Who doesn’t like a warm exterior glow in the outdoor spaces? The natural look features a light that is as intense as the “moonlight effect.” Whether you go for ambient lighting to improve accent or opt for task lighting for security, architectural outdoor lighting brings the space’s façade to life. It transforms the way the entire pathway looks.

As exterior lighting often falls under terrain architects’ purview, understanding how outdoor lighting integrates with the building’s more significant site is essential. This understanding helps architects play with dark and light and create an ideal and inspiring space.

It would be best if you established design goals before choosing an outdoor lighting solution. Do you want to identify the main features of the entryway? Or want to accentuate the attributes of the front entrance by adding a little drama? You might want to make an ambient and transparent entrance to your house. Keep in mind that the design goals for architectural lighting will lead you to make an informed decision.

The good news is that both defining artistic features of a structure and improving the building’s overall exterior lighting at the same time is possible. That means by choosing the proper architectural outdoor lighting, you can highlight trees and plantings and improve your pathway’s safety.

You must identify the outdoor spaces that you want to light up. The next step is to understand the fixture types to create a lighting plan. Maintenance and safety are also important things to consider when making a lighting plan.

If it is the first time you’re designing a lighting landscape scheme for your home, the article may help your outdoor spaces attractive, safe, and fictional.

Architectural Outdoor Lighting:

Types of Architectural Outdoor Lighting

Task Lighting

Looking for a lighting solution to performs a specific task?

You need task lighting to brighten up your entrances and help you keep them illuminated purposefully. Invest in deck lighting, outdoor step lights, and pathway lights to achieve this goal. Wet-rated fixtures make an ideal lighting solution for the open, exposed areas. Also, you must buy the light fixtures that come with a specific design to light outdoor spaces.

Architectural Outdoor Task Lighting

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting also referred to as “general lighting,” can illuminate the general outdoor area. Many people use bulbs with high wattage for outside lighting. Although there is nothing wrong with using bright bulbs, they don’t give you that warm and dramatic effect a bulb with lumen output can create.

Remember that lower wattage bulbs keep the outside view subtle and inviting. Generally, they create adequate lighting in the dark. Choose post or wall lights for ambient outdoor lighting as they have a comfortable intensity and brightness. They don’t create a glare and allow you to see everything at night.

Outdoor Ambient Lighting

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting can make any outdoor space visually attractive. It beautifully highlights the entire area by accentuating the features of your pathway. But you need to focus carefully on the particular features you want to identify or highlight, such as doorways, walkways, and landscaping.

Using accent lights can be a smart way to highlight not only architectural details but also planting areas. Spotlights typically are the best choice for accent lighting as they create drama and define tall structures and trees.

Accent Lighting

Architectural Outdoor Lighting Fixtures

Path Lights

This common type of architectural outdoor lighting is typically a small post. Path lights come with a built-in light and a capped diffuser.

The lights are multifunctional, meaning you can use them to illuminate a yard or frame out a particular area. Spread them down the pathway to create an ambiance or place them around a fishpond.

Architectural Outdoor Path Lights

Ceiling Lights And Hanging Lights

As the title suggests, ceiling and hanging lights are also for creating visual interest in the space. They come with a design that integrates into an outdoor space. The featured lighting falls in the category of brighter fixtures.

You must choose ceiling and hanging lights for the spaces where they remain safe from rain and other external elements. Interestingly, hanging lights come with a range of classy styles and levels of brightness. That means you can choose the ones suited best for your outdoor area.

Outdoor Ceiling Lights And Hanging Lights

Wall Lights

You might have seen ambient lighting in front or back porches of many buildings. These are wall lights you can easily mount on vertical surfaces. These are the most sought after architectural outdoor lighting many people love to use for decorative purposes. The accent lighting draws attention to the building’s features and the perfect choice for open spaces like porches and patios.

Outdoor Wall Lighting Fixtures

Post Lights and Pier Mount Lights

The fixtures are mount lights and can be fixed on top of poles and posts. You can install these creatively designed architectural lights to improve brightness and overall ambiance. Whether you install mount lights on gates, entries, decks, or on top of posts, they add to the curb appeal.

