One of my favorite fixtures for covering a large patio area with soft lighting is the tiki light. This particular fixture manages to do a couple of things. First and most obviously, it creates a wonderful soft and subtle light when there is not an area that we are able to downlight from. The aged brass of the fixture allows it to not only blend in with the night so as to not be distracting to the night view but allows it to blend in during the daytime. As with most landscape lighting fixtures, a proper lighting designer will look at the background view and place the fixture so it hides in with the vertical lines and organic coloring of the landscape.
The interesting part of the tiki light is the fact that it has a resevoir to hold citronella oil. This comes in very helpful on those summer evenings where you are out enjoying the night and the citronella flame helps repel the insects that love to join us in the outdoor environments. Many times we will install the tiki lighting on a dimmer so you can really take the light level down to extremely soft levels.
The ability to have subtle lighting on your patio at night is what creates the wonderful evening. The tiki light permits us to enjoy the evening without the annoying glare of the backyard spot lights that so many people are stuck having to rely on to create an evening scene.