The Ultimate Guide To Landscape Lighting: How To Transform Your Outdoor Space

Lighting your home can be a great way to create the mood you want to set, whether it’s romantic or relaxing or modern and sleek. But just lighting up your house isn’t enough: You need to make sure you’re using the right kind of lights in the right places. 

That’s where landscape lighting comes in! Landscape lighting can really take your outdoor space from boring to beautiful in no time plus, it adds security and safety benefits as well.

How to Install Outdoor Landscape Lighting | Ask This Old House
Key Takeaways
– The right landscape lighting can transform your outdoor space into a beautiful and inviting oasis.
– There are several types of landscape lighting to choose from, including accent lighting, path lighting, and underwater lighting.
– Proper placement of landscape lighting fixtures can create depth and dimension in your outdoor space.
– Landscape lighting can improve safety and security around your property.
– Installing landscape lighting can seem daunting, but with the right tools and knowledge, it can be done as a DIY project or with the help of a professional.

Add Architectural Detail

If you have a home with details that are in good condition, or if you’d like to give your house an architectural facelift, then adding new elements can be an excellent way to transform your outdoor space. 

Here are some ideas:

Awnings can provide shade on the deck or patio while also giving it a more finished look. They’re also great for shading windows and doors when they’re open so they don’t get damaged by the sun’s UV rays (this is especially important if you live in an area where there’s snow in winter). 

You’ll find them at most hardware stores or even online through retailers like Wayfair! Just make sure that whatever type of structure you use is made from materials that won’t be affected by weather conditions such as rain and snow metal will last longer than plastic or wood because it doesn’t degrade easily under those conditions.

If you’re looking to add some creative flair to your outdoor space with landscape lighting, the experts at Unifiedscape have got you covered. Check out our guide on 17 Creative Ideas for Landscape Lighting to transform your garden or yard into a beautiful and inviting evening oasis.

Accentuate Water Features

Water features are a great way to add interest to your garden. They can be used to create a focal point and provide movement and flow in the space, as well as create more of an outdoor room feel. 

Water also has a calming effect on us, which makes it perfect for gardens where you want people to relax and unwind at the end of their busy day.

If you’re lucky enough to have some water features already built into your garden, such as ponds or streams, then simply adding lighting will enhance the look even more. 

You can use spotlights under waterfalls so they really stand out or place lights around ponds so that you get light reflected off them into other areas of your garden.

If there isn’t any natural water present in your yard (or it’s all dried up!), then this doesn’t mean that there isn’t still room for creative ways of incorporating this feature into your outdoor space with manmade versions like fountains or pools!

Lighting FixturePurpose
Underwater LightsEnhances the beauty of a water feature and creates a dramatic, reflective effect
Submersible LED LightsProvides a colorful and dynamic lighting element to fountains and ponds
SpotlightsIlluminates the water feature and brings attention to its unique design elements
LED Rope LightsHighlights the edges and borders of a pond or waterfall
Bollard LightsProvides low-level illumination for walkways and paths around a water feature
Fountain LightsAdds a stunning visual element to fountain displays

Note: Water features such as ponds, waterfalls, and fountains can benefit greatly from well-placed lighting fixtures. Not only do these elements accentuate the beauty of the water feature, but they also create stunning visual effects that can add a sense of relaxation and calm to your outdoor space.

Create Depth

You can use lighting to create depth in your landscape. It’s a subtle touch, but it can make all the difference between a well-lit space and an eye-catching one. 

This can be achieved by focusing on the area you want to highlight, or by using indirect lighting (also known as backlighting).

Indirect lighting is like brightening up your room by turning on overhead lights instead of standing next to them when they’re turned off. 

The effect is softer and more ambient than direct light from a spotlight would be making it ideal for creating mystery or romance in your outdoor space.

Make the most out of your outdoor living space by adding beautiful and functional landscape lighting. At Unifiedscape, we’ve compiled a list of Maximize Your Outdoor Living Space with These Landscape Lighting Ideas to help you brighten up your gardens, pathways, and patios in style.

Highlight A Focal Point

To highlight a focal point, you can use lights to create an illusion of depth. This is done by placing lights at different heights around the focal point. You can also use lighting to create a silhouette of your focal point against the background.

Improve Curb Appeal

  • Improve curb appeal by highlighting the front of your home.
  • Add a sign or a large flowerbed that is visible from the street, or use small trees to frame your windows.
  • Pull double duty by adding flowers and plants that can be enjoyed during the day or at night.

Use lighting in innovative ways, like installing solar powered lights along your driveway or walkway so they come on automatically at nightfall. 

You could also add motion sensors to outdoor fixtures such as lanterns, which will turn them on when someone walks past them at night and off again when nobody’s around to see them burning bright all day long! 

If you don’t want any wires showing through your yard, try using wireless options instead–they’re often smaller than traditional models but still just as powerful!

Are you new to landscape lighting and wondering where to start? Fear not! Our comprehensive guide on When to Use Landscape Lighting: A Beginner’s Guide covers all you need to know about the different types of lights, when and where to use them, and how to create the perfect ambiance in your outdoor space.

Add A Decorative Touch

While landscape lighting can be used to illuminate paths and walkways, it’s also a fantastic way to add a decorative touch to your outdoor space. 

You can use lights to highlight a focal point, such as a sculpture or fountain, or you can use them to create a dramatic effect by highlighting an area that would otherwise be dark.

To make the most of your lighting plan, use these four tips:

Highlight the design: Use lighting to draw attention to the various elements of your landscape design and make them stand out from their surroundings in time for evening viewing. For example, light up an arbor or pergola so it looks like it was carved out of marble rather than rustic wood by day; at nightfall its true beauty will be revealed!

Illuminate water features: Water features are some of the most popular additions people choose when designing their outdoor spaces—and they’re also among some of the most stunning when illuminated by landscape lights after dark! 

Using uplighting with low-voltage fixtures will cast beautiful reflections on both still and flowing waters alike while accentuating their natural beauty without distracting from nearby plants or other items that don’t require special attention during daylight hours (such as plants).

Enhance Security And Safety

Lighting is a great tool for enhancing security and safety. Lighting up areas that are difficult to see will make them more visible, which can help prevent crime by making it easier to see trespassers.

A good landscape lighting design can also help create a feeling of safety, which is particularly important for homes with young children or elderly residents. Landscape lighting will illuminate pathways, entrances and windows so that you can see who’s coming from all directions, improving security at home.

Landscape lighting doesn’t just enhance the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space. It can also improve the safety and security of your property. To learn more about the benefits of landscape lighting, check out our guide on 10 Surprising Benefits of Landscape Lighting You Never Knew About.

Extend Entertainment Time

When you’re adding landscape lighting, you want to make sure that it’s functional. You want to be able to see where you’re going and what you’re doing and save yourself the trip back inside when something goes awry with your food or drink.

One of the best ways to do this is by adding lighting to your patio area. Whether it’s a table and chairs, or a lounge space with room for relaxation, having an illuminated patio will enhance your overall outdoor experience.

But that’s not all! Add some extra light near doorways so that when people come in from outside (or vice versa), there’s no risk of stumbling around in the dark and hurting yourself on something like an uneven step or rocky path. 

Also keep in mind walkways between different areas of landscaping—you don’t want anyone tripping over anything unexpected on their way out there! 

Finally, backyard lighting is another great way to extend day-time activities into nighttime fun: whether it’s playing catch with friends under stadium lights or simply enjoying some quality time alone after sunset with gardening tools or just plain old reading material!

Lighting FixturePurpose
Fire PitsProvides warmth and a cozy ambiance during cooler evening gatherings
Outdoor Ceiling FansCirculates air and keeps guests cool during the hot summer months
LED Strip LightsAdds a colorful and dynamic lighting element to decks and patios
Pendant LightsProvides functional and stylish illumination for outdoor dining areas
In-Ground LightsCreates dramatic lighting effects for pathways and garden features
Outdoor HeatersProvides warmth and comfort on chilly evenings

Note: When it comes to extending entertainment time in your outdoor space, consider using a combination of lighting fixtures that provide both functional and aesthetic benefits.

Lighting elements that add warmth and comfort, as well as those that add dynamic and colorful lighting effects, can enhance the overall experience for you and your guests.

Frame The Trees

When you’re lighting trees, one thing to keep in mind is framing. Framing can be visual or physical, and it’s a simple way to use landscaping lights to highlight individual trees.

