Homeowners want to spend a lot more time in their outdoor spaces today and, thanks to modernized, attractive outdoor lighting, the enjoyment doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down. The American Lighting Association (ALA) is on top of the trend to turn a patio, deck or other outdoor area into an additional family room, with all the modern amenities and furnishings.
“People want to extend their indoor living space outside, and still have the same quality of finishes outside as inside,” says Rick Seidman, president and CEO of Quoizel, Inc. “They’re putting rugs, televisions and furniture outside, so we almost have to treat [outside] decorative lighting as if it’s interior.”
ALA-member lighting manufacturers are making this transition easier with expanded lines of decorative lighting rated for all weather use.
Hinkley Lighting’s CEO, Rick Wiedemer, CLC, explains how the trend of accessorizing outdoor areas with traditionally indoor lighting products has gained momentum over the last several years. “It started with landscape lighting and then moved into sconces, wall sconces, and now pendants and chandeliers,” Wiedemer says.
In addition to providing brightness, carefully placed lighting can help create a mood or ambiance in a yard, draw attention away from problem spots and highlight special features.
It’s common to use sconces to highlight doorways and step lights to define spaces. But today’s homeowners are also hanging sophisticated chandeliers and bright pendants over outside tables. Spotlights can be seen above grills and downlights under covered patios.
Just because the newest outdoor lighting fixtures are beautiful, don’t assume they lack the engineering to withstand severe temperatures and extreme weather. High-quality outdoor fixtures are designed for endurance.
“One of the things consumers are concerned about when shopping for lighting is durability,” says Seidman. “It really has to be able to withstand the elements. With new technology, fixture finishes are actually built into the material so that it weathers beautifully.”
Wiedemer concurs. “You want to have something that’s meant to be in the weather. Normally a rustic finish fixture will weather better,” he says. “The principal thing these are engineered for is to be rained upon. Rain will not collect inside the fixture, it will drain out…. A typical interior fixture is not made that way.”
The latest all-weather lighting is at your local ALA-member showroom. For a listing of showrooms or to view outdoor lighting videos, go to .