The fire pit is a popular outdoor feature commonly enjoyed during the evening hours after the sun has set. While this landscape feature offers both heat and light, the lighting provided by a fire pit is nominal. Raising the flame to increase illumination creates an uncomfortable amount of heat and potentially a dangerously large flame. More light can be safely created with landscape lighting, which enhances the beauty and safety of the fire pit. Southern Landscape Lighting Systems of Alpharetta offers the following outdoor lighting ideas for use around the fire pit area.
Seat Wall Lights
A popular design strategy for fire pit lighting includes seat wall lighting. Southern Landscape Lighting Systems installs the diminutive fixture under the ledge of a seat wall. The discreet installation is almost imperceptible during the day, yet provides plenty of light to the area at night. The seat wall light cascades across any stonework surrounding the fire pit to create an aesthetically satisfying ambiance. Lighting makes the venue safer in the dim light of the fire pit and sufficiently illuminates sharp corners and walkways to help prevent trips and falls.
Uplighting is achieved by placing a lighting fixture at the base of a landscape feature such as a tree, a column, statue, or a vertical water feature. Uplighting a nearby tree produces ambient light that aids visibility, creates drama, and stimulates visual interest when the fire feature is off or the flame is very low.
The ample soft light from this technique creates a relaxing and calm ambiance while not overpowering the fire pit area. Fixtures can be attached to the home, installed in nearby trees, or affixed to other structures around the fire pit. The downlighting technique can be used as a secondary lighting source along with path lights and seat wall lights.
Another popular option to illuminate a fire pit area includes the use of path lights. The fixture used in lighting a pathway provides light that hugs the ground and improves visibility and safety without diminishing ambiance. Light from the fire pit flame creates shadows if the feature is raised, and these shadows create a safety hazard that needs to be addressed and remedied. Path lights and seat wall lights are viable solutions.
Outdoor Bistro String Lights
The last option, outdoor bistro string lights, lend the space a soft ambiance. Bistro is a French term meaning “a small restaurant, pub, or tavern.” String lights offer an array of festive design patterns and configurations that accommodate any outdoor space. The installation of string lights may require a ladder, hangers, or other slight structural modifications. Depending on the outdoor living space, poles may need to be installed. Southern Landscape Lighting Systems technicians can safely handle the installation of these lights.
Basic Fire Pit Safety Tips
Keep the following tips in mind when using a fire pit.
- Locate the fire pit on level ground.
- Position the fire pit ten to twenty feet away from plants and other flammable objects.
- Do not use a fire pit underneath an overhang.
- Keep a bucket of sand, a hose, or a fire extinguisher on hand in case of emergency.
- Do not use a wood-burning fire pit on a deck or patio.
- Adhere to local fire safety regulations.
LED Lights and Fire Pit Lighting
LED lights are excellent for lighting outdoor living spaces, especially a fire pit area. Being smaller than halogen and incandescent fixtures, LEDs are more discreet and often barely noticeable during the day when not in use. A second benefit of using LED lighting in an intimate outdoor living space such as a fire pit area is that LEDs produce very little heat. Because LED lighting fixtures operate at such low temperatures, they are pet-friendly and child-friendly. Another advantage of LED lighting is that the system can be controlled in part or in whole to adjust to how the area is being used. When relaxation is in view, turn the lights down low. When entertainment and safety are needed, turn the lights up. This lighting versatility is functional not only for the fire pit area but also for the entire lighting system.
A Final Consideration
Fire pit installation is a landscape trend that is expanding in popularity. The time to plan for lighting is before the fire pit and surrounding area is designed. Bringing lighting design specialists into the planning meeting with the contractor installing the fire pit, patio, or deck area will ensure that the lighting and the landscape feature are symbiotic in configuration and operation.
Use one application or employ them all. These outdoor fire pit lighting solutions serve to enhance the natural ambiance created by the fire’s flames. By working with the skilled and experienced professionals at Southern Landscape Lighting Systems of Alpharetta, lighting fixture selection, placement, and installation can be achieved to provide the perfect feel and function to any outdoor living space, including the fire pit area. Browse the Southern Landscape Lighting Systems portfolio for landscape lighting ideas and inspiration.
For more information about fire pit lighting options, visit the Southern Landscape Lighting Systems of Alpharetta website at www.southernlls.com Contact the office at (770) 691-1221.