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Light Up the Night: The Different Types of Landscape Lighting, Explained

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Around 300,000 homes that are built every year feature outdoor spaces, like patios and porches.

If your home has outdoor space, you may find yourself wondering how to improve the outside of your home. One great way to do it is by taking advantage of the different types of landscape lighting.

The types of landscape lighting can be defined by their shape and function. Each combination of different shapes, functions, and placement is thus given a different name.

Let’s explore the various types of landscape lighting that you may find appealing for your home.


1. Garden Lights

When it comes to the benefits of landscape lighting, no area of your property can benefit as much as the garden. Garden lights can brighten up any space, and they draw attention to the beauty of your garden even at night.

Garden lights are built with viewing in mind. This is why many of them have a light shield or “lampshade” structure. This allows the light to pass freely from the fixture and onto the garden without being too bright to look at.

With garden lights, you can highlight aspects of your garden that you are proud of. People notice this kind of accent lighting, and it stands out even more at night. Highlight your garden so that guests can be amazed at the beauty it possesses, even during the darkest parts of the evening.


(Image credit: John Cullen Lighting)Light Up the Night: The Different Types of Landscape Lighting, Explained


2. Bollard Lights

If you have a sidewalk or path leading to your home, bollard lights could be what you need. Unlike most lights used in landscape lighting, bollard lights are great for paths and walks, as they shine in all directions. This allows people to see the path that is before them.

Bollard lights are often sunk into the ground so that they remain well below eye level. This prevents the brightness of the lights from disturbing the vision of guests and family. Since bollard lights don’t have shades, this is an important consideration when installing them.

Not only can bollard lights make your exterior paths more appealing, but they can also make them safer. Instead of stumbling around in the dark, or trying to use a far-off porch light, your guests will be able to easily see the path. This can help prevent slips and trips.

3. Embedded Step Lights 

Speaking of beauty and safety, embedded step lights are an excellent choice for anyone who has a deck or stairs on the outside of their house. One of the most durable and functional landscape lighting fixtures, step lights can both illuminate the beauty of your stairs and help people prevent trips.

Step lights are often anchored in the step and illuminate the step below them. This prevents the light from disturbing or distracting whoever is walking on the steps. This helps to increase their usefulness and reduce the chance they could cause an accident.

Often step lights are also soft light, serving to accentuate more than reveal. A landscape lighting designer may even use these lights to weave together a beautiful narrative. This can lend a sense of mystery and modern beauty to your outside patio, deck, or area.

4. Spotlights 

While soft accent light can be used in many places, sometimes you need something stronger. That is where spotlights come in, they illuminate entire areas of a house or yard. They also serve to banish darkness from corners and other places, thus enhancing security.

Spotlights are among the oldest landscape lighting ideas and have been used in both residential and professional landscaping for decades. Not only do they provide security, but they can draw the eye of a guest or passer-by to what you want them to see.

With modern LED lighting, spotlights are far less dangerous than they have been in the past. It used to be that the high-powered light could become a fire hazard, or would apply a heavy extra load to your energy bills. This is no longer the case, they are safe, cheap, and energy-efficient.

5. Uplights and Downlights 

Uplights and downlights are beautiful additions to any lighting scheme and landscaping effort. They encase light up or down, hence the name, and can be used to provide exceptional mood lighting. The uplighting is also very effective at removing shadows from objects or pieces of interest.

Using a combination of up and down lighting can also be very attractive, improving any yard or landscaping. This can give the landscaping an otherworldly feel, or create a curated journey through your yard. A lot depends on the versatility and options you need from your outdoor lighting.


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6. Floodlights 

As the name implies, these lights produce a large amount of diffuse light. Often you’ll see floodlights used to illuminate entire patios or corners of a house. This is done for both convenience and security, as the wide illumination removes any shadows from the area.

Floodlights often set above the area they illuminate, much like a street light. This lighting choice does provide a great overall illumination of a home’s landscaping. If you don’t have a specific need, but want a lit exterior area, floodlights are among the best and cheapest solutions available.

Floodlights can be used on the ground, though it isn’t as common. This provides a large area of illumination for special objects, like flags or even the front of a house. Either way, you will find that floodlights can act as a sort of jack of all trades when it comes to outdoor lighting.


There Are Many Types of Landscape Lighting to Choose From

In the end, the most important thing about your outdoor landscape lighting is that you are happy with the results. There are even more types of landscape lighting to choose from, but hopefully, this guide will give you an idea of the most common options.

If you enjoyed this article, take some time to look around the link provided. You may find what you’re looking for by exploring the exciting world of outdoor lights.

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