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Landscape Light Ideas

You’ve decked out your domain, making your home and yard look just how you wanted. So, wouldn’t it be a shame to let that hard work disappear when the sun sets? With some strategically placed outside lighting and the convenience of automatic illumination, you can put it all back on display. Done professionally, landscape lighting highlights the architecture of your home and draws attention to your precious plantings and trees.

Enlighten Yourself on Outside Lighting

The first step in the lighting transformation is to become educated on the available possibilities. While photos do illustrate some of the amazing opportunities of tree lights and outside lighting, keep an eye out for good outdoor lighting ideas when you’re out for a nightly walk or drive. First things first—a few things about voltage:
  • Strong lights are powered by a 120-volt current and are usually used at entrances and to illuminate large areas, like decks and driveways.
  • LED or Low-voltage fixtures are the norm when tranquil, soothing outside lighting is the objective.  Think path lights, accent lights, and wall washer lights. Smaller and less obtrusive, these fixtures use less energy than strong lights and are stress-free in wet locations.
  • Solar-powered outdoor lights are dependent on exposure to the sun, so keep them away from shade! They are best used to illuminate paths that are exposed to full sun throughout the day.

Types of Outside Lighting Fixtures

  •  Entry lanterns or sconces: 120-v fixtures that mount beside doors and are either shielded or frosted glass to prevent glare. Their size is proportional to the height and width of the entry area.
  •  Path lights: Typically LED or low-voltage fixtures that illuminate paths, casting small pools of light on the ground.
  •  Recessed lights: Installed in eaves over garage doors or decks. What is unique about recessed lights is that they’re mostly hidden, yet they provide large pools of light. These small, low-voltage or LED recessed lights can be used to light posts, railings, stairs, and built-in deck furniture.
  •  Floodlights: 120-v, LED, or low-voltage fixtures often used as tree lights and to light wide expanses and large attention-grabbing objects such as stonework and driveways.
  •  Spot lights: Much like floodlights and tree lights, these outside lighting fixtures have a narrower beam for highlighting shrubbery, narrow plantings, columns, or statuaries.
  •  Well Lights: LED or low-voltage fixtures buried in the ground and covered with a protective lens. The beam can be angled slightly for tree lights or illuminating a wall, fence, columns, or pillars. Usually used to cast a wider beam on larger, more mature trees or focal areas of a foundation wall.
  • Hanging or pendant lighting: 120-v, LED, or low-voltage fixtures frequently used for porch lighting or entries. As decorative accents, these fixtures can be strung in trees and pergolas

Planning for Making Your Landscape Light Ideas Come to Life

  • Think about your outside lighting objectives (beauty, safety, security, etc).
  • Work with a professional landscape lighting contractor to determine the best lighting system for your needs.
  • Take notes on any questions you may have, show pictures, or have available addresses of homes whose lighting appeals to you.
The possibilities of outside lighting are limitless and offer many benefits to a homeowner. From the soft illumination of a tree canopy to a subtle washing of a garden wall, outside lighting ideas are endless.