Springtime is here. Birds are out, the flowers have bloomed, and people are beginning to venture outdoors. It’s time to light up summer and give your customers an outdoor living/dining/shopping experience like no other.
Adding beautiful, commercial-grade exterior lighting could do more to attract people to your business than a new marketing plan. You may not know this, but subtle decor changes (lighting included) can do a lot to bring in the customers you want.
Residential Patio Lighting
As an installer, you can add a whole new revenue stream by offering patio lighting installation to your menu of services. People love entertaining outdoors, so now is the perfect time to help them light up their decks, patios, pool areas, and home perimeters with warm, ambient lighting. This is your opportunity to get creative and have fun! Wrap trees in warm white twinkle mini light strings or drape LED Patio Bulbs from tree to tree for a festive look.
Restaurant Patio Lighting
More and more, restaurant patrons are choosing to eat on the patio as opposed to the inside dining room. Before any customer gets into your restaurant, they will have to pass by the exterior of your restaurant. This is your first chance to introduce them to the mood for their meal. In fact, the dining experience doesn’t start when the first appetizer lands on your table. The experience starts the moment the restaurant comes into sight. The type of outdoor lighting you have for your restaurant broadcasts something about your business.
The worst-case with lighting is shabby or inadequate outdoor lighting. That broadcasts that your restaurant is dull, cheaply run, or even unsafe. That’s the last thing you want people to see. Instead, use lighting to your advantage. Any lighting design, regardless of the details, tells your customers that you care enough to put in good lighting. That alone is a good start. From there, lighting can tell a story about your restaurant.
Here are a handful of tips from the National Restaurant Assoc. for making the most of outdoor spaces:
- Consider creating a refuge with a backyard garden or festive beer garden. Patios come in many varieties. If you’re in a scenic location, your patio might offer panoramic vistas of a waterfront or surrounding mountains. But outdoor dining doesn’t have to include picturesque views. Instead, it can offer solace from busy life.
- Create an outside-only happy hour special, especially on hot days when customers are drawn to air conditioned interiors. A patio margarita special can entice your customers to al fresco dining.
- If you don’t have a patio, consider testing sidewalk seating. “Sidewalk seating is ideal in older historic districts with distinct foot traffic,” Prentiss says.
- Measure your target market’s reaction without committing to full renovations. Gauge whether your kitchen can manage the increased demand and waiters can handle the extra tables.
- Just like your dining room, patios should be updated every five to seven years to be kept modern. If you are in an especially hot or humid location, consider implementing an outdoor cooling system or using large umbrellas to foster shade.
Shopping Center/Retail Patio Lighting
The shopping experience is changing. According to the expert panel at the fifth annual Entertainment Experience Evolution conference, super regional malls and enclosed shopping centers, which once dominated the landscape, are being replaced by immersive, open air centers that provide visitors with more than just a place to shop. Successful retail centers today are a destination — they provide excellent food and dining, aesthetically pleasing environments with open public space, and entertainment tenants and events that engage shoppers to stay longer, come back frequently and use the center as a hub for creating memories with friends and family.
Lighting is a great way to create those aesthetically pleasing environments in open spaces – both outside and inside the centers. Keynote speaker Ashley Robinson, vice president of EMERGING posed the question to attendees of the conference – “Designers or architects, how would you change the design of a development if you knew that the majority of the foot traffic would be seen after five o’clock in the afternoon?” One of the answers – Install beautiful lighting that keep customers feeling both safe and create a warm, inviting experience.
Whether you drape globe lights across a central outside space or place them on each of your restaurants’ patio umbrellas, you can be sure that they will make an impact on your customer’s experience!
Wedding/Event Patio Lighting
If you are a wedding or event planner, you know choosing the right lighting is critical to the success of your client’s event. When done well, lighting can make everything look better, from the wedding cake to the guests. According to the wedding experts at The Knot, the right kind of illumination will also get those details you spent hours on noticed, create awesome photo-ops, and allow you to spend less on the rest of the décor. It really is that impactful. Lighting could be considered the jewelry of a space—just as a certain mix of accessories can make an outfit, the right lights will make your reception unforgettable.
Use our patio lights to string across a covered tent, weave through a rafters of a barn venue or to drape through trees for a magical backdrop. Lighting is one of the easiest and most dramatic ways to create a certain mood for your client’s wedding, especially for a backyard wedding where there is little to no built-in lighting sources. Need a little inspiration? Let us help!
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