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A Complete Guide To Exterior Lighting

As proud homeowners, we know you all put a lot of pride into your homes. From the roses you prune to the lawn you mow, your pride is a visible thing – except when the sun goes down.

What’s been keeping you from showing off your beautiful home in the dark hours? We have a hunch it might have something to do with the outdoor lighting ideas and process for implementing them. So, to you, this may sound like a big hassle with choosing ideas, their implementation, and unexpected costs.

Choosing the right lighting as well as using them in a customized way is not easy with so many choices on the market. However, it is important to understand that exterior lighting is an integral part of any home and affects the overall look of a house, which most homeowners are not aware of. Also, it not only creates a beautiful and illuminated atmosphere outdoors but also provides much-needed safety.

k shaped wall lighting

Choose The Best Exterior Lighting

If you want to bring your home to life at night with beautiful landscape lighting, do not let your concerns about installation stop you. From creating a welcoming front entryway to lighting up the backyard soirees, so, here is a complete exterior lighting guide about creating a perfect outdoor lighting scheme.

Types Of Exterior Lighting

1. Task Lighting

It is best to start with task lighting to illuminate pathways as well as entrances. Task lighting is essential for performing some particular tasks like safety. This type of outdoor lighting can be pathway lights, patio lights, and outdoor footlights. If your light fixture is going to be exposed to the weather elements like rain or storms, make sure you purchase one with weather protection having an IP65 rating. Also, always make sure that the exterior light fixture is specifically labeled as outdoor lighting.

Just in case you don’t have any knowledge about IP ratings, you can read our blog which has given complete detailed info about the IP ratings.

motion sensor lights for pathways

2. Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting provides an area with general outdoor lighting. A common mistake is to use a light that is too bright outdoors. The bulb with a lower watt or lumen rating is usually adequate in the dark. These are usually outdoor wall lights or post lights. This type of lighting is also known as general lighting. It emits a comfortable level of brightness without being blinding, allowing you to see and walk safely.

3. Accent Lighting

Accent lighting adds drama to any exterior area by creating visual interest. Take time to plan and align lighting for specific areas like pathways, entry doors, landscaping. You can highlight trees, planting areas, and other architectural details. This type of lighting is usually created by spotlights. Here you can use uplighting to highlight a taller building, structure, or tree.

Basic Styles Of Outdoor Lighting

Proper lighting is an essential element of any home. It can transform a dark and dingy ambiance into a cozy and inviting one with just the flick of a button. Here we have rounded up a few best styles including, decorative, wall, security, landscape, and portable to light up your home exteriors.

1. Decorative Outdoor Lighting

Decorative outdoor lighting is not just for evening soirees. Thanks to a wave of advances, everything from plain old porch lanterns to string lights now look better than ever. Outdoor led lights, pendant lights and wall sconces go far beyond the boring old lamps of the past, adding real style to your outdoor space while providing safety for your home. Overhead lights are the go-to choice in most homes when it comes to ambient lighting. Whatever your style, there’s sure to be an outdoor light to match. You’ll find moisture-resistant as well as wet-resistant models that hang securely from lattices and tree branches and work in every weather.

led garden spike lights

2. Outdoor Wall Lighting

Aside from the look of the fixture itself, what outdoor lighting can do with light is impressive. These lights can do wonders, from being the perfect porch light and illuminating the walls with up & downlights to showcase your home. Whether you have intricate exterior textures or not, these lights enhance the look of your home and increase the safety factor when installed around the house.

exterior wall lighting

Perhaps the most popular type of outdoor lighting is the wall lights. These lights can be installed anywhere there is a wall and wiring. Some provide ambient light, others more directional light; there is a wide range of options that can blend into the exterior of your home. Most outdoor wall lights are designed to withstand severe weather.

3. Security Lighting

Some areas of your home require outdoor lighting for safety, such as floodlights, recessed lighting, landscape lighting, and solar lighting. Areas such as a driveway, garage, patio, stairs, and decks, as well as pathways and other certain areas of your house including the backyard, need to be adequately lit.

street lighting for security purposes

4. Landscape Lighting

Landscape lighting is possibly the most technical of all outdoor lighting solutions. It usually requires more attention to design, planning, and installation than any other lighting style. Many homeowners secure the services of professionals to install architectural and landscape lighting.

5. Portable Lighting

Portable lights can illuminate surroundings and accents, giving you the flexibility to put the light where you want it. They expand your space because they can be taken anywhere to get your guests in the party mood or create a perfect backyard retreat for you. These lights are available in a variety of styles to complement your exterior style and design. From small & simple to large & gorgeous, portable lights offer designs that everyone can love.

Some Other Factors To Consider

As LED lights manufacturers come up with advanced fixtures and lighting options, homeowners are left with so many choices and things to consider. Style, Cost, Material, and Energy Efficiency are some of the factors you can consider when incorporating them into your home.

1. Style

Choosing a lighting style depends on the architecture of your home and your personal preferences. There are a variety of styles and designs ranging from ultra-sleek and modern to rustic and contemporary classics.

2. Cost

Higher cost or budget constraints can have a huge influence on the outdoor lighting design and planning of your home. There are many types and styles of outdoor lighting available. So, the pricing for different options is highly varied. So before starting, go for a well-planned budget that can fit into your execution process.

3. Material

Different materials affect the look of your lighting, but they can also have different benefits. Most outdoor lights are made of either aluminum, brass, copper, or ceramic materials.

4. Energy Efficiency

If you are an environmentally conscious individual, you may opt for more eco-friendly lighting options that focus on energy efficiency. Consider using LEDs or other energy-efficient lighting options, such as solar-powered lamps and energy-efficient CFL bulbs and lighting. These options also prove to be cost-efficient in the long run.


As you can see, there are many factors to consider when choosing the right lighting. The intended use and specific requirements help determine the best lighting fixture. However, it can have its own technical requirements and space limitations. After sorting this out, you can consider stylistic, economic, and environmental factors too.

We hope you have found this exterior lighting guide helpful and will help you set up a perfect outdoor lighting system.

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