Are you making the most of your outdoor space after the sun has set? Or is your idea of “evening entertainment” sitting on the patio with the wall sconce outside the door turned on so you can just see the outline of the coffee mug in your hand?
If you suspect there’s more to life after dusk, we’re here to tell you that you’re absolutely correct! And we’re about to prove it – with three ideas for relaxing, entertaining, and having fun in your back yard under the stars in a whole new way.
By combining outdoor audio with landscape lighting, you can create an atmosphere, imbue an energy, and make your time outside even more special at night. Here’s how light and sound can set the stage for outdoor evening fun.
Dinner Al Fresco
Why wait for reservations when you can create an even more engaging experience right on your own patio? Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a boisterous family affair, it’s important to set the right tone, and the right lighting accompanied by well-suited audio can help you do it.
With an outdoor audio system, you can enjoy everything from a little light jazz, to some fun show tunes, or even a bit of Caribbean salsa to get you in the mood. Theme your music to the event, and you’ve got the perfect backdrop for you and your dinner guests to enjoy.
The difference between a true outdoor audio system and a couple of speakers hooked up to your smart phone can mean the difference between a distracting, tinny sound that is louder in some places and barely audible in others, and one that is beautifully clear and just the right volume.
Say goodbye to unbalanced audio and set speakers around the patio area, embed them in gardens, even hang them on the aside of the house, and let the music surround you in perfect harmony.
Now that you’ve set the stage for your evening meal, it’s time to light it up! There are myriad ways to illuminate a dining spot, from lanterns along patio edges, to string lights hung above it. If you have a pergola or overhang, you can install fixtures above that will ensure a pleasant dining experience below.
And don’t forget task lighting – if you plan to grill or cook outdoors, you’ll need enough light to do it safely and enjoyably, whether you’re lighting up a full counter area for slicing and dicing, or making sure your cooking surface is easy to see.
The dining table may take center stage, but lighting and audio as the backdrop will turn a meal into a true outdoor culinary experience.
Family Movie Night
Put on your pajamas and grab a bowl of popcorn! There’s no need for tickets or bumping elbows with a stranger when you can enjoy the show (or how about a double feature?) right in your own back yard.
You’ve got the TV, you’ve collected the chairs, but without good lighting and audio, your experience won’t be the same.
You may wonder why you need an outdoor audio system when the television has its own speakers. But the truth is, most TVs – even the indoor kind – aren’t necessarily designed to sound great, let alone to carry sound clearly. That’s why so many people install separate speakers in their living rooms.
And given the acoustics of the outdoors, with far fewer walls and surfaces to bounce sound off of, you can end up losing clarity very quickly. Your moviegoing experience won’t be very enjoyable if you can’t understand the dialogue, or if you have to turn up the volume so high to reach everyone that the neighbors come knocking to complain.
Outdoor speakers are specifically designed to work outdoors clearly and effectively, and to surround you with sound – without involving the entire neighborhood!
As for lighting, not only will it help to create atmosphere, perhaps in the form of pretty string lights or lanterns, but it also provides a safety component for trips to the bathroom or to the snack box for more popcorn.
Everyone’s eyes may be on the TV, but with the right lighting and sound, your entire experience will be transformed into one of multi sensory enjoyment.
After Hours Pool Party
Summer is made for pool parties, whether they’re rollicking fun or a relaxing float with wineglass in hand. Guess which two outdoor elements will elevate your experience? That’s right, lighting and audio!
Lighting plays a special role poolside, serving as both a safety component and a way to set the tone. Perimeter lighting will ensure that swimmers can easily navigate the area without accidentally stepping off into the deep end, while underwater lighting is all about atmosphere.
For an extra special setting, try color changing underwater lights to imbue ambiance and make it even easier for swimmers to see their way across the pool.
Also keep in mind that you and your guests will need to get back and forth from pool to house, so be sure to illuminate pathways, whether with lighting embedded in stones or steps, nestled into gardens, and even bathing the house in a welcoming light.
For true atmosphere, don’t stop at lighting! Boost the party vibe with exactly the right tunes to keep it going. Lounging with cocktails? Try some instrumental piano or guitar. Keeping the teenagers happy? Throw on some modern pop, perfect for bouncing a beach ball around.
An outdoor audio system, with speakers designed specifically for outdoor use, means that you can keep the sound contained so you won’t be blasting the stereo from one end of the yard to the other. Speakers placed strategically around the pool area means that everyone can hear the music equally well wherever they are.
It also gives you the flexibility of creating separate music zones. One for the pool area, another perhaps for a dining area on the patio, yet another for a garden stroll under the stars. And outdoor speakers are meant to stand up to the rigors of weather so they’ll be perfectly fine with a few splashes from the pool.
For nighttime water fun, lighting and audio are the perfect accompaniment to whatever party atmosphere you want to create.
Have we inspired you to think about how light and sound can work together to elevate your evenings outdoors? If you’d like to explore ways that your yard can be turned into the perfect setting for relaxing, entertaining, and having more fun after the sun sets, contact us for a consultation. We’ll learn about your lifestyle and make recommendations that will be the perfect addition to your space.