Outdoor Landscape Lighting Tips

by Scott Young

Outdoor Landscape Lighting Decor

Do you often find the festive season creeping up on you? We know it can be difficult when your clients ask for inspiring landscape lighting tips and tricks or how to set up and install lighting features

Optimal lighting can help highlight essential features in outdoor settings, create an inviting atmosphere, and even help showcase specific architectural or decorative accents in a corporate environment or a client’s backyard.

If you’re looking for ideas on where to place your lighting to create the best effect, this article looks at outdoor landscape lighting tips, what to know about outdoor lighting, where to put your lights, and how to have them make a statement. 

What To Know Before Getting Started

Lighting has various degrees of intensity, color, and quantity emitted. These factors will affect the mood and style of lighting you choose to set up:

  • Color: When it comes to color, check what the kelvin is. If you’re looking for warm lighting, 1800K offers a red tone. As the number climbs higher, you’ll get to a bluish-white at 7500K.
  • Function: There are three main functions of lighting. General lighting will ensure the whole space is lit. Accent lighting will draw attention to a specific area or feature. Task lighting gets a job done, for example, lighting a path.
  • Types of bulbs: LED lights are an excellent way to go. Although more pricey upfront, the bulb costs are low, their lifespans are long, and their energy consumption is also low. Fluorescent bulbs also have a good lifespan and low energy usage and offer an interesting color range.
  • Wet rating: Ensure the lights you choose have a wet rating and are able to handle rain or splashes of water.

Where To Place Your Outdoor Lights

Backyard outdoor lights

With many lights available, you can get creative with the placement of your lighting. A helpful tip is to group only a few light fixtures in one place. Instead, be strategic with your placement to draw attention to a mood rather than the lights themselves. 

Here are a few ideas to note:


A well-lit path is a perfect way to welcome guests to an event. Not only does it offer helpful illumination for walking outdoors at night, but it will also set the tone for the event. These lights will need to be angled or a downlight to prevent any glare for guests. You can use anything from floating lanterns and LED tubes to lit pavers and fairy lights.


Lighting on entry can be anything from fun, colorful, and festive lights to mirror the season or event to overhead hanging lights for a more traditional feel. You can also place the lights at the side of each door but don’t forget to light the secondary entrance ways, too.


If the landscaped area has steps, it’s vital to ensure they are well lit. You can choose whether to light the risers or the treads.

Entertainment area

If your client needs the main outdoor entertainment area to be illuminated, uplighting is a great way to offer indirect lighting. Uplighting of a deck overhang or an umbrella will have this effect. Of course, if there’s an outside kitchen and seating area, these should also be well-lit for guests. 

Feature elements

Suppose the landscaped garden has a feature element, such as a trellis, gazebo, or architectural element. In that case, lighting is a great way to draw attention to this statement area and make it welcoming as an extra space for entertaining.

How To Make A Statement With Lighting

Entertainment area lights decor

Here we look at a few landscape lighting basics that will help you create your desired effects:


Place a light at the base of a feature, like a tree or a wall. By varying the distance and angle of the light, you can create exciting lighting designs that will suit the overall look and feel you want to attain.

Silhouettes and Shadows

By placing a spotlight behind a feature and aiming it at an adjacent wall, you can create a silhouetted backdrop that’s lit up. This will offer up unique outlines of the landscape features against the wall. With shadowing, the aim is to have softer shadows and even offer some movement, like illuminating trees. 


Using a wide-angled flood light and perhaps even set at a sideways angle, your lighting can wash a wall in a soft, even glow. You’ll need the light a few feet away as well. Wall washing creates a subtle ambient light for the area rather than a direct light. 

Up and Down Lighting

Uplighting is a bolder version of wall washing by placing the spotlights closer to the wall or fixture you want to illuminate. Down lighting is a great way to offer brighter light when needed. These lights can be placed anywhere from the patio roofing and eaves to a trellis or tree. Place the lights up high to illuminate a large area and much lower for a more specific focus, such as on a path. 


Moonlighting is the perfect way to create the effect of moonlight through tree branches. It offers a great sense of natural light with a very romantic feel. You can get this effect by placing a prominent fixture with a full glare guard inside the tree and angled downward. 

Get The Best Outdoor Lighting With Certified Lights

outdoor logo lights

Certified Lights is ready to help you find high-quality, commercial-grade lighting at competitive prices. Whether you are a large commercial installer or a DIYer, we offer a seamless online shopping experience with the best value in ambient and decorative lighting for all seasons and occasions.

Create an account to receive exclusive wholesale pricing, discounts, and comprehensive training resources. It’s an easy way to purchase the landscape lighting basics you need for your next big project. It’s as simple as clicking here and filling out our form. 

If you have any questions or need assistance with outdoor landscape lighting tips, feel free to contact us directly.

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