Landscape Lighting Buying Guide

Landscape Lighting
  • Getting Started

  • Properly designed landscape lighting can keep you safe, secure, and helps you to enjoy your garden flowers and plants for much longer. Whether you want a little warm light to create a safe path, soft mood lighting to have a nice evening with guests, or a pool of lights to highlight certain features, this guide has the answer for you. Regardless of the size of your patio, garden, balcony, or walkways, the right outdoor lighting will help you easily transform your space into a welcoming area that you’ll want to spend a lot of time in.

    When it comes to landscape lighting, less is truly more. Lights will make a space special if you allow the play of light and dark, highlighting accents that you do not mention during the day and createing shadows using the plants and forms in your backyard. Think how you want to play with these elements to create drama, and a well-lit area will be a place where you want to stay longer.

  • The Importance of Landscape Lighting

  • Landscape lighting is an important element of your home’s overall design. Even if you have an awesome architecture and beautiful landscape, proper lighting is what really enhances your outdoor space, different objects, and the little details. There are multiple reasons why you should start updating your landscape lighting plan.

    Make an Impression - Before your guests reach the front door, they‘re already forming an opinion about your home. All visitors and neighbors will make assumptions about the interior of your house based on your outdoor areas. From landscape lights to decorative lanterns, outdoor lighting can make (or easily break) the look of the exterior.

    The perceived value of your house - When it comes to the landscape lighting, it can tell a lot about the perceived value of your home. Choose proper lighting that enhances the curb appeal of your home.

    Safety - Properly lit driveways, walkways, and porches make it easy for everybody to securely walk through your garden. Highlight busy areas of your landscape for late-evening use.

    Warm Atmosphere - Make your guests feel more comfortable and put them at ease as soon as they enter your property. There is nothing less inviting than a poorly lit entrance.

    Outdoor Entertaining - Landscape lighting helps you extend the area for an outdoor gathering with friends. A well-lit space will help keep your party progressing well, long after dark. Many homeowners view their gardens as the main location for summer entertainment and relaxation, thus the functionality, efficiency, and the design of outdoor lighting has become quite important.

  • What to Consider

  • Before installing the lights, identify the features that you like. It can be a tree or a pond – highlighting those will make them pop. Besides, think of adding intrigue to places that do not stand out duting the day. A stone wall can get new personality at nigh when lit with proper lights.

  • Cost Considerations

  • It is hard to estimate the final cost, but allowing around $350 per light fixture to cover installation and product will give you an idea of how much you should be ready to spend.

  • Functions

  • A properly planned landscape lighting design with careful preparation can enhance the beauty, security, and safety of your home. There are different lighting options with different functions.


    Path Lighting - A well-lit yard is a perfect crime-prevention option, and light fixtures designed for security, such as motion sensors, add extra convenience and protection.

    Path lighting is a necessary step to welcome guests to your home. Path lighting enhances safety by illuminating dark areas that could otherwise lead to falls, and they’re a perfectoptionif you want to improve curb appeal. Lighting stairs, pond areas, and walkways help ensure a safe passage for all.

    When selecting path lights, be sure to follow these tips for proper outdoor lighting that will be both functional and beautiful.

    Proper Height - A nice warm glow can be easily achieved with path light fixtures installed about 15 inches high.

    Define All The Edges - Ensure the best safety lighting with lights installed about one foot from both sides of the path.

    Ditch The Bargain Bin - Fixtures with sturdy construction, glass lens, and water-resistant finish are a must-have for long-term use. A powder-coated finish can withstand harsher elements.

    Go LED - Many believe that the future of landscape lighting will be LED lighting. LED bulbs reduce power consumption by almost 80% and are not hot to the touch. They also last longer than traditional lights.

  • Stay Warm

  • Warmth is measured in Kelvinsand it varies from one product to the next and affects the visual appeal of your outdoor area. Fixtures with 3,000K (cool temperature) create a nice, warm, and inviting glow in your garden.

  • Decorative Styles

  • Landscape lighting plays a vital role in curb appeal and is a crucial part of any home’s presentation. There are multiple styles of lighting to choose from to match your taste, personality, and design of your home.

