Landscape Lighting Tips: Light Up Your Outdoor Space Like a Pro | The Home Lighter, Inc.

Landscape Lighting Tips: Light Up Your Outdoor Space Like a Pro

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Lighting can truly transform how a place looks. If you’ve been looking for a way to improve your home’s aesthetics, look no further. Getting started with lighting is pretty simple. First, figure out how you’d like things to look. Learn about the fundamentals, and apply them to make that dream a reality. The right lighting shouldn’t be hard to find once you’ve done that.

Lighting Basics

When it comes to outdoor lighting, we can break things down into a few concepts. First, we’ve got the quality of the lights. That includes its color as well as its brightness. Next, we can examine how you layer lights to create an aesthetic effect. Finally, we look at the different types of bulbs and how they are used.

Light Quality

Lights vary in their quality. Some of them are brighter than others, and they also come in different colors. Picking the right lights starts by understanding how they’ll look.

A light’s hue refers to its color. Usually, when you are purchasing a bulb, you can find its hue on the box. At the low end, around 1800K, lights appear a reddish color. At the high end, around 7800K, you’ll get a bluish hue.

Intensity or brightness tells us how much light the bulbs produce. On the bulb’s box, look for something called lumens. Lumens are a measurement of the light’s overall brightness. The more lumens it has, the brighter it’ll shine.


Now, we should have a basic understanding of each bulb’s characteristics. How are we going to apply that to your outdoor lighting setup? Generally, lighting is done in several layers. Each layer adds a bit more depth to the whole.

Inside of the home, task lighting lights up things like your desk. Outside, task lighting can help accent a particular feature of your home. Task lighting should be done with smaller bulbs.

Ultimately, accent lighting is all about drawing attention. Let’s say you’ve got a spot where you’d like people to look. Use a brighter bulb to focus people on it. Spotlights are often useful for these purposes.

General or overall lighting is exactly what it sounds like. It provides light for a much wider area. As such, you can use bulbs that are more diffuse.

Combining multiple layers of outdoor lighting tends to produce the best effect. Start with your overall outdoor lighting. Then, move to accent lighting. If everything still looks good, you can progress to task lighting to finish things up.


Shopping for lights can seem a little overwhelming, thanks to all the different bulbs. The type of bulb you use will impact how everything looks in the end. Typically, you’ll find 4 different types of bulbs at the store. These vary in cost and appearance. Selecting the right bulb is all about your needs. Depending on what kind of effect you’d like, certain types of bulbs will perform better.

Incandescent bulbs have been used in landscape lighting for a long time. Most of the time, people describe them as pleasing to the eye. But, compared to other bulbs, these won’t last as long. Plus, they tend to cost a bit more upfront.

Halogen bulbs are great when you need something bright for your landscape lighting. A lot of spotlights use them as a result. Not to mention, they don’t cost as much to keep on.

LEDs have come a long way in the landscape lighting world. Today, you can find them in just about any color you’d like. Plus, they can be super bright. Best of all, they’re super affordable, and they tend to last a long time.

Fluorescent bulbs are available in a wide range of colors. Even better, they don’t cost a lot when you get them at the store. They’ll last longer than some of the other types as well.

Outdoor Lighting Placement

Where you place your landscape lighting is one of the most important decisions. There are a ton of places you can put them. Here are a couple of ideas that should spark your creativity.

Lining the walkways with lights makes them easy to see. Plus, when it’s dark outside, they’ll draw a lot of attention.

Accent the entries of your home with some lights. We’d suggest using a warmer hue of light for this. Those tend to have more of a calming effect.

Are your windows somewhere you’d like people to look? If so, put some task lighting on them.

Stairs or Steps:
Shining a little light on stairs is also a great idea. Not only will they look great, but it’ll make using them safer as well.

Architectural features are a common spot for people to focus their lights, especially with nicer homes. Anything that makes your home unique would be a spot to shine some light.

String some led strips up underneath the porch. Or, you could install some light poles on top of it. Porch lighting lets you use the porch even when it’s dark.

Gazebos and pergolas are also great places for some landscape lighting. You could put them on the ground, and shine them up at the feature. Or, you can hang them from up top. Functionality should always be a priority. That way, people can use them at night.

Outdoor Lighting Tips and Tricks

Setting up a bunch of random lights doesn’t always work out the way you’d like. So, are there any special tricks that you can use? Consider the following factors whenever you install any new lights.

Directional Lighting:
Which direction will the light be shining? Most of the time, people place their lights near the ceiling. However, by putting them in the ground, you’ll get a totally different effect. Experiment with different directions to see what looks best.

Another problem a lot of people encounter is light pollution. Layering lights can seem problematic without any shielding. Shielding lets you focus the lights where you want them.

Finally, don’t forget about that electricity bill. Leaving your lights on all the time can really add up. We’d say that you should connect your landscape lighting to a timer. By automating them, you won’t have to spend nearly as much. Plus, they’ll turn on all by themselves.

The Best Landscape Lighting Store in Santa Cruz CA

If you’d like to learn more, check out The Home Lighter, Inc. in Pacific Grove. They’ve been installing outdoor lighting for years. You’ll find whatever you need there.