How to Choose Outdoor Lighting

How to Choose Outdoor Lighting

10% Off at Build.com
Use coupon code: 10BUILDHOME    Offer expires 6/30.

Outdoor Lighting Types

Wall Lights

Common Areas:
Front Door, Back Door, Either Side of Garage Door
Lighting Style:
Ambient, Safety
Wall lights are the most traditional option for outdoor lighting to illuminate a porch, driveway or garage area.
Shop All Outdoor Wall Lights

Ceiling Lights

Common Areas:
Porches, Outdoor Sitting Areas
Lighting Style:
Ambient, Task
Consider an alternative to wall lights and go with a ceiling light; this option can also complement wall lights.
Shop All Outdoor Ceiling Lights

Pendant Lights

Common Areas:
Porches, Outdoor Sitting Areas
Lighting Style:
Decorative, Safety
Outdoor pendants have become very popular, especially over front door porch areas.
Shop All Outdoor Pendant Lights

Post Lights

Common Areas:
Either Side of Driveway, Walkways
Lighting Style:
Decorative, Safety
For a statelier look and feel to your landscape, consider post lights for balance and depth.
Shop All Post Lights

Flood Lights

Common Areas:
Top of Garage, Side Yards, Back of House
Lighting Style:
Accent, Safety
For a general lighted area, consider flood lighting; this is one of the best choices for safety and security lighting.
Shop All Floodlights

Landscape Lighting

Common Areas:
Gardens, Decks, Porches
Lighting Style:
Accent, Decorative, Safety
Use landscape lighting to illuminate your walkways for safety and to show off your yard’s design.
Shop All Landscape Lighting
Outdoor Lighting Techniques

Up Lighting

•  Light points up
•  Design lighting
•  Highlights home’s details,
   trees, or any other larger
   structure or plant

Down Lighting

•  Light points down
•  Security or design lighting
•  Illuminates your front door or
   the look of your home

Ambient Lighting

•  Light points in all directions
•  Security or task lighting
•  Works in various areas, but
   especially well near exterior
   entrances

Grazing

•  Light points either up or down
•  Design lighting
•  Light points directly up or
   down on an interesting
    surface, especially a rock or
   brick wall

Silhouetting

•  Light points upward towards
   a wall
•  Design lighting
•  Light directs towards a wall
   behind a large tree or object to
   show off the object’s
   silhouette

Shadowing

•  Light points upwards towards
   a wall
•  Design lighting
•  Light directs towards a wall in
   front of a large tree or object to
   show off the object’s
   silhouette

Moon Lighting

•  Light points up and down
•  Design lighting
•  Light points up and down
   through a tree or natural
   canopy to offer the feel of a
   moonlit night

Spot Lighting

•  Light points either up or down
•  Security and design lighting
•  Meant to illuminate a specific
   feature or area

Sign Lighting

•  Light points either up or down
•  Design lighting
•  Meant to illuminate a sign;
   similar to spot lighting

Walkway Lighting

•  Light points towards
   the ground
•  Security and design lighting
•  Draws attention to a walkway
   and illuminates every step of
   the way for extra security

Path & Spread Lighting

•  Light spreads across
   the ground
•  Security and design lighting
•  Illuminates your paths for
   safety, while also showcasing
   the look and feel of your
   landscape

Step Lighting

•  Light points outward
•  Security lighting
•  Accents stairs or elevated
   steps to ensure safety while
   walking at night

Deck Lighting

•  Light points down
•  Security and task lighting
•  Meant to light up your deck to
   perform tasks at night or to
   illuminate for walking at night

Fountain Lights

•  Light points either
   up or down
•  Design lighting
•  Meant to illuminate a fountain;
   similar to spot lighting

Pond Lights

•  Light points up or sideways
   through water
•  Design lighting
•  Offers an interesting look at
   night as the light casts through
   water
Important Considerations
UL Listed
•  Determines if the light fixture may be installed
   outdoors.
•  UL Damp lights must be covered by an overhang
   of some sort.
•  UL Wet lights may be exposed directly to rain
   and to moderate sprinkler spray.
Note: Before purchasing a light fixture for your home’s exterior, make sure to check if the light is listed for the necessary outdoor conditions.
Dark Sky
•  Eliminates light leakage (also called light pollution)
•  Some communities and parks require Dark Sky
   lighting
•  Protects the night environment to ensure darker
   and starrier skies
Example Fixtures: Wall Lights, Spot Lights that Point Downwards, Path Spread Lights
Photo Cell
•  Turns on light automatically
•  Operates from dusk until dawn
•  No need to turn on the switch
Example Fixtures: Wall Lights, Post Lights, Pendants
Solar Lights
•  Collects sun energy
   throughout the day
•  Converts the energy into light
•  At night more eco-friendly
   option that requires no
   electricity
Example Fixtures: Path Lights
Motion Sensor
•  Turns on when it detects
   motion
•  Turns off automatically after a
   certain amount of time
•  Best option for security
   reasons
Example Fixtures: Flood Lights, Wall Lights

Content from HomeAdvisor partner Build.com

HA Cost Guide Link
ProFinder Image

Get competitive quotes from local pros

Get Started with HA
Ratings and Reviews