    Contemporary - Contemporary lights feature minimal ornamentation with clean lines, simple features, angular frames, and bold colors, which is characteristic of the contemporary style. Popular finishes include Brushed Nickel or Polished Chrome.

    Transitional - Transitional style lighting maintains the sophistication and warmth of a traditional design, mixed with the brightness of a contemporary style. Transitional lighting has multiple modern details, but maintains a traditional design and often includes casual, simplified details. Sometimes a modern form is abandoned to heighten the elegance.

    Traditional - Traditional style lighting is all about familiarity and comfort. Outdoor lanterns with frosted shades, ornate details, and smooth curves evoke a nice, traditional feel. The most popular finishes include Antique Bronze and black.

    Craftsman - Craftsman style lighting includes artistic accents that look like they were done by hand. Among the examples are seeded glass, hand painted finishes and classic profiles.

    Rustic - Rustic style lighting means organic shapes and textures with innate warmth. Rustic lanterns are naturally stylish, featuring items that have been purposely worn out or repurposed to create beautiful objects.

    Industrial - Industrial style lighting means a blend of urban edge with a utilitarian design. Paired with fine materials and nostalgic bulbs, this style usually includes metal or iron parts that take on a rich finish. Some of the most popular styles include cage, gooseneck, and barn lighting.

  • Key Design Principles

  • When thinking of your landscape design, consider the factors below that will ensure a well-established and beautiful landscape. Think about these tips when placing or selecting light fixtures.

    Be Cohesive - Landscapes can help create the same overall consistency. When lighting separates areas – such as pieces of architecture, or a tree – the lighting should seamlessly blend together.

    Create Depth - For instance, path lights can create interest while your guests are walking on the property. Lighting along driveways and walkways dramatically enhance the main theme of your outdoor area while preventing accidents when dark.

    Accentuate Focal Points - Highlight stationary pieces and entryways to create interesting focal points. These focal points will encourage visitors to come closer and look at your architecture. One of the best ways to enhance the texture of different objects is by mounting in-ground lights close to your focal points.

    Explore Perspectives - Look at different features of your landscape. Focus on creating a continuous experience from onefeature to the next.

    Balance - Lightingfixtureslook perfect when they’re proportional across different areas of your property. Include symmetrical components at different points, such as corresponding bushes and columns. The main goal is to achieve symmetry with the amount of illumination across different areas of your landscape lighting design.

    Quality Control - Select light fixtures that will help set a specific mood, such as soft edges and narrow beams or wide beams of light. Direction should refer to the focal point of where the light shines (does the light need to point up or point down).

    Illuminate The Deck - Don’t forget to outline the perimeters of the deck railing and the deck, as well as take care of safety for nighttime use on outdoor porches and decks. Use low voltage fixtures to achieve maximum safety.

  • Size

  • One of the most common mistakes that many people make when choosing landscape lighting for the front of their homes is choosing small fixtures. Note, that decorative lighting enhances the curb appeal, so you want your visitors to see these fixtures (or at least some of them). Don’t be afraid to choose a bigger size – especially for homes with large facades.

  • Entry Lighting

  • The rule of thumb is exterior light fixtures that are used to illuminate the entryway should be sized in proportion to the door.

    The Bigger the Better - Wall sconces by the front door should be anywhere from 1/4 to 1/3 the size of the door itself. Remember, that lanterns will only appear to be half the size from 50 feet away. Always place the bigger lanterns by the front door (versus the garage door, for example).

    Get The Right Position - Quite often, outdoor lanterns should be placed at eye level. The main light source should be approximately 6 feet off the ground.

  • Garage Lighting

  • If you are thinking about installing garage fixtures on the top of your garage, be sure to center them over the door for proper illumination that stretches over the full width of the door.

  • LED Lighting

  • LED lighting is not common yet, but it offers several advantages over traditional light sources that are specific to landscape lighting. Consider getting LED outdoor fixtures to enjoy the benefits.

    Safety - Because LEDs don’t produce heat like other light fixtures, they are cool to the touch and are less risky for outdoor lighting. Besides, kids can play around them without the risk of burns.

    Energy - Landscape lights are left turned on for hours, so energy saving is an important benefit. LED bulbs allow for almost 80% savings on energy consumption.