast majority of commercial outdoor string lights and designer outdoor lights are mains powered as reliability is of the upmost importance. If you want ultra-reliable and you are going to use your string lights on a patio which is close to your house then these will without doubt give you the best performing outdoor lights. Mains powered outdoor patio string lights come in numerous different colours, lengths and styles so you shouldn’t find it too hard to find some that you like. Unlike solar patio lights you should be able to find that these types of light come in greater lengths.

Create the Ultimate Outdoor Sanctuary with Patio String Lights

16 Jul

Create the Ultimate Outdoor Sanctuary with Patio String Lights

Patio string lights make a fantastic addition to your outdoor space and can create the ultimate sanctuary for you to spend a relaxing warm summer evening in. Getting your outdoor lighting design right is critical for creating the right ambience and some people think that it is a difficult thing to achieve – but creating a lighting scheme doesn’t have to be difficult at all. The rules of lighting are really quite simple and you can apply the same rules to outdoor lighting just as you can indoor lighting.

The number one rule in any lighting scheme is to always have more than one light source. That means that if you are inside, you should never just have a light bulb hanging from the ceiling in the centre of your room. If you take this idea outdoors it means don’t just have a spot light fixed to the wall of your home aiming towards your ‘relaxing’ area. The fact is, that it won’t feel very relaxing, you will in fact feel as though you are trying to escape from a high security prison.

So, when designing your outdoor lighting scheme you need to think about different light sources and the effect that they have on your garden when the sun sets. You need some functional light – so that you can see what you are doing but you also need to add some decorative lights such as patio string lights – so that you can create an enchanting outdoor area. So let’s take a look at designing your outdoor lighting scheme and how by adding some outdoor patio string lights you really can create a garden that you neighbors and guest will be envious of.

Let’s start by taking a look at what points an outdoor lighting scheme should take in to account:

  1. You don’t want so much light that is frightens wildlife and contributes to light pollution.
  2. You want to highlight hazards
  3. You will want to see your guest
  4. You may want to read outdoors
  5. You want to create a relaxing and peaceful outdoor space

At LiveIn|LiveOut we love solar powered garden lights – they are practical, environmentally friendly, and cost nothing to run. So we exclusively use solar lighting in our very own gardens and we think that you should to. We know that you can achieve the above criteria by just using regular solar garden lamps and they also do not produce enough light to deter wildlife and contribute to light pollution.

By highlighting trip hazards, such as steps and path edges by using lights that are set in the ground and shorter post lights you should also create enough light for you to be able to know who you are talking to in the garden. So that’s the second two of the five points satisfied.

If you want to be able to read outdoors you may have to look at a more expensive solar spot light solution. Failing that, if the cost puts you off, you could always get multiple solar lights and hang them from the porch, pergola or tree that you like to read under.

The fifth and final criteria if your lighting scheme is to create the relaxing and peaceful outdoor space and this is where the patio string lighting comes in to it’s own. Patio light strings come in various lengths and styles, but to be quite honest our favorite are just the plain LED warm white bulb type. The second favorite string light design of ours are patio umbrella lights.these also create a very nice ambience. Patio string lights are a very flexible type of light that add the much needed ‘decorative’ aspect to any lighting theme. Here are some ideas of how you could use them create that ‘sanctuary’ feeling you could:

  • Weaving some string lights through the smaller shrubs on your patio creates a stunning visual effect. The shadows that are created, and the green hue given to the light as it bounces of the leaves of your shrubs makes for a very relaxing environment.
  • If you have a pergola over your decking you could easily weave you patio string lights through the decking. Having some lights above your head when the sky is dark makes your outdoor spaces seem very cozy and create a real visual treat.
  • If you have any trees in your garden the final way that you can use some patio string lights is to weave them through the branches of any trees. If you have a longer garden and you have trees down the far end of it then illuminating these trees with fine string lights adds a real wow factor to your garden and creates a very enchanting setting with depth.

Without the decorative aspect of patio string lights any outdoor lighting scheme would seem very boring and not very inspiring. By using suitable string lights however, you can add depth and excitement to your garden which you can enjoy long after the sun has set.