Spring and summer are wonderful times of the year to enjoy your outdoor seating areas. However, the use of these areas may be restricted unless you have outdoor lighting installed. There are several options to consider before undertaking a project such as this. Some, you can do yourself, while others will more than likely require a licensed electrician.
Solar lighting is always an option, but the fixtures can be extremely expensive and are not always reliable. The cells charge via sunlight during the day and will automatically go on as it gets darker. The batteries on these devices do not always hold the charge and you may find yourself replacing them regularly or buying new fixtures.
Homeowners can make a DIY project and install low voltage lighting around their home. Most home improvement stores will sell kits for this purpose. This type of outdoor lighting only requires 12 volts of power and is easily moved. This is something that can be used for simple lighting projects, but if you wanted the electrical work for more power demanding items, like an outdoor refrigerator or appliances, this will not suffice.
If the home requires more significant lighting, you will want to install line voltage lighting. This requires the same type of line work you have inside of your home. This is perfect for outdoor areas using electric grills and significant lighting. Homes that have significant or complex landscaping features may also choose to have this type of lighting installed.
Because line voltage lighting requires an electrical junction box and a conduit, it is best to use a licensed electrician for this type of work, especially because it is going to be outside and subject to weather conditions. Using an electrician offers a bit more peace of mind than attempting to do this yourself with little or no experience in outdoor wiring.