6 Types of Outdoor Lighting for Your Landscape

When you look at your landscape it can be a daunting thought to devise a plan of attack for your lighting design. Feelings of overwhelm are all too common especially since landscape lighting forms the entire “look” of your outdoor space.

Most likely you have heard some of the popular buzzwords like spotlighting, shadow lighting, or even different types of lights like solar or low-voltage. Open any landscape magazine and you will find numerous ways to light your outdoor space. Even though millions of ideas exist, it is not that easy to devise a lighting design that is all your own.

It is essential to understand the basic types of lighting so you can effectively communicate your thoughts either to a lighting designer or anyone who is assisting you. If you are interested in simply adding more light to your landscape, knowing some basic information will save you unnecessary stress in the long run.

Path Lighting

Your walkways and paths can be highlighted not only to illuminate for safety reasons, but also to instill a feeling of elegance. Think of your path as a royal walkway or an entrance to an exotic palace. You can create any personality you want with your path lighting.


Downlighting occurs when a light is placed in an elevated location and pointed downward to highlight a large surface area. Downlighting adds a beautiful effect and can mimic the glow of the moonlight hovering down on a beautiful landscape.


Candle lanterns are a great lighting addition to any landscape. They illuminate patios, decks, pools and porches with a sophisticated ambience. They are also easy to find and come in all different shapes, colors and styles. Lanterns are a great way to show off more of your personal style in your lighting. You can even use post lanterns for walkways. Post lanterns are especially effective in an Asian-themed landscape.

Solar Lighting

Solar lighting utilizes the energy from the sun to power them. With solar lighting you can save money on your energy bill and do your part to save the environment. This green technology is used in homes around the world and in all types of climates. Anywhere the sun shines you can use solar lighting to light your landscape. Another great perk: solar lights are inexpensive and can be purchased anywhere lighting is sold.

Flood Lights

Flood lights illuminate your home’s best features whether an architectural masterpiece, a fountain or a beautiful oak tree.

Shadow Lighting

Shadow lighting emits a light onto a surface that is in front of another object. This object can be a wall, garage, tree or any other stationary item. The lighting fixture is installed on the ground and the light is pointed upward toward the surface item. This technique casts a shadow on the object behind it. You can play around with the distance of the surface item and the object since the light will appear more blurry and less-defined the further the distance.

With these few lighting tips and styles, you can be more equipped to start your lighting design on the right foot.

The Business Benefits to Landscape Lighting

Whether you run a successful business out of your home or you see clients at your office, the proper outdoor environment constitutes the hallmark of a great first impression. Your appearance is your brand and first impressions really do matter.

As a business owner, you know that client meetings can become the foundation of your success. When you run business meetings outdoors at your home or another establishment, the environment must be warm, comfortable and inviting. When the sun goes down, your outdoor space must shine and display an atmosphere of professionalism. A professional landscape will not only help you to land new customers, but it will also help you to retain them.


You may love your business, but if it is hidden behind brush and darkness, your potential clients/prospects will never know you exist. Outdoor landscape lighting will invite new and existing professionals to pay attention to your business. Furthermore, your customers must be able to locate your business quickly and without difficulty. The proper lighting makes all the difference.


The security of your business is a top priority. If you have employees, you must ensure their safety when exiting the building at night or arriving early in the morning before the sun rises. A dark entryway signifies possible safety concerns especially for people who are sensitive to these unsatisfactory conditions.

Your customers must also feel safe in the winter months when you are open for business even when it is dark outside. Your clients must also feel comfortable and safe to arrive at your place of work at any time of the day. Furthermore, proper landscape lighting will protect you from any legal liability should a harmful incident occur on your private property.

If you run a business inside your home, ensure that all pathways, stairs and entryways that lead to a door are lit well. From the driveway to the entryway, every step should be illuminated enough so that even the physically challenged can find their way without difficulty.

Aside from lighting a landscape, ensure that your business is secure from burglary. Burglars will gravitate towards darker homes so they can hide without being spotted. The right lighting can scare them away since they cannot enter your home inconspicuously.


Everyone knows that a beautifully lit landscape design will turn the heads of even the most high-profile clients. Whether in front of your home or in a courtyard of your office building, landscape lighting brings a level of luxury that speaks to the high-quality of your business. Yes, people shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but in the business world, the better looking the cover, the more attractive the inside. An elegant, well thought-out, sophisticated landscape shows your customers and your potential clients that you take the time to make your establishment inviting which automatically suggests that you will invest the same time and dedication into your products and services.

First impressions are everything in business. Make yours count!


Accent Lighting to Make Your Landscape Stand Out

Want to know why your neighbor’s yard attracts your attention every time you pass it? Most likely, it’s because of the accent lighting. Accent lighting illuminates and beautifies landscapes with its subtle glow and soft hues. It highlights the best areas and provides an atmosphere to which onlookers gravitate.

Your exterior lighting creates the atmosphere for your landscape. Once the sun fades and the moon glows in the night sky, accent lights will make your yard come alive. Your properly lit landscape can become the envy of your neighbors and the talk of the town. And thankfully, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to get the look you want.


There are many reasons to add accent lights to your landscape and beauty is one of the top. Is there a tree, fountain, pond, or an object that brings the entire landscape together? It’s important to direct the accent lights toward the special features of the garden so people can see them when the sun goes down. Even a beautiful rose garden can be the subject of illumination. Be careful not to accent the entire landscape, though. Sometimes too much is a recipe for disaster. If you accent too many features, it will confuse the eye and take the focus away from the objects you are highlighting. Keep it simple and make sure your accent lights are positioned to add, and not distract.


Accent lighting is also very helpful for safety and security reasons. In fact, the lights can serve a dual purpose if they are positioned correctly. Lighting that flanks the driveway will look beautiful and also provide illumination at night for walkers. Other safety lights will illuminate the area enough to ward off intruders since most thieves prefer to work in dark places.

Consider accent lights for the areas where people walk and congregate. Steps, walkways, paths, driveways, decks and patios are all ideal locations for a little accent lighting to keep the yard safe and secure.


Landscape lighting comes in a variety of types but generally homeowners choose from LED, solar and low-voltage. All offer an inexpensive alternative to traditional lighting. Solar lights will be the easiest to install because there are no wires.

Home Value

Accent lighting will not only beautify your landscape, but it will also add value to your home. Landscaped yards can add thousands of dollars to your home’s sale price and set you apart from the competition in your neighborhood. Curb appeal is one of the top criteria on buyers’ minds and a beautiful landscaped space sets the stage for a great home tour. When buyers see a manicured lawn with attention to detail, they automatically assume you gave the same level of consideration to the inside of the home. They will feel settled as a result and if they like the home, a sale may be imminent.