The Best Landscape Lighting Buys for Every Outdoor Space

Highlight your home and garden with help from these must-shop landscape lighting finds.

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April 05, 2022

What do professional photographers, broadcast journalists and landscape architects have in common? Good lighting is everything. Outdoor lighting has the power to accentuate, frame, direct, soften and even command attention depending on the type of feature used. We're here to help you find your best landscape lighting and harness its power to elevate curb appeal and enliven your landscape design.

Smart Evening Glow

Smart Evening Glow

Built-in LED lighting throughout the deck area from the ceiling to the steps creates a warm, soft glow that makes wayfinding easier for guests well after sunset.

Photo by: Robert Peterson, Rustic White

Robert Peterson, Rustic White

There are endless exterior lighting options to consider, and each option provides uniquely tailored results. Whether you want to flood your front yard with light to keep trespassers at bay or hope to minimize trip-induced visits to the emergency room, we've got the outdoor light made for that. Below, get the 411 on the best outdoor spotlights, floodlights, step lights and garden path lights on the market today, plus how to incorporate each outdoor lighting type in your landscape design.

What to Consider When Buying Landscape Lighting

Determine Your Focal Point: Ask yourself what item or area you plan to illuminate with landscape lighting. Are you highlighting a herringbone walkway in your backyard or shining a spotlight on your prized jasmine trellis wall? Different locations and focal points require varied beam spread and light concentrations.

Consider the Direction: Are you casting light up from the ground or down from a tree or wall? Use your answer to this question to select landscape lighting with installation options that align with your needs.

Choose Your Power Source: Are you in the market for low-maintenance, wireless solar-powered lighting? Or are you ready to roll up your sleeves and (read: pay for an electrician to) install hardwired lighting? Low-voltage landscape lighting is a middle-ground option to keep in mind; you can enjoy low-voltage lighting with the help of an outdoor receptacle and transformer.

Outdoor Spotlights

Show off your blooming garden trellis wall or highlight unique architectural features after dark with the help of strategically placed outdoor spotlights. Spotlights cast a narrow beam (measuring ≤ 45 degrees) of light to draw attention to specific focal points in your landscape or hardscape design. Concentrated and covert, spotlights can be staked in the ground for elegant uplighting or secured to walls or trees, shining down on the subject from above.

Spotlights come in various electrical options, including low-voltage and wireless solar-powered lighting. Determine which power option works best for your outdoor space (remember, solar-powered spotlights require plenty of sunlight to shine at night), then shop our outdoor spotlight picks linked below.

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Outdoor Floodlights

Cast a sweeping light on your driveway, yard and patio with a tried-and-true floodlight. Floodlights are like spotlights in that they cast a bright, directed light on a specific location and set themselves apart by the amount of light cast when in use. A standard floodlight emits a beam spread between 45 and 120 degrees to “flood” large areas with light for after-dark entertaining and security.

Floodlights often come with dual heads to point beams in opposing directions and cover as much space as possible. These powerful light features often offer built-in motion sensors that automatically switch off when no movement is detected to save money. Install floodlights on an exterior wall overhead to illuminate otherwise shadowy spaces like a carport, garage, backyard, pool and entry points to the home.

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Outdoor Step Lights

Uneasy about losing your footing on your outdoor stairs? Not on our watch. Make trip hazards are a thing of the past with some outdoor step lights that marry form and function. These hardworking, hardwired light features work overtime, illuminating each step for safety and creating a soft, inviting ambiance to your landscape design.

Step lights are often installed at the center of each stair riser to cast light on each step along the way. Another popular option is installing a pair of step lights parallel to each other on opposite stringers to outline the path with a dreamy, diffused glow. Pro tip: install outdoor step lights along your deck railing for added brightness and safety during alfresco entertaining.

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Deck Lighting Options

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Garden Path Lights

Garden path lights are our go-to outdoor lighting option for outlining flower beds, trimming yard boundaries, and outlining paved walkways. Unlike the more utility-focused fixtures mentioned above, garden path lights offer a unique opportunity to showcase your design style and personality through various silhouettes. A lantern-style garden light will look lovely in traditional landscapes, while mushroom-style lights shine brightest in modern or contemporary settings.

Treat yourself to a set of solar-powered or LED garden path lights below to bring your landscape to life throughout the night. And, yes, we included a bundle with color-changing bulbs for an extra-festive option. You’re welcome!

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