Ideas + Inspiration

Ideas for Lighting a Modern Front Yard

A well-designed front yard goes a long way in giving a warm, inviting atmosphere to the exterior of your house. In the daytime, the yard is beautifully illuminated with natural sunlight, but at night, some strategic light placement will keep your front yard looking amazing at all hours of the day. Check out this gallery to see the various types of lighting that go into keeping the front yard safe and looking its best.

Illuminate the Entryway

In order to make sure you and your guests can safely reach your front door, effective lighting is essential. Wall sconces work great for this purpose, offering powerful yet soothing light in a compact size. They get the job done most are designed specially to avoid a blinding glare in dark nights.

Shown: Ash Cylinder Outdoor Wall Light by Tech Lighting

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On the Spot

Outdoor spot lights allow for direct illumination of specific points in a front yard. Installing one under a beautiful tree, architectural feature or shrubbery help showcase your landscape features after the sun goes down.

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Pick a Pendant

If you have a suitable tree, porch or overhang, a pendant is an unexpected addition to your front yard lighting. The soft, ambient light of an outdoor pendant is a bit romantic, and would be a sweet way to light up a bench or bistro table in your front yard.

Shown: Garota Outdoor Plug-In Pendant Light by Bover

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Pave the Way

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.

Shown: LED Garden and Pathway Bollard - B77263/B77264 by Bega

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Paths are Prime for Great Design

Path lights can come in a variety of shapes and styles, from modern block shapes to more traditional hat-shaped designs. Depending on your architecture, hardscape and landscape, you’ll be able to choose a fixture that complements it.

Shown: Revel LED Path Light by Tech Lighting

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Create Shadows

To highlight an enviable landscape, use floodlights to uplight and shadow the various elements. 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.

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Check the Temperature

Bulbs with a color temperature between 2700K and 3000K are best for use in outdoor lighting. This range creates a warm tone, which is essential in giving the yard a relaxed and natural vibe, as opposed to the artificiality created by cooler color temperatures.

Shown: Atlantis 1518 Cedar LED Path Light by Hinkley Lighting

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Bollard Lights

For adding some architectural elements, use bollards as lighted sculptural elements in your front yard. 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.

Shown: Strut LED Bollard by Tech Lighting

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Wall of Wonders

Grazing a blank wall with light can add depth and create an effect that’s more visually intriguing than the wall on its own. A simple wall light used in multiples used can highlight 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.

Shown: Bowman Wall Sconce by Tech Lighting

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Driver’s Side

Outdoor wall lights also work especially well in a driveway or carport to light your way to unlocking, loading and getting in your vehicle. Lighting this area well also helps step up safety by eliminating dark corners and shadows around your property.

Shown: LED Directional Wall Light - B22261 by BEGA

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Less is More

When configuring your lighting setup, it’s important to make sure the total amount of light is low, and that any objects you want accented are lit strategically. Because your eyes will have already adjusted to the darkness, just a small amount of light is needed to bring out the beauty of your yard and its distinctive features.

Shown: Square Column Outdoor LED Bollard by Sonneman Lighting

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LED All the Way

By far the preferred choice in outdoor lighting these days, LEDs are energy efficient, have a long lifespan and are cool to the touch. Because many landscape lighting projects are often labor intensive, it’s a great idea to use fixtures that you know will last for many years, so you aren’t making a summer project out of your outdoor lighting each year.

Shown: Cosmo LED Outdoor Wall Light by Tech Lighting

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Bugs Be Gone

Another good reason to invest in warm color temperatures is that they’re less likely to be seen by bugs. Creepy crawly, buzzy things love a big bright light, but keeping your lighting on the warmer side won’t be so inviting.

Shown: Folds Tall Outdoor LED Wall Sconce by SONNEMAN Lighting

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Double Up

Look to in-ground lighting that can serve dual purposes: landscape lighting effects as well as path lighting. These indirect lights can provide enough illumination for the surrounding area and create subtle shadows among foliage features.

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Simple Style

If you’re working with more hardscape than landscape, look to coordinate the style of your light fixtures from one collection. Most outdoor lighting has various versions of the fixture—from wall lights to path lights to ceiling—so that syncing them up is easy. This helps your front yard lighting look instantly put together.

Shown: Sonneman Reals Outdoor Collection

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Look Up

If your front entry doesn’t have space to flank the door with wall lights, you can still add ample illumination with outdoor ceiling lights. Place these under an overhang or covered porch several feet apart.

Shown: Reals Outdoor LED Surface Mounts by SONNEMAN Lighting

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Outdoor Art

A blank wall in your front yard is an opportunity for a “wow” statement. Striking wall lights artfully arranged can create a lighted mural of sorts, giving you something beautifully modern to see every time you come and go.

Shown: Origami LED Wall Sconce by Vibia

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Your front yard lighting is a key part of a well-designed outdoor space. From showcasing your garden and landscape to keeping walkways safe, the right mix of lighted elements will help the exterior of your home be as thoughtful as its interior. Shop more outdoor lighting for your front yard and more at YLighting.

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