Ideas + Inspiration

Landscape Lighting Ideas

Landscape lighting for the modern home needs to be both highly functional and aesthetically pleasing. The purpose of landscape lighting is to increase visibility and security at night, while creating a serene, inviting atmosphere. Outdoor lighting can serve as ambient lighting for walkways and patios, or act as accent lighting to subtly highlight gardens and landscape features. From bollard and path lights to spot lights and step lights, there are a wide variety of landscape lighting to choose from. Get some inspiration for your outdoor spaces from these top landscape lighting ideas.

Secret Step Lights

Vitra Horizontal LED Step Light from Ambiance

Landscape lighting can be incorporated into any almost any modern exterior design. Steps lights are a clever way to maximize visibility at night while remaining almost hidden from view. Use two small stair lights on alternating steps for the best lighting coverage.

On the Wall

Angle Reflector Indoor/Outdoor Wall Sconce from Troy RLM Lighting

Make sure there is enough light by your outdoor entrances. Large outdoor wall scones with sweeping arms are a great choice for this because they will reflect light downwards in a potent yet graceful manner. Wall lights on either side of the door should provide enough brightness all night long.

Bollards With Borders

Moai Outdoor Bollard Light from Bover

Bollards lights offer an aesthetically pleasing way to define visual perimeters in the dark. Let bollards guide visitors at night, while protecting your yard and garden from wanderers gone astray. Path lights that are low to the ground will do the job well, while remaining unobtrusive.

Go Geometric

Revel LED Path Light from Tech Lighting

Don’t be afraid to show off some modern style by choosing path lights with a contemporary vibe. Consider pathway lights with geometric patterns, such as horizontal lighting slots and boxy frames. The clean lines and distinct forms will bring your landscape lighting into the 21st century.

Examine the Architecture

Cylinder Two Light Outdoor Wall Sconce from Bruck Lighting

Use the architectural design of your home to your advantage when implementing your landscaping lighting design. Windows, doorways, and other architectural elements can provide a framework for your lighting choices. Wall lights that provide up lighting and down lighting are ideal for linear elements, such as long narrow windows.

Stay Grounded

When you need to save on space, ground lights and steps lights are perfect alternative to light up walkways, driveways, stairways, decks, and pool patios. Ground lights offer an architectural aesthetic that is durable and long-lasting. They are an attractive way to guide the way for visitors without cluttering up sidewalks and deck space.

Space Savers

Rubix Indoor Outdoor LED Wall Light from WAC Lighting

Another way to save space if you want to add some landscape lighting to a small balcony or patio is to get off the ground. Small wall lights that beam illumination both upwards and downwards will offer plenty of ambient light without taking up any floor space.

Rock the Round

Reals LED Bollard Plate Cap from SONNEMAN Lighting

If you are undecided on your landscape lighting design, remember to keep it simple. One of the trendiest options are rounded wall lights and bollards. The smooth curves of rounded outdoor lights offer a minimalistic appeal while creating a wide coverage area of downlighting.

Sweet Symmetry

Aspenti Tall Outdoor Wall Light from Tech Lighting

Visual symmetry is an important element of landscape lighting, providing a clean and orderly look. Whether you have a wide entryway or two-story deck, choose wall lights that will visually align with the architectural elements of your modern home. Sleek wall lights with minimalistic designs are a perfect choice.

Steps Lights for Stonework

Nuvi Landscape Step Light from Hinkley Lighting

Hardscape lighting allows you to redefine your outdoor lighting experience by installing lights directly into your stone, brick, or concrete work. Step lights are an excellent option for hardscape lighting since they can easily blend into retaining walls, stone walkways, and other features.

Lantern Lovers

1547 Path Light from Hinkley Lighting

If you love the look and ambiance of a candlelit lantern, you can get that same vibe from path lights. Look for pathway lighting with enlarged translucent shades, since this will create the illusion of the soft, warm glow of a candle.

Get in the Spotlight

Hardy Island 1536 Accent Light from Hinkley Lighting

You can highlight any landscape feature with outdoor spotlights. Adjustable spotlights allow you to beam concentrated accent lighting to subtly showcase landscape elements such as gardens, sculptures, or arches. LED lighting is great for this since its potent, energy efficient, and long-lasting.

Design Matters

Atlantis Round Outdoor Bollard from Hinkley Lighting

The design of the path light can make a difference in the pattern of illumination. If you need 360-degree lighting for your walkways look for bollards with translucent exteriors or unique designs. A hollow rectangular bollard offers multi-directional lighting with a futuristic and sleek style.

The Classic L-Shape

Atlantis 1518 Cedar LED Path Light from Hinkley Lighting

The “L-shaped” path light is one of the most popular designs because it’s sleek, simple, and highly functional. You can also bring a minimalistic, yet efficient approach to your pathway lighting by staggering bollard lights on each side of the path. This maximizes brightness while minimizing clutter.

Pool Lighting Made Easy

Hardy Island Flat Top Well Light from Hinkley Lighting

If you have a large pool or patio, ground lighting is an easy and efficient way to enhance ambient lighting. Position ground lights around the perimeter of the pool walkway or patio to establish boundaries Once installed, ground lights are permanent and durable, so you don’t have to worry about moving them.

Big Downlighting Energy

If you need to brighten a walkway or patio that gets heavy traffic, large path lights are the way to go. Large pathway lights that provide downlighting are a simple way to maximize illumination coverage. This is a trick used by frequented modern commercial spaces like restaurants and hotels.

Up or Down

The placement of spotlights make a big difference in the outdoor lighting experience. Spotlights on the ground are great for highlighting landscape features with up lighting. Spotlights near the roofline are best-suited to cast powerful light downwards to brighten wide areas like entryways. This is perfect to create a sense of security and maximize visibility all night long.

Blending with Nature

Nexus LED Path Light from Hinkley Lighting

If you want to blend your outdoor lighting into your landscaping consider placement and style. Place path lights within your shrubbery or garden so they mix into the background. Path lights with industrial or rustic elements, such as sleek metal frames or smooth curves, are less likely to stand out.

Show Off Subtly

LED Asymmetric In-Ground Luminaire from BEGA

Ground lights are a popular choice to brighten gardens, trees, and flowers since they can act as accent lighting to subtly highlight landscaping features. Less is more when it comes to ground lights, so use the, as an eye-catching tool for areas of your landscaping you really adore.

Contemporary Conquers All

Syntra LED Bollard from Tech Lighting

The contemporary look is all the rage for modern landscape lighting. If you want to double down on your contemporary vibes, choose outdoor bollard lights that are tall and lean with geometric forms. This minimalist style offers a futuristic vibe, while maximizing light output in multiple directions.

The right outdoor lighting can make all the difference when it comes to the lighting experience of your contemporary home. Consider modern design features like adjustable heads or dimmable lights to bring your outdoor lighting to the next level. LED lighting is an excellent option for those looking for energy efficient illumination. Make sure your landscape lighting is suitable for outdoor environments and inclement weather conditions.


For more YLighting ideas, see our Outdoor Lighting Ideas.

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