In addition to creating a functional space where you can entertain guests or simply sit and enjoy the outdoors, a well-constructed gazebo serves as an ornamental feature in the landscape. Adding lighting to a gazebo can increase the space's functionality, making it easier to access and use at night, while also increasing the gazebo's aesthetic value: A lit-up gazebo at nighttime will certainly outshine a gazebo without lights. Whether you are installing or renovating a gazebo, there are several lighting options to choose from.
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One of the most common and reliable options for gazebo lighting is standard electric lighting, which derives its energy from your home's electrical grid. Unless there is a power outage, an electrically wired gazebo will be able to provide lighting whenever you need it. If you decide to go electric, you will also have to decide what type of light bulbs to use. Incandescent bulbs were once the standard, but compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs, and light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are more efficient. An even "greener" or more environmentally friendly alternative to using energy-efficient bulbs for gazebo lighting is to use solar lighting. Outdoor solar lights store energy from the sun during the day and then glow at night.
Solar lighting typically provides gazebos with a faint glow, which many homeowners find adequate for the purposes of relaxing and entertaining guests. However, if you plan to use the gazebo for nighttime reading or some other purpose that requires lots of light, electric lighting is the better option. With electric lighting, you can also vary the brightness by using lights of different wattage. For example, you can create "mood" lighting, akin to what solar lights produce, by using 20-watt bulbs. For better visibility, which you'll need for reading, use 35- or 50-watt bulbs.
Uplighting refers to gazebo lighting that shines up onto the gazebo from the surrounding lawn or from the steps and floor. Such lighting is ideal for showcasing the architectural features of a gazebo as well as any climbing plants that might be growing on the posts or roof.
In contrast to uplighting, which primarily enhances the nighttime aesthetics of gazebos, downlighting is better-suited for providing functional lighting. Downlighting refers to lights that are mounted on the ceilings, posts or support beams, and shine down on furniture and the floor space below. To increase a gazebo's nighttime functionality as well as style, you can combine uplighting and downlighting.
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