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Types of Outdoor Lighting

Creating an amazing outdoor experience can only start one way; with a well-thought-out plan. Unfortunately, most outdoor lighting is an afterthought or side hustle for a sprinkler company or landscaper. These companies go to their local supply house and sell whatever product they can get over the counter. Usually, they install a “package” of eight to twelve lights (Maybe with a timer if you’re lucky!), and they ride off into the sunset, never to be heard from again. This technically gives you some lighting, but it won’t give you the breathtaking outdoor space you were probably dreaming of.

Real lighting design requires time and an understanding of your home and family. Where do you like to spend your evenings? Are there trouble spots you can’t see on the way into the house? What tree becomes so scary your children won’t ever go into the backyard past sunset? These are all things that need to be taken into account, and this information, combined with a good sense of design and breadth of fixture options, is instrumental in bringing your vision to life. You don’t have to be an expert on beam spread, diodes, color temperatures, or automation, but it’s our job to show you what’s possible.

With that in mind, this article will cover the basic types of lights used in outdoor lighting design and show you a few examples of their application. Lighting design is more than just picking out a few fixtures and hoping for the best. It’s an art form that requires creativity, an understanding of your environment, and attention to detail. The right mix of lights can turn even the most ordinary outdoor space into something extraordinary. The possibilities are endless, whether highlighting your garden, creating an inviting entryway, or creating a safe path for your children to play in.

Types of Landscape Lighting Fixtures:

Path Lights

P3 Path Light Ssa 2
Modern Pathlight

As their name suggests, path lights are designed to light up walkways, driveways, and garden paths, providing a safe, obstacle-free route for your family and visitors. These fixtures are typically low to the ground and project light downwards to illuminate a specific area. But don’t just consider function; path lights can be just as much a part of your landscape design as your plants or patio furniture.

Whether antique-style lanterns or sleek, modern designs, there’s a path light style to suit every home.



Spotlights are the workhorses of outdoor lighting design. They’re used to highlight the key features of your outdoor space, such as architectural elements, statues, or trees. Spotlights provide a focused beam of light, drawing attention to the areas you want to emphasize.

Consider an upward-facing spotlight to accentuate a tall, majestic tree or a series of spotlights to showcase your home’s facade.


Where spotlights provide focused beams, floodlights emit a wider angle of light to cover larger areas. These are great for security purposes or illuminating vast expanses of your garden. Floodlights can help deter potential intruders and illuminate playing fields or large entertainment areas.

Wall and Step Lights

Wall and step lights serve both functional and aesthetic purposes. They offer an effective solution for illuminating staircases, decks, and patios, ensuring safety while adding a warm, welcoming glow to your outdoor space. Recessed step lights can be subtly integrated into your hardscape design, while wall lights can range from modern, minimalist designs to traditional lantern styles.

Garden and Landscape Accent Lights

Consider incorporating garden and landscape accent lights to create a truly magical outdoor experience. These lights can be tucked amidst plants or hidden along borders to highlight your landscape’s textures and shapes. Subtle, low-voltage lights can reveal the colors and forms of your plants, making your garden come alive at night.

In conclusion, creating an amazing outdoor lighting experience is about more than just installing a couple of fixtures; it’s about understanding your space, addressing your needs, and crafting a design that illuminates and accentuates your home’s unique features. By choosing the right mix of lighting types, you can transform your outdoor space into a welcoming, visually stunning extension of your home. The outdoor lighting design journey may require time and attention to detail, but the results will be well worth the effort.