Post lights are appropriate for open-air settings such as pathways and driveways. That is why they are wet rated and can withstand exposure to moisture and rain. You can choose Pier Mount lights as they look and radiate the same brightness level as post lights. The lights look stunning on top of walls and columns.

Outdoor Post Lights and Pier Mount Lights

Landscape Lights

Landscape lighting refers to a low volt system, unlike ceiling lighting. You can use the combination of floodlights and spotlights to create layered outdoor lighting. Well, lights are also an excellent option to recess into the ground to give a flawless look to your landscape setting. They can light up the elements like architectural and sculptural details.

Landscape Lights

Safety & Security

When it comes to boosting security, there are multiple options you can use for outdoor lighting. The most crucial aspect of improving safety is to understand your location. You can benefit from the features like motion sensors, Wi-Fi control, and LED lighting when planning a lighting scheme for your outdoor space.

Motion sensor lights, for example, can be an excellent solution to ensure safety. Any movement can trigger the lights and can help you ward off intruders.

Dusk to dawn fixtures is also ideal for saving on your energy bills. They have built-in photo sensors that automatically turn the lights on and off with the sun’s rising and setting.


Unless you don’t determine the scale for your outdoor area, it is difficult to choose a suitable lighting scheme. Simply stated, porch lights will not create the ambiance you want if you install them into an intimate garden.

Similarly, if you choose hanging lights, you need to make sure that your space has enough height to accommodate them. You have to choose ceiling lights that are proportional to the patio’s dimension. For Pier Mount lights, you need space that is 84″ high. Fixture sizes may vary depending on the bulb you choose.


For saving energy, opt for solar-powered and motion-sensor lighting solutions. 75 to 100-watt bulbs are good options for wattage. If there is no glass-shade, choose a 60-watt bulb.

You must select lighting according to your location. For instance, motion sensor lights and wall lights have the design that can withstand rain and wind. On the other hand, hanging lights are for covered patios and may not work correctly if exposed to moisture.


Cost varies depending on the size, type, style of fixtures you choose. To get the right idea of pricing, you must search for various fixtures and their installation charges. You must consider the amount of energy a specific fixture uses and how it will impact your bills’ on-going costs. The fixtures’ durability is another vital consideration as it may add to your outdoor lighting’s overall cost.


The choice is between the line voltage and low voltage as most lights used in outdoor spaces require electricity to illuminate. Fixtures that use low volt light are easier to set up, use less power, and work at 12 volts. However, fixtures using line voltage need 120 volts and may need other things like the conduit to install safely.

Architectural Outdoor Lighting Case Studies

Take a look at these case studies highlighting how architectural outdoor lighting can make a difference in the natural context.

Anaheim Convention Center

Anaheim Convention Center is an exquisite example of how LED lighting for outdoor space can create magic. The project used Hevi Lite’s C01400 with HL 915 fixtures on palm trees around the plaza to revolutionize the entire look.

Anaheim Convention Center Architectural Outdoor Lighting

Restoration Hardware

HL-360 accent lighting fixtures have transformed the look and vibe of this rooftop garden. The West Hollywood garden radiates with grade lights on the surrounding walls and main entrance. You can see how LED lights may elevate the view of sidewalks and pathways.

Restoration Hardware Architectural Outdoor Lighting

Private Residence

This backyard of a Canadian residence has intense yet subtle lighting illuminating from HL-360 accent lights. Brightening the entire space, the outdoor lighting makes the pool and backyard much more appealing and attractive.

Private Residence Architectural Outdoor Lighting

The Bottom Line

Keep in mind the above considerations for the right Architectural Outdoor Lights that match your needs in Residence & Commercials.

Hevi Lite is your one-stop shop for top-quality outdoor lighting products and solutions. In our commitment to helping our clients find the best lighting fixtures for their outdoor spaces, our experienced professional design and manufacture unique lighting products that match the desires and needs of many residents and businesses in the region. Whether you need wall & surface lights, accent lights, sign & post lights, in-grade up lights, or floodlights, rest assured we have any Architectural outdoor lighting product you need to reinvent your home’s or office’s functional and aesthetic appeal. Contact Hevi Lite today at 818-341-8091 or drop us a message here for more information about our products and a personalized, heart-to-heart discussion about your next Architectural Outdoor Lighting project.