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  solar light icon   Landscape Lighting Ideas - For Home and Garden

When it Comes to Landscape Lighting ideas, the Possibilities are Endless! 

Make your landscape lighting installation as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be.  You are limited only by your personal preferences, size, and shape of your landscape, and your budget. With the right lighting techniques and fixtures, a little design creativity, and some common sense, you will enjoy your beautiful landscaping after dusk and well into the night!



Landscape Lighting - Sometimes Less is More

When planning your lighting layout, you might be tempted to put in many lights throughout your grounds, but this not the best approach in most cases.  Keep in mind the general rule that “less is more.”  The object is to have a tastefully lit landscape at night that accents and highlights selected features - not a garish light show that calls attention to the light source itself.

For the best lighting results, use light sparingly in strategically placed locations. Watch out for the dreaded “runway” effect that occurs by placing too many lights along walkways, driveways, and borders.

Some Common Lighting Techniques


Uplighting TreeOne common landscape lighting method is uplighting.

To achieve an uplighting effect, a fixture such as a bullet or ground mounted well type light is projected upward to focus light on specific objects and plants in the landscape area. Objects that can benefit from uplighting include trees, arbors, gazebos, shrubs, and other plants that stand above the general landscaping plane.

For example, you can place a light behind a large shrub to highlight the branches for a dramatic illuminating effect. Put lights within groups of shrubs. Highlight ornamental grasses such as pampas or zebra grass.

Another great outdoor lighting idea is to uplight your water fountains, ponds, and other water features by placing submergible lights in the water. Use colored lights to provide a unique accent to your water feature.

Use your imagination for any number of other ways you can use uplighting to illuminate your landscaping.


Downlighting TreeDownlighting is a lighting technique that can create unique and dramatic lighting effects.

Place a spotlight or floodlight in a tree, on a pole, or a wall, and project the beam of light downward to simulate natural light in a moonlight type of effect. Use downlighting to illuminate areas such as pedestrian paths, flower beds, entry doors, handrails, fences, garage doors, or driveways. Shield or hide the light fixtures from view so the observer cannot see the light source.  

In addition, downlighting can also be used to provide general area lighting for safety and security. These are just a few ideas you can use for downlighting. Use your creative imagination to think of other ways you can use downlighting in your landscape area.

Backlighting/Silhouette Lighting

Backlighting effectBacklighting or silhouette lighting is a technique that utilizes wash light fixtures to illuminate a background such as a wall.

Light fixtures are placed between the wall and another object, which causes the object in front of the lighting to appear as a dark shape or silhouette. You can use backlighting to highlight architectural features such as walls, trellises, columns, doorways, or arches. Place the light below the feature to flood it with light in the evening.

You can also use lights at the base of columns, fence posts, corners buildings, gazebo, pergola or other landscape features.

Shadow Lighting

Shadow LightingShadow lighting, or shadowing, is an aptly named lighting technique that creates an eye-catching shadow effect.

This technique utilizes a bullet or a well light fixture in front of an object to cast a shadow of the object onto a wall or side of a building or other structure. Shadow lighting is often most effective when there is a large, open area behind the object you wish to light.  

Placing the light closer to the object increases the throw of the shadow pattern; moving the light further back decreases the shadow's throw

Path Lighting

Path Lighting

Path or walkway lighting adds a measure of aesthetic appeal and safety to your landscaping.

The path lighting technique uses taller path or spread light fixtures to create pools of light along a walkway or in garden beds. An illuminated path highlights its immediate surroundings, like planters of flowers, decorative shrubs or trees.


Moon Lighting

Moonlighting EffectMoonlighting is an attractive landscape lighting effect that can greatly enhance your landscape at night. 

The object of moon lighting is to create a gentle moon glow type of lighting effect on the flowers, trees, walls walkways and other features. To achieve the moonlighting effect, conceal the light source behind shrubs, tree branches or other foliage. The lighting fixtures should essentially disappear when you turn the lights on, unless the light fixture is a decorative element in itself.

Place a light fixture on a tree or shrub high above the ground, and then aimed down to simulate the light of the moon gently filtering through the branches.  With the use of mature trees, one can add this type of moonlight illumination from above to different areas of the landscape to great effect. 


Spotlighting for LandscapeSpotlights are also an excellent type of landscape lighting technique that can greatly enhance the overall look of the outdoor area.

Landscape spotlights are often staked in the ground and are used for highlighting, spotlighting, shadowing and uplighting purposes. Use spotlights to throw light onto the house, a wall, or other prominence, as well as through the trees and other higher features in the garden. Place the light in a position that shines fully on the focal point and minimizes glare and wash-out effect.

You may want to try different colored filters with the spotlights, as they can make a big difference in the way that everything looks. Colors such as blue, yellow and red can go far in bringing out the natural color of plant foliage, hidden characteristics of wood in tree trunks, branches and limbs, and other things you want to highlight.


FloodlightingFloodlights are similar to spotlights, but project a wider beam, which makes them perfect for projecting a broad, even spread of lighting across a wide area.

Exterior floodlights are commonly placed above garage doors, sheds, patios and entryways. Floodlights can be used to light up a deck, work site, play area, or to highlight a unique feature of your landscape or home.

Floodlights can also serve as security lights to increase the safety and security of your home. This can be done in a couple of ways:

1. By using motion sensors that turn them on when someone passes in front of the sensor.

2. By using an interior switch that can turn on the floodlights when needed.


Types of Lighting Fixtures

Landscape lighting fixtures are available in many different shapes, colors, and finishes, perfect for just about any type of landscape theme you may have. For a quick solution, you can even buy landscape lighting kits with all of the components ready to install in a pre-assembled package.

Lights generally come in low voltage (12v), or high or line voltage (120v) configurations. Low voltage lighting systems require a transformer to convert the electricity from 120 volts to 12 volts, and are generally safe and easily installed by the average homeowner. High voltage lighting on the other hand, uses regular household line level current, which is potentially hazardous for the novice, and should be installed by a licensed lighting professional or electrician.

Here are some of the basic types of lamps commonly used to illuminate outdoor areas today.

Bullet Light - Brass

Bullet Lights

Bullet lights are ground or surface mounted fixtures that are often in flower and shrub beds. They are easy to position and aim at selected objects, which makes them useful for lighting techniques such as uplighting, downlighting, backlighting, and shadowing.


You Can Find More Bullet Lights Here 



Well Light

Well Lights

Well Lights, also known as inground or recessed lights, are buried in lawns or other ground areas where recessed lighting is desired. Well lights are typically used for uplighting selected objects, backlighting effects, and wall washing.


 Browse Our Selection of Well Lights Here



Path Lights - Copper

Path Lights

Path Lights or Walkway Lights, are ground mounted fixtures that are used to provide safety path lighting along walkways and paths, and to highlight annual color and specimen plants in flower beds. The size of the fixtures needs to be in proportion to the plants surrounding the lights. The spread of the light is dependent on the height of the fixtures.


Browse Our Selection of  Path Lights Here 


Wall Wash Light - Malibu

 Wall Wash Lights

Wash Lights are ground mounted fixtures that shine light in a wide spread. Wash light fixtures are ideal for lighting walls, signs and other flat surfaces, and can be used for both backlighting and shadowing effects.


Browse Our Selection of  Wall Wash Lights Here

Be sure to check out this huge selection of Landscape Lights for your landscaping (All products fulfilled by Amazon.com)

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 Landscape Lighting Ideas