How To Plan Exterior Lighting Designs For Your Home

exterior lighting design

That being said, it certainly is not enough to simply put some lights out in the yard and hope for the best.

What you want is a comprehensive, professional exterior lighting design which will maximize the look and function. So let us discuss some of the different ways that proper lighting design truly affects the functionality of your landscape lights. When planning your lighting layout, make sure to take advantage of all angles of light available to you. (Yes, that includes downlights!) Lighting that hits an object from an angle or direction that hits the target (and blends properly with surrounding landscape features) will make the yard appear wider and brighter than it really is.

Properly Implemented

Properly implemented, proper landscape lighting can also minimize or eliminate the shadows created by architectural structures. It is particularly important for architects to use proper lighting patterns, such as using varying levels of illumination for different architectural styles. A common mistake among amateur designers is not planning out lighting before the construction is complete, and so they don’t realize how important it is to make architectural elements compatible with their landscape lighting. You can avoid this by thoroughly planning your lighting scheme long in advance.

One other thing to consider is that it certainly makes sense to work with an experienced electrician who has experience installing both low-voltage and high-voltage landscape lighting systems. (Even though you’ll be paying a little more for these specialty systems, in the long run you’ll be saving money on installation labor and unnecessary repairs.) An electrician will also know where the best places are to install strategically placed lights, where underground wires will lead, and which outdoor lighting fixtures are the most efficient for the area. A good landscape electrician will also be able to coordinate with you when it comes to finding the right place to position the most lights in order to give the most light at the desired areas.

Exterior Lighting Designs

A large stone statue in front of a building

When choosing exterior lighting designs for your house, one of the biggest mistakes many homeowners make is not considering placement of their lights for aesthetic appeal. Yes, you want the lights to provide you with adequate lighting for safety and visibility, but you also want the lights to blend in and enhance your landscaping. In doing so, the lights won’t be overwhelming and cause negative effects to your home’s overall appearance. To accomplish this, find a spot where you want to install your lights without overpowering the area.

One easy way to blend with the architecture of your house with your outdoor lighting design is by picking up a few landscape lighting fixtures to accent your front or backyard decks, porches, or other areas of your landscaping. Choose fixtures that are similar in size, color, and material, making it easier for you to blend them in with your landscape. If you’re working with an odd shape or structure, such as a stump or tree, consider using a fixture that doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb. Or, if the yard or structure is unusually shaped, try selecting a style that has the most unique shapes or architectural features. You can even find pre-made outdoor lighting fixtures that have been specifically designed for certain architectural shapes.

The Greatest Safety

The final part of the exterior lighting design you’ll create with these tips is making sure the lights are well placed so they can provide you with the greatest safety while also enhancing your outdoor space. Landscape electricians can also help you with this task, showing you how to place lights in the most beneficial areas.

While landscape lighting is a relatively inexpensive way to provide natural illumination for your home and property, not all homeowners are comfortable installing the lights themselves. If you have a handy homeowner with a steady hand, there are plenty of options in the marketplace where landscape architects can help you design the perfect light for your home and yard.


Another thing to consider when planning your exterior lighting design is the practical aspects of light. Outdoor lighting allows you to see around corners and into areas that otherwise might be hidden, such as under overhangs or bushes. The most basic forms of lighting are often used for decorative purposes, but they can also provide many other purposes that you might not have thought of. For example, spotlights are excellent for illuminating a larger area, such as an entire garden or lake. And, accent lighting can be used to create mood lighting, illuminating a landscape or patio in a specific manner that helps you relax or enjoy the area.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter