Everything You Need To Know About Landscape Lighting

Published On: April 8, 20211 Comment on Everything You Need To Know About Landscape LightingTags: Last Updated: February 7, 20248 min read

Landscape lighting is one of the crucial factors in transforming your lawn from basic into a stand-out terrain that will surely boost your home’s overall value. Depending on the objectives you have in mind, whether for security, increased fun factor, or transforming a lovely space to unwind in, starting a lighting project can be challenging for most homeowners. It’s best to start with the basics of landscape lighting. You’ll discover various landscape lighting options and how to make the most out of them in your property.

Everything You Need To Know About Landscape Lighting

When it comes to landscape lighting, you should consider that less can be more. Even if you’re eager to light up everything on your yard, it isn’t a good path to take. Apart from causing an increase in your utility bills, too much light in your property can wash it out. During the night, the interplay of light and dark elements makes a space special. If you want to transform the outdoors into a lovely space, highlight aspects that don’t stand out during the day, and provide contrast and shadows with the garden elements and plants. Working with these elements creates an exciting ambiance. With proper lighting, you have a space to stay in most of your time in, and you can boost the overall curb appeal of your property. If you want to learn about outdoor lighting installation, watch this video:

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Let’s check out the essentials in landscape lighting, such as elements to light in your property, lighting types, and how to utilize landscape lighting.

Elements To Highlight

If you’re pondering on what to light on your landscape, there are several considerations below:

  • Pinpoint the elements or features on your property that you love. It can be a fountain, a pond, or a stately tree.
  • Add a touch of drama to areas that don’t stand out during the day.
  • Consider the function such as lighting for a deck of stairs or winding pathways to allow easy movement around the yard safely.

Make the entryway a priority by ensuring that it’s appealing and properly-lit. A well-illuminated entry point to your house will safely direct your family or guests while exuding a homely and welcoming appeal.

What Are The Types Of Landscape Lighting?

There are basic lighting choices that you should know about when deciding on the lighting in your property. Let’s check out different types of lighting below:

Floodlights And Spotlights

If you decide whether to get a floodlight or spotlight, the only difference between the two is the beam spread. A spotlight generates a narrow, concentrated light beam that you can easily focus on any landscape features on your yard. Floodlights have broader beam coverage, which is ideal for general areas such as the entire lot or the driveway. A floodlight is a better option for overall visibility and safety.

In-ground Lighting

An in-ground light or well light is a circular fixture that you install into the ground to illuminate driveways and walkways. This type of lighting can boost the visibility of the elements in your yard. When you position one under a tree or structure, it can create a one-of-a-kind atmosphere with an uplift effect. You can also use this lighting option to illuminate a driveway through the gate or lot, but choose one that is durable enough to sustain vehicles’ weight.

Path Lighting

Path lights are basic lighting fixtures that you should have on your yard. These lighting fixtures can boost the curb appeal and make the paths safe at night. When selecting the right path lights for your property, height is an important consideration. If you want to achieve an appealing, even glow on your yard, you must install the path lights around 14 inches high. As for the placement, the lights should be within one foot from the sides of the pathway. The path lights to consider should be sturdy and made of materials that can endure the elements and wear. Models that have a powder-coated finish can last long under the outdoor elements. If possible, go for LED path lights to keep your utility bills low.

Post Lights

A post light can serve as an accent light to a pathway and set an ambient tone without excessive brightness. The tall posts are suitable for lighting driveways and vast spaces, while the shorter posts work well for paths at the garden or small nooks.

Deck And Step Lighting

If you want to light up dark stairs or highlight architectural elements, deck and step lights are the best options. You can install them directly onto the decking or hardscape in your yard. These light fixtures also work best if you want to wash light down stone walls or illuminate an entertainment area.

Hardscape Light

lights are the latest additions to landscape lighting with the help of LED technology. These are miniature lights with flanges or brackets that you can install onto or into structures that wash to graze walls with illumination.

Pond Light

A pond light is similar to a spotlight, but it’s submerged into the water to impart a distinctive look to outdoor water elements.

Everything You Need To Know About Landscape Lighting - plants

How To Light A Landscape

Now that you’re familiar with the different types of lighting fixtures suitable for the outdoors, you should check out some of the famous landscape lighting effects that you should try out below:

Up Lighting

As one of the most basic forms of landscape lighting, up lighting imparts a touch of drama to a tree or tall element in your yard. You can showcase the trunk of trees or the underside of the canopy on small or large trees. You can achieve the up lighting effect by using well lights and spotlights.


Often, space will require more ambient lighting. You can achieve a well-lit yard by flooding an expansive wall or hedge in the entertainment space with light. The best approach is to utilize wide-beamed light to position amidst the main vantage point and the surface to produce an even, gentle glow over the entire space.


Silhouetting can provide a significant effect when showcasing dramatic forms that aren’t evident during the daytime. You have to place a light source behind an element and project light toward the main vantage point. Make sure that you conceal the source of light.


Shadowing is another popular landscape lighting effect that’s the reverse of silhouetting. Position the light source between the main vantage point and the object under illumination, with the light source focusing on the element. The effect will only work if there is a wall or level plane behind the item receiving light to capture the shadows produced. It can generate a softer, moody ambiance.


When you have a yard with several hardscapes, grazing might be a good landscape lighting option. Grazing involves positioning the light source near a flat surface and projecting directly up or down the surface to produce a dramatic light and shadow combination. You can graze in any direction, but the goal is to make the most out of the texture on a level plane. With this in mind, irregular or uneven patterns work best. It’s the best way to impart an upscale touch.

Moon Lighting

An effective way to utilize lighting, if there are large trees on your yard, is moon lighting. You should place the source up in the tree, aiming down, showering the branches and ground in light. It can produce an awe-inspiring effect, especially if you use an open-branched tree. In case you have a gigantic tree that seems worthy of attention, especially evergreens, it’ll look great with the right lighting effect. Use both spotlighting and moon lighting by positioning two spotlights at half-to-three-quarters up on the tree. Project one light up and another down to generate a dramatic effect. Do not worry about the lighting fixtures as the year-round foliage of the tree will conceal them.

Technical considerations

When it comes to the lumen output for outdoor lighting, it can be a personal choice. It usually varies with how bright you want to illuminate an element on your yard. With this in mind, it might be best to look for light fixtures that allow you to adjust the lumen output so that you can readily adjust the brightness level to your preferences. With LED lighting gaining popularity as an energy-saving option, it’s the new standard in landscaping, particularly its longer lifespan. The latest LED lights boast of features that are highly convenient such as an adjustable beam spread. As for the color temperature of the lighting, the ideal ones are those in the similar hue as the elements you want to illuminate. For oak trees and earth-tone siding, you should use warmer light. As for cooler colors such as those on pine trees or dark gray stone elements, you can go for a neutral color temperature. The very cool whites are suitable for ultramodern or commercial landscaping.


Now that you’re familiar with landscape lighting basics, you can try out and find what best suits your outdoor space. Remember, though, that you should still consult a professional when planning out your landscape lighting scheme to ensure that you have all the correct details covered. There are various ways to provide the landscape with a new look with the help of lighting that will improve your home’s curb appeal and make the outdoors lovely and inviting even at night.

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Leave A Comment

  1. Michaela Hemsley June 28, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    My husband and I would like to have some landscape lighting installed on our property soon because we think it would look nice and help keep our home safer. I like that you said that it’s smart to pinpoint the parts of your landscape that you love and focus the lights on those. I think it would also be smart for us to work with professionals to help us design and install everything so that we can make sure it will be done correctly.