December 11, 2020

Outdoor Landscape Lighting Ideas For Your Home

Landscape lighting doesn’t simply make a property look good and increase a home’s curb appeal. Lighting is needed so members of the household and their guests can see their way to and from the house at night. Lighting discourages trespassers and allows the family members and their friends to enjoy the garden, the lawns, the deck, the porch, or the patio at all hours. But even lighting that is just there for safety and security can be designed in a way that makes the property breathtakingly beautiful. Here are some outdoor landscape lighting ideas:

Scapes Inc Landscape shows a photo of landscape lighting.

First Step

Outdoor landscape lighting experts suggest different ways of arranging outdoor lighting depending on if it’s being done mostly for security or nocturnal outdoor entertaining. If lighting is to be set up for safety and security, the homeowner should pretend that they’re a visitor to their property who has never been there before. They should consider any areas that are slip and fall hazards and areas where the material of the ground abruptly changes, as it would if a person went from a grass lawn to a stone pavement.

All potentially hazardous places need to be lit without glare, as glare is itself is a hazard. Ideally, there should be a light or lantern on either side of the front door, and it should be strong enough to illuminate both the front steps and the house number.

Back and side doors can do with one light, though they should be bright enough to illuminate the surrounding area, including steps. If the homeowner is concerned with trespassers, they should consider floodlights that are activated by motion. Driveways should also be well lit.

Pathways and steps need to be lit well enough for people to navigate them easily. Path lights often have shades to ensure that the light is focused on the walkway though others can be adjusted to aim the light into shrubbery or trees. There should also be a light over the garage door.

If the landscape night lighting is meant to facilitate outdoor entertainment and relaxation, experts recommend that the area be lit much like the house is from the inside. There should be general diffuse lighting of the area, more concentrated lighting for activities such as games or dining, and accent lighting for aspects of the landscape the owner wishes to highlight, such as a fountain. They recommend that there should be 3 to 5 watts per square foot of space.

Installing Outdoor Landscape Lights

A homeowner should call on a landscaper to install lights for complex landscape lighting ideas or lighting inside of a pool, a fountain, or other body of water. However, a homeowner with some basic skills can do some simpler things with low voltage lights and transformers/timers.

Lighting fixtures include those that are shaped like boxes, cylinders, or bullets. Other fixtures give off a diffuse light that illuminates a broader area. Other fixtures can be installed in the ground and are also called well lights. They are used to cast light up into trees or shrubbery.

Accent or spotlights are used for a variety of lighting techniques, including uplighting and downlighting.

Wall brackets shed light not only on a wall but on an adjacent path or steps that lead to another area of the property.

Bollard or post lights are also excellent for lighting steps and walkways.

Lighting Techniques

There are different gradations of the three types of lighting. Using them artfully can turn an otherwise ordinary backyard into a scene worthy of a high-end theater production, and it does not need to cost a great deal of money. Some lighting landscape lighting ideas include:


Another outdoor landscape lighting idea is to light the background behind an object such as a tree but to leave the object itself unlit. Another way to silhouette is to beam a light on the object from a light source found in the foreground.

An image of an outdoor lighting project at Scapes Inc.Grazing

In this technique, an object’s textures, such as a tree’s bark or a wall with an interesting masonry pattern, are brought out by a light source parallel with the surface. Wall lights are excellent for this technique of grazing.


Modeling is when the object is struck by light from at least two different directions, which gives it solidity. This is also called cross-lighting. The trick here is not to place the light source too close to the object.


To highlight an item, target it with a strong downlight.


Shadows can be created with a powerful spotlight aimed at the object, much like sunlight.


The moonlight effect on an area can be replicated by a soft, bluish light installed very high above the target area. This type of lighting also casts shadows, though they are soft and complex.

Underwater Lighting

Lights in a swimming pool or fountain can be spectacularly beautiful and add another level of pleasure to swimming or thoroughly enjoying a body of water in a landscape.

Scapes Landscaping OKC has a rich history of bringing high quality landscaping design to the OKC area. We’re known for serving Oklahoma City landscaping clients with the best rated residential landscaping and commercial landscaping services! Be sure to check out our before and after landscaping gallery. Contact us today at 405-376-0505 and request a quote.