Photograph by Hometrack

Sizzling Fire Features and Dramatic Lighting

How to best incorporate fire and lighting into your poolscape and landscape for maximum impact.

Creating a jaw-dropping outdoor space means invoking an element of drama. The contrast between a sizzling fire feature and a refreshing pool brings your poolscape to the next level, delivering the “wow” factor.

“To be able to turn on fire that you can feel with the sound of falling water during twilight hour is an amazing experience,” says Anthony Santella of Total Pool & Patio. While Total Pool has been adding custom-built propane fire pits into projects for years, Santella also likes incorporating features that combine stone, water, and fire elements all in one place. These features look great “on either side of a diving rock in the deep end, or on a raised spa or infinity edge,” he says.

Bobé’s Fire & Water Bowls. Photograph by Hometrack

Bobé Water & Fire has that same combination idea; it’s even in their name. Vic Walker highlights Bobé’s Water + Fire bowls, in which a smaller firepot is surrounded by a larger outer bowl with water in it—like a moat. “Water gently flows around the fire and out of the scupper-style spout,” he says.

Not all fire features are made alike, explains Walker. “Small kits at the department store use tiny tanks and burners so it’s a very mild accent,” he says, while some bigger kits might not look natural. Bobé fire features, on the other hand, use Perfect Flame™ burner technology, which creates a large flame that still looks like a natural, wood-burning fire.

Photograph by Daniele Piovezahn

Bobé’s products, made of artisanal materials like hammered copper, are also designed to enhance the space even when they’re unlit, and come in various styles and sizes to suite every budget. “Shape is also something to consider,” says Walker. For example, “round features help complement a freeform shaped pool.”

Total Pool & Patio combines fire, stone, and water into their poolscape designs. Photograph by Daniele Piovezahn

For a unique space without the open flame component, industry experts suggest lighting features like low-voltage lighting built into masonry steps or stone walls. Walker recommends Brilliant Wonders’s wide range of LED pool lights, perfect for setting aglow your waterfalls or bubblers.

Santella suggests tree lighting “to create a larger-than-life backyard.” Instead of uplighting your trees, try “moonlighting” them, mounting down lights high in nearby trees to achieve an ethereal, moonlit look.

Total Pool & Patio incorporates lighting into the overall design. Photograph by Daniele Piovezahn

Remember to think ahead when incorporating fire and lighting features into outdoor spaces, to coordinate the proper positioning of gas and power lines early on in the project. “Creating a proper outdoor living environment requires the homeowner to see the big picture,” says Santella. Your results will surely dazzle.

For more on what you need to know about keeping the outside of your home lit, check out this complete guide to choosing outdoor lighting.,

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