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5 Easy Ways to Lighten Up Your Cottag

Updated: Aug 25

A cottage is a safe haven away from the city’s mania. It should be a place of peace: a space that people visit to unwind, enjoy the outdoors, and create lasting memories.


The new wave of modern, house-like cottages, brings the city-life convenience to the country. There is no shame in enjoying clean water, a heating/cooling system, or WiFi for those rainy days. Although, the get-a-way purpose shouldn’t be lost within the digital age desires.


Planning a trip to your cottage should motivate you to breathe fresh air and spend as much time outside as possible. Which can be difficult if you have your everyday distractions with you (looking at you netflix).


Having an outdoor entertainment space will pull you away from your couch and detach you from your internet addiction. Outdoor lighting is the cherry on top: it will tie together a cohesive look and mood.


Unsure of how to compliment your landscape? Here are 5 ideas to lighten up your cottage.


1. Pathway Lighting

Starting your outdoor lighting design with pathway lights is like tipping your toe into the lake. It gives a small sense of how beneficial outdoor lights are.


Highlight high traffic pathways to make navigation easy for cottage-goers, but don't forget to play with creativity!


Be creative with light fixtures: your options range from garden lights to downlights to flush lights, and the list goes on.


Partnering with a professional designer will ease the chaos of fixture shopping—there are a lot to choose from, and we mean a lot.


Below are our favourite classic pathway lights. .

Landscape Lighting Project in Ontario by Nightscapes: pathway lights along a winding pathway. Greenery surrounding the path.
Landscape Lighting Project in Ontario by Nightscapes: pathway lighting near a wooden deck and concrete stairs.

2. Dock/Deck Lights

Dock/Deck lighting is another great example of convenience meeting luxury. The last thing anyone wants is their guest losing sight of their stepping and taking a nasty fall.


The luxurious part is the mesmerizing reflection on the water and the beautiful scenery boaters will pass by. Illumination will quickly transform a plain wooden deck to a gorgeous lakeside pier.


Grab a couple of chairs, bring your Bluetooth speaker, and you’re set for a night of stargazing.

A dock with welllights, done by Nightscapes
A dock with custom lighting around the edge, done by Nightscapes of Muskoka


3. Highlight Nature

Nature is the driving force to purchase cottages. Don’t overshadow it with lighting; compliment it or better yet, highlight it through illumination. The design team at Nightscapes of Muskoka are experts at perfecting illumination so it’s eye catching, not overpowering.


One way to showcase organic beauty is by adding a moonlight effect. Moonlights are hidden high-up—usually in trees, they mimic, well, the moon’s light. If placed properly, it gives off a subtle spotlight glow which does a fantastic job of showcasing trees, plants, or nearby nature.


Uplights are also a great choice for garden beds or illuminating trees. These are lights that, well, shine light upwards. It's a very cool effect and is popular for landscape lighting.


Both are simple touches that provide enough light for you to enjoy the outdoors, but neither take away from the view.

Outdoor lighting project in Ontario by Nightscapes: a well-lit cottage on the lake. A very blue sky and lots of trees nearby. There is a reflection on the water.
Garden lighting done by Nightscapes

4. hardscape LIGHting

Lighting up your cottage seems like a no-brainer, but doing it strategically makes all of the difference.


A well lit area provides security: intruders aren’t as common at the lake, but wild animals are. Motion lights are a great warning for you and they will startle animals.


Hardscape lights are ideal for minimalist lots. Not everyone wants to fill their property with belongings or flowers, and thats understandable. You can add fixtures to the structure of the cottage and still have enough illumination for a nearby sitting area.

Custom exterior, property, and garden lighting done by Nightscapes
Exterior lighting done by Nightscapes

5. Well Lights

If you want to achieve a lighting scheme, but you don’t want the light fixtures to be the attraction of your cottage, well lights are for you.


Well lights are designed to be placed directly in the ground. The fixture itself is hidden, but the light still has a strong illumination. Commonly, they're used for decks, pathway lights, or for an uplight effect.


The light fixtures need to be hardwired and for obvious reasons, they cannot be moved or adjusted as easily as other fixtures.

Dock lighting near a boat, done by Nightscapes
Well lighting in stairs done by Nightscapes


working with a Professional landscape lighting Team

Adding light to your landscape may seem like a simple task, but if you’re wanting to increase the value of your property and have a truly stunning attraction, partnering with a professional lighting company will be your best choice.


There isn’t a nature enthusiast in this world that wants to create light pollution, disturb their neighbours or possibly harm wildlife. These are all possibilities if you don’t have the expertise of a professional along the way.


Are you ready to transform your cottage through the art of illumination? Fill out our online consultation form and a Nightscapes of Muskoka rep will be in touch.

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