Outdoor Lighting Brightens Up

More choices abound in lighting up your home's outdoor areas.
Elegant Traditional Entryway

Elegant Traditional Entryway

Front door of house with lights at night

Photo by: Siri Stafford

Siri Stafford

By: Marcia Jedd

Safety is a key reason to install an outdoor lighting system, but more and more, aesthetics are sparking market demand. Here are four main kinds of outdoor lighting to get exactly the outdoor lighting effects you want:

  • Uplighting: Fixtures aimed upward for accent and drama
  • Downlighting: Safety-oriented; used to illuminate large areas or define a pathway
  • Zonal lighting: Highlighting individual objects and plants
  • Moonlighting: A natural effect, evoking light cast by a full moon. Fixtures are often mounted in trees; mix of uplighting and downlighting.

As outdoor lighting has become more important to homeowners, new products and even new design "rules" have emerged:

  • Know what you want; thousands of fixture styles and a broad range of illuminations are available today.
  • Remember that natural looking, less intrusive fixtures are in. Think soft bronzes and refined styling.
  • Hide fixtures so they’re not visible during the day; rocks and plants help.
  • Leave coils of wire around fixtures so lighting can be adjustable and flexible.
  • Find a focal point such as a path or a beautiful tree to highlight.
  • Space walkway lights 5 to 8 feet apart.
  • Be sure buried wiring is protected from chewing animals.

The days of floodlights on the corners of the home are gone. With all the choices available and decisions to be made, consider tapping into the expertise of a landscape architect, lighting designer or other lighting specialists to make a big impact for relatively little money. And with their help, the job will be safe and professional.

Next Up

10 Ways to Amp Up Your Outdoor Space With String Lights

Light up your outdoor space with party-perfect decor.

Low-Voltage and Solar Lighting

Learn more about low-voltage and solar lighting fixtures to incorporate when you're remodeling your home on HGTV.com.

Ways to Light Your Outdoor Entryway

Lanterns, sidelights and transom windows are a few choices to illuminate your exterior.

Outdoor Landscape Lighting

With carefully placed outdoor lights, you can enjoy the ambiance of your garden into the evening.

Outdoor Living Spaces: Ideas for Outdoor Rooms

Learn about options and ideas for outdoor rooms and outdoor living spaces.

Lighting up the Night Landscape

New concepts are spurring lighting for all types of projects.

Outdoor Lighting Ideas and Options

Grab some great hints for illuminating your outdoor space with these outdoor lighting ideas and options.

Outdoor Rooms Add Livable Space

Spend less money on vacations and more time with friends and family on your deck or patio.

How to Choose Solar Lights

Keep your garden bright and beautiful after the sun goes down.

Outdoor Kitchen Lighting Ideas

Outdoor kitchen lighting affects everything from food preparation to mosquito control and is an important part of the design and performance of any outdoor kitchen.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.