Unplugged outdoor lighting

Unplugged outdoor lighting

Summer is a great time to entertain your family and friends outdoors. My family spends a lot of time outdoors, and I’m all for taking the family fun outside to reduce our energy use and beautifying the backyard and patio. Upgrading to energy-efficient outdoor lighting products can make your home look great and help you save energy all year long.

I’m a DIYer to the core. I always seem to have my hand in some sort of home improvement project. To be honest, sometimes it feels like the list never ends. You check one project off your list, and you add two more. The good news is that these projects are fun and can make your house look great.

This year I had a few extra “to-do’s” on my list. As we were sprucing up the landscaping I decided this was the year the outdoor lighting needed an upgrade. Let me just say it was well past-due!

Off we went to the local home improvement store. You can get lost in those lighting aisles. As we browsed the aisles we found all sorts of things, from energy-efficient solar pathway and landscape lighting to ENERGY STAR® qualified fixtures, LED light bulbs and even exterior lights with motion sensors.

Based on what we had at our home, I opted for new LED lighting. Did you know that energy-efficient ENERGY STAR® LED bulbs use up to 75 percent less energy and last up to 20 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. (That’s a pretty big deal.)

But I wasn’t finished just yet. While some of the lights have motion detectors, I also wanted to put them on a timer. It seems we’re always flipping the light on for company and leaving it on … all night long. Those days (and nights) were about to end. We installed the perfect outdoor timer for us. We were able to adjust the dusk/dawn time settings. Easy! We’ll just have to remember to adjust in the fall when it gets a darker a bit earlier.

Patio light timer

And who doesn’t want to have a beautiful patio? The next thing on my list was to break out these super cute Mason jar solar light accents.

mason jar light mason jar light

They recharge daily with the sun and can be customized by adding a little extra decoration to the outside of the jar or by filling them. I filled mine with sea shells, but sand and a little flower or gemstones would also look great!

Landscape lighting

Are you thinking of upgrading your outdoor or patio lighting or have you finished any new projects? We’d love to hear what you’ve done in the comments below

These lights are right up your alley

These lights are right up your alley

Getting “unplugged” gets harder and harder these days. We’re so dependent on electronic gadgets and gizmos that it’s difficult to think of a time when I’m not within 5 feet of at least my mobile phone. It seems just about everything we do is behind a screen. Whether I’m at my computer writing a blog post or using my phone to pay a bill, I’m always connected.

I’ve made it my personal mission to make sure my family takes the time to completely unplug and enjoy the dog days of summer. It was time to turn off the phones, TV and tablets and get outside for family fun that was right up our alley.

We wanted to spend these beautiful summer nights outdoors so we brought the bowling alley to our backyard.

Glow Stick Bowling

What you need
10 Glow Sticks
10 empty water bottles

 How we did it:
After digging 10 water bottles out of the recycling bin, I simply filled them with water. Next, I activated the Glow Sticks and plopped them in.

glow bowling

All that was left was to put on the lid, grab a ball and bowl.

glow bowling

Once it started to get dark, I set up the “pins.” I must say it looked really cool.

glow bowling

We still had a touch of World Cup fever, so we used a soccer ball and “bowled” with our feet. Simple, easy and a great new spin on an old classic. The kids loved it, and to be honest, so did we. It was hilarious to see just how bad our aim was at first. The best score was obtained by my little one, who is 2. She “bowled” with her hands and feet. And at times, she took off with a pin or two.

It was an unplugged summer night success. Check back to see what activity is next on the list and visit Project Envolve to what fun activities these families came up with.

Glow Bowling - Strike


Did you give glow bowling a try? Comment below with other family fun activities you’d like to share.