It’s easy enough to light the surface of a tree, but your goal should be highlighting the shape and bark instead of just painting it with light. There are many ways you can do this:

Use uplights under the canopy of a tree (ideally on its eastern side). The upward-facing lights will emphasize its height and depth. 

You can also use uplights along the sides for greater effects—but keep them far enough away from each other so you don’t end up with dark shadows that make it look like there are holes in your lawn!

Use downlights from above if there are multiple trees growing next to each other; their branches should create interesting patterns across the ground when lit from above!

Installing landscape lighting can seem like an overwhelming task, but don’t worry! At Unifiedscape, we’ve got you covered with a step-by-step guide on How to Install Landscape Lighting Like a Pro. Whether you’re a seasoned DIYer or new to the world of landscaping, our expert tips and tricks will help you achieve professional-looking results at home.

Light The Path

One of the most important aspects of landscape lighting is illuminating the path. A well-lit walkway will not only make your home safer, but also add curb appeal to your outdoor space.

Landscape lighting can do more than just light up the way: it can help you and your guests find their way in the dark, avoid tripping over things, and even add some ambiance during those late-night strolls through the garden.

Improve Your Home’s Value

Whether you’re planning on selling your home or not, one of the best ways to improve its value is by adding landscape lighting. Why? Because people love outdoor spaces with nice lighting! Well-lit outdoor areas are a sign that you care about your property and want it to look good.

Useful tips:

Put up some lights along the side or back of your house that people can see from the street. They’ll be able to tell at first glance that you care about your home, which will help sell it faster and for more money if/when you decide to put it on the market.

Hire an electrician who specializes in exterior lighting installations if you’re unsure how much work goes into setting up a new electrical system for outside lights—and make sure they use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).

Highlight A Play Area

Landscaping lighting helps you create a fun atmosphere that enhances your overall landscape design. You can use different colors of light, different types of lights and even different placement to create a variety of effects.

For example: If you want to highlight an area that kids use regularly, such as a play area or garden shed, then consider using landscape lighting with lower wattage bulbs in shades of blue or purple. 

This will provide both safety and ambiance while creating a fun atmosphere for kids playing outside after dark.

Lighting FixturePurpose
Path LightingGuides children and adults to play area
SpotlightsShines light on play area equipment
String LightsCreates a fun and festive atmosphere for nighttime play
Motion Sensor LightsProvides good visibility when somebody enters play area
Bollard LightsIlluminates borders of play area for heightened safety and visibility
Solar LightsIdeal for those looking for an eco-friendly and cost-effective lighting solution

Note: When it comes to choosing lighting fixtures for a play area, it’s important to prioritize safety and functionality. Consider using bright and focused lights to ensure good visibility and prevent accidents during playtime.


In conclusion, we hope that this guide has helped you understand what landscape lighting is and how it can transform your home’s outdoor space. Whether you need to illuminate an area for security or improve curb appeal, there are many options available in the market today. 

It all comes down to your personal preferences and tastes—and if you have any questions about what would work best for your needs, feel free to reach out! We’re always happy to help!

Further Reading

If you’re looking for more information on landscape lighting design, check out the following resources:

Tips on Design Landscape Lighting: PremierPond offers expert advice on how to design and implement landscape lighting to create a beautiful and functional outdoor space.

Landscape Lighting Guide: Lumens’ comprehensive guide to landscape lighting covers everything from the basics of lighting design to different types of fixtures and styles.

Guide to Landscape Lighting Design: Hampshire Light’s blog post offers insights into the importance of landscape lighting design and how to create a cohesive and stunning lighting scheme for your outdoor space.


What is landscape lighting?

Landscape lighting refers to the use of outdoor lighting fixtures to illuminate and enhance the features of a garden, yard, or outdoor space.

What are the different types of landscape lighting?

There are several types of landscape lighting, including accent lighting, path lighting, up-lights, down-lights, and underwater lighting.

Why should I install landscape lighting?

Landscape lighting can improve the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space, increase safety and security, and provide functional lighting for outdoor activities.

How do I choose the right landscape lighting fixtures?

When choosing landscape lighting fixtures, consider factors such as the size and layout of your outdoor space, the style of your home, and the type of illumination you want to achieve.

Can I install landscape lighting myself?

While some landscape lighting projects can be DIY, it’s always best to consult with a professional to ensure proper installation and safety precautions are taken.