Outdoor kitchens are fast-becoming the most desired new “room” in the home.
Backyard patios have undergone a 21st century transformation with dramatic new designs in weather-resistant furnishings, gourmet appliances, TVs and stereos, plus mood-enhancing LED lighting. When it comes to outfitting these entertainment areas, homeowners are sparing no expense – purchasing stainless steel barbecues and granite countertops, wine refrigerators, warming drawers, and wet bars. Just as important are the flat-screen TVs, high-end audio speakers, fire pits, and chimineas.
A well-planned vignette can effectively demonstrate how versatile LED lighting is in creating the perfect outdoor living space.
“There’s a growing demand for high-end outdoor amenities, and energy-saving LED lighting fixtures are part of the package,” says EJ Phillips, national sales manager/showroom division for Nora Lighting. “It’s a new dynamic in the lighting market for showrooms.”
Downlights and LED tape lights can be used extensively in outdoor entertainment areas – and might not be top-of-mind with your customers, Phillips points out. A thorough outdoor entertaining area vignette could feature downlights that illuminate the living and task areas, and tape lights can be utilized as accent lighting under a granite counter for an integrated cooktop. Installing lighting on decks, patios, and walkways are not only functional for safety, but enhance the ambiance.
Lighting manufacturers, such as Nora, offer downlights that are rated for porch ceilings and available in a range of apertures (from 4 to 6 inches) and a variety of lumens (i.e. 650, 750, 1250, 2000 and 3000). “Smaller four-inch fixtures are at the leading edge of a design trend because they offer a sleek, minimal appearance,” Phillips adds.
Not to mention that LED lighting is perfect for outdoor illumination. “There are no UV rays, no heat nor moisture to attract bugs,” Phillips states, “so you could say LED fixtures are truly insect-repellent – a real plus on warm summer nights.” In the case of Nora Lighting’s Diamond series, the fixtures are dimmable to five percent. “They provide bright illumination when needed, or gradually dim down when you want to enjoy the sunset or see the stars,” Phillips comments.
A great time to encourage homeowners to add lighting to their outdoor entertainment area is during a summer event or promotion. “If a homeowner is willing to spend $5,000 to $10,000 for a fully equipped BBQ island, in addition to the outdoor furnishings, they are ready to invest in effective lighting to illuminate their ultimate entertainment center,” Phillips says.