When choosing how to decorate your patio, deck or porch for outdoor living in style this summer, don’t forget to add the element of sound in the way of wind chimes. Think all sound alike? Think again. How to choose just the right sound and design that will add a relaxing effect on the energy and mood of your outdoor living space.
This year more than ever, making the most of every space including our outdoor spaces, large or small, to the best of our means, has taken on a new significance.
Wind chimes are popular decorations on decks and porches and even gardens. They also play an important role that many of us overlook when creating a relaxing outdoor space. They add a positive effect to the energy and mood of a living space.
My wind chime love started the first spring after we moved into the house. I was sitting on the deck and in the distance heard the sound of many wind chimes. They sounded so nice. One particular sound was calling out to me.
Before this, I always felt wind chimes to be noisy and not relaxing.
So I headed to my neighbor’s house to see what wind chime she had that was making the sound that was calling me to it.
It was a thin silver metal tube wind chime with a colorful stone clapper and silver circle sail/wind catcher. I bought one for myself. It is in the above photo with the ceramic bell over it. (The ceramic bell didn’t come with the chime, but was from a bell that used to have a gong, but it broke. Instead of throwing the bell out, I hung the chime from it.)
The following spring, I walked into my local hardware store and heard a display wind chime blowing in the gentle breeze outside the store that again was calling me to it.
It had a completely different sound – deeper and more resonant than the previous chime I bought. I found it so peaceful and serene. It is the copper tube chime with the turquoise butterfly sail/wind catcher made by the same company as my first chime. Butterfly/Hummingbird/Dragonfly Style
What to Look for When Buying a Wind Chime
When buying a wind chime, here are a few things to take into consideration: Number of tubes, length of the tubes, the type of clapper and weight of the sail/wind catcher that hangs from the bottom.
- The number of tubes that a wind chime has determines the number of notes that it can make. Wind chimes with many tubes have the ability to combine more sounds and create different harmonies. Wind chimes with fewer tubes have a smaller range of well-tuned sound.
- The tube finish on wind chimes only affects the decorative style, which for many of us is as important as the sound.
- Overall wind chime length determines the tone and depth of the sound. Longer wind chimes produce lower, fuller tones, while shorter wind chimes produce higher pitched tones.
- The wind chime’s clapper is the piece that comes into contact with the tubes. The point of contact is carefully calculated to provide the best possible sound.
- The size of the wind chime sail/wind catcher that hangs below the tubes determines how much wind is needed to cause the wind chime to sound. Most wind chimes are designed to begin chiming in six to ten mph breezes. The less the sail/wind catcher weighs, the more sound is produced.
Do All Wind Chimes Make the Same Sound?
Think all wind chimes sound alike? They do not. The sound can be totally different from the ting of metal to the hollow sound of bamboo to highly musically scaled tuned tubes – like the wind is playing an instrument.
- The easiest way to find the perfect sounding wind chime is to head to a garden supply or outdoor decor store and listen to the ones on display.
- If you don’t have this option, then you can check out this Sound Room online to listen to audio samples of a wide variety of different types of wind chimes.
How to Extend the Life of Your Wind Chimes
- To enjoy your wind chimes for years, hang them in an area that is not exposed to long term direct sunlight.
- Occasionally wipe off your chimes with a damp cloth to remove any build-up or mold.
- Bring your chimes in during extreme weather. Store in an unheated area like a garage or shed.