Light inspires, creates mood, and promotes ambiance. When the days start growing shorter, you can still enjoy your landscape by adding outdoor yard lighting.

Quickly transform the dark space into a magical escape where you can extend your outdoor enjoyment time regardless of the hour. Nowadays, many outdoor lighting choices let you add color, effects, and targeted beams.

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9 Outdoor Lighting Ideas

If you seek outdoor lighting ideas, consider lamps, string lights, outdoor sconces, step lights, path lighting, wall lighting, or targeted beam lights to create extra visibility in your landscape after the sunsets.

Think about your goals with outdoor lighting. You don’t want your yard to look like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, but you also don’t want to short-change the area. You’ll want to create balance with the lights without overdoing it.

1. Lighting for Safety and Mood

With lighting, often targeting locations is your best bet. Do you have a walkway that you regularly use? Why not use pathway lighting to lead the way through the otherwise dark expanse of your garden? The lighted path will take on an enchanted appearance and provide safety, so you don’t inadvertently stumble in the dark. Outdoor sconces and step lights are other safety options.

Outdoor Lighting for Safety and Mood

2. Capturing the Beauty of Nature

Spotlights are another option to truly capture the beauty of trees, such as statuesque palms, in the ark. The lights cast shadows that show the elegant curves of the specimen while providing just enough light to see without straining. Uplighting trees and lighting trunks from the ground level to showcase the tree’s canopy create very defined and delineated areas in the garden that feel very surreal.

Capturing the Beauty of Nature

3. Light Zones in the Garden

Creating different light zones in the garden is almost like forming a lighted room in a darkened landscape corner. You can define zones or separate areas with the lighting. Place seating in the light zones to form a small ‘room’ that glows.

Outdoor Light Zones in the Garden

4. A Starry Patio

LED spotlights placed in paving or decking will render a starry effect while outlining the patio. The lights are great for safety but let you enjoy your outdoor space when the sunsets. You can also light walls, plants, railings, or other features on the patio.

Outdoor Starry Patio Lighting

5. Showcase Your Garden

Your garden is probably your pride and joy. You can use light to highlight your favorite garden features truly. Use various outdoor lighting techniques such as colors, uplifting, spotlighting, silhouetting, and downlighting.

Outdoor Showcase Your Garden
  • Choose colors: Don’t just stick with white lights but embrace color to make a customized garden lighting experience.
  • Uplighting: Use the lights to not only focus on the garden but also on sculptures or water fountains. Place a single light at the base of the water fountain or sculpture and aim upwards to focus the light beams on the desired area. The lighting technique is referred to as ‘uplighting.
  • Downlighting: Downlighting is another option to place a light high and focus the beam on a downward position. If you opt to use downlighting on a tree, then you’ll create a mottled appearance that is remarkably like a full moon.
  • Backlighting and Silhouetting: The use of backlighting creates silhouettes that appear very 3-D. Some people love backlighting in a garden, but others consider it a little eerie and prefer the lighting at Halloween.

6. Wash Your Home or Outdoor Structures in Light

A lighting technique referred to as ‘washing’ has become very popular in landscapes. You’ll place a light on the top or bottom of a wall. Position the morning, so it softly grazes the wall’s surface. Use colored lights to flow across the surface and create patterns. The effects are stunning without being overpowering.

You might be tempted to highlight hedging in such a fashion, but it always falls short of being stunning. Instead of lighting a hedge, consider uplighting the trees around the edge. The overflow of the light will fall softly onto the hedge without rendering too harsh of an impact.

Wash Your Home or Outdoor Structures in Light

7. Embracing Color

Many people avoid colored outdoor lights because they worry the lighting will look too much like Christmas. However, you can use color string lights in the garden to create a warm and soothing atmosphere year-round. Wide a string of colored lights around a tree or string them across a pergola. You can even pick colored programmable lights that feature color-changing sequences. When using colored lights, use them in moderation for the best impact.

If you have colored surfaces in your yard, you can use soft white lights and focus them on the colored surfaces to enhance the hues instead of using actual colored lights.

Outdoor Embracing Color Lighting

8. Lighting Water

Something is intriguing about water. Whether you have a pool or water fountains, illuminating at night creates a visual impact. Use underwater lights in the collection or opt for waterproof lights that surround the water. If you choose underwater lights, make sure they are either LED, halogen, or fiber optics that are IP rated and waterproof.

You can use fiber-optic lights to make the water come alive and appear to be glowing on water sculptures and fountains. Avoid underwater lighting in ponds, or the roots of live plants and other imperfections will be highlighted—instead, position lights above the water for the best impact.

Position lights so the beams skin across the pool’s surface to create a mirrored illusion that is very dramatic if you have an expansive inground pool.

Outdoor Lighting Wate

9. Creating Visual Interest with Lights

Think about how you can create visual interest in your landscape using lighting. Is there an entrance to a gazebo or perhaps a passway through the shrubs? Showcase them with just enough lights to create wonder and depth.

Creating Visual Interest with Lights

Isn’t it time to embrace 2021 outdoor lighting? The days are growing shorter, and it’s time to illuminate your garden space so you can continue enjoying the area even after sunset. Contact outdoor lighting fixtures experts Hevi Lite to learn more about our many architectural, landscape, and custom lighting choices. We have light choices to meet all your outdoor lighting needs.