How To's, Resources + FAQs

4 Landscape Lighting Updates That Go A Long Way

During my evening walk around my neighborhood each night, I’m always struck by what a big difference there is between houses lit by merely a porch light and houses with full-scale exterior illumination.

On a dim or dark block, the right landscape lighting make a home come to life. But it’s not about being the brightest—a great landscape lighting plan is all about moderation and effect. In other words, using the just-right lighting in the just-right places.

These four landscape lighting ideas bring an extra element of lighting design to your home’s exterior, which boosts nighttime safety, steps up curb appeal and will probably elicit some ooohs and aaahs from neighbors passing by.

Path Lighting

To: Add a design element and step up safety
Try: Path lights along your main walkway

A path light can play double duty in your landscape lighting scheme when used right. Use the garden beds or landscape bordering the main walking path into your home and you’ll add dimension to the foliage, plus brighten up the areas your guests are walking as they arrive to your home.

Flood Lighting

To: Highlight an enviable landscape
Try: Flood lights to uplight and shadow

For a tree with a great silhouette, a spot or floodlight can be used to show it off. If you have an element like a tree in front of a wall, using a floodlight will create a shadowing effect, projecting the shadow of the tree onto the façade of your home. Or, for freestanding foliage, use a spot or floor to uplight a single tree or shrub to create a beautiful focal point.

Bollard Lights

To: Add some architectural interest
Try: Bollards as lighted sculptural elements

You likely picture path lights to be inconspicuous and low to the ground, and many of them certainly are. But for a heftier version, look to a bollard light. Bollard lights are often used in wide open, public spaces, but in a residential landscape, they can serve as an architectural element all its own, especially in more minimalist landscapes.

Wall Lights

To: Add depth to a blank wall
Try: Grazing it in light

Another trick to create more depth in a landscape lighting scheme is a simple wall light, used in multiples to create a lighting effect highlights the texture and other natural complexities of the façade. You could also look to a flood light to create more of a wall wash effect, which will provide more light that can be used for outdoor activities. Whether your landscape is a minimal green lawn or jungle-grade terrain, the right layers in your exterior lighting plan will step things up toward being the most head-turning house on the block.

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