Rope lights are not the novelty item they once were. Many now consider them a legitimate source of illumination that you can use in a variety of creative ways to take your backyard retreat to the next level. Even professional designers are working them into indoor and outdoor lighting designs. Whether you go for simple white lights or colored ropes, you have the opportunity to make your outdoor space unique and display your personal style in the process. If you’ve never decorated with rope lights before, you might not know where to begin. However, there are plenty of options to explore, and once you get started you’ll no doubt come up with your own ideas. Here are just a few suggestions to get your creative juices flowing.
Adorn Eaves and Railings
If your main goal is to add illumination to your space in a fun and creative way, you don’t have to go nuts with artistic touches. You can keep your look clean and simple by running your rope lights along the eaves of your home or winding them around railings for stairs or fencing. You could also run them around the edges of windows, doors, arches, columns, or other architectural features, highlighting every aspect of your structure. Those looking for something with a little more visual interest can also try creating a table centerpiece with rope lights arranged under netting for an ethereal look. Or you could string rope lights under the edges of tables or underneath bench seating.
The average backyard offers plenty of opportunities to use rope lights in creative ways. One option that’s pretty simple is using ropes to highlight edges. You can string them along the borders between grassy areas and your patio or deck or around landscaped islands or planter boxes. They can run along the edges of stairs or pathways, or go around water features like fountains, a pond, or a pool, just for example. Using rope lights to delineate boundaries can not only help to highlight the features of your yard and provide illumination, but also allow you a creative outlet to personalize your outdoor space and wow your guests.
If you’re not keen on the relative uniformity of running rope lights along railings or around planter boxes, you can get a bit more organic with your application. Try winding your rope lights around and up tree trunks and branches or through dense bushes on your property. Getting it right may require some finagling after dark when you can better see the results of your efforts.
Overhead lighting is often a concern when it comes to your outdoor spaces. Without a ceiling for light fixtures you’ll find yourself somewhat limited to lighting that leaps off the wall or springs from the ground. Of course, rope lights make it easy to buck this trend are really create some spectacular overhead lighting effects, such as an awning made of light. You’ll need to set up sturdy and well-supported pole parallel to your house to drape the lights across, or else set up two parallel poles. From there you can extend rope light strings out from the side of your structure or stretch them across your parallel poles. Several strings can be strung across the open space to create a beautiful awning of light that drapes your patio or deck in a gentle glow.
Wall Art or Backlit Wall Hangings
Who needs neon when you can create your own designs with rope lights? You can make custom wall art in simple shapes like a heart or a star, for example, or you could spell out your family name or a favorite word in lights on the side of your house or in a grassy expanse of yard. Alternately, you could use rope lights to backlight outdoor wall art already in place. Rope lights could be placed behind tire planters, a weeping wall, or even antique windows or shutters hung outside for decorative effect. You might even find a fantastically large branch or piece of driftwood to backlight and hang. The sky is the limit when you use rope lighting as not only a way to illuminate your backyard, but to explore your creativity and imagination.