Ideas & Advice > Types of Outdoor Lighting > Types of Landscape Lighting

Different Types of Landscape Lighting Fixtures and How to Use them

Landscape lighting is ideal for highlighting beautiful shrubbery, plants, and pathways throughout your yard. In the search for the perfect landscape lighting, you will find there are various types that each provide their own lighting tone, direction, and style. In order to choose the best landscape lighting for your property, it is best to be informed of all the types of landscape lighting and how they are typically used.

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These lights are perhaps most commonly associated with security as they cast light over a wide range, but they are also ideal for creating beautiful silhouettes and highlighting nearby landscaping. Because of their wide dispersal of light, these fixtures are used for highlighting, silhouetting, shadowing, grazing, and moonlighting. They are especially effective in uplighting trees to create grand highlighting and showcasing beautiful textures.

Spot & Flood Lights

Spotlights, flood lights, and downlights are three lights specifically made to cast directional light. They produce wide beams of light, support many different types of bulbs, and work in various wattages.

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Step lights are often fixed upon risers or are mounted to side walls. Although these lights are very intentionally designed to create safe pathways and staircases anywhere on your property, they are also extremely stylish in their forms, lighting shape, lighting type, and light dispersal.

Step & Deck Lights

Step and deck lights are used in similar situations to create safe pathways. Deck lights are typically placed adjacent to nearby railings and are attached to fence posts. They may also be mounted on the sides of nearby structures or stairs, which overlaps with the purpose of step lights.

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Some bollard lights exhibit clean-cut minimalist designs, but others may introduce contemporary design through artistically designed fixtures. Since these lights create uplighting and downlighting further away from the building, it is vital to consider how the lights are powered when choosing them for your yard.

Bollard Lights

Bollard lights are often used to illuminate pathways and landscapes to create safe pathways for pedestrians. They are frequently used outside of organizations and businesses to provide essential lighting, but these lights are also designed to showcase various styles for residential spaces as well.

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When searching for path lights, it is vital to consider what type of radius you would like to brighten, the lighting temperature, and the lighting color in order to create a space that is safe and stylish. Considering the technical aspects of your path light will help the light fulfill its practical functionality and create your desired ambiance.

Path Lights

Path lights sometimes overlap with other lighting categories like bollard lights or step lights. One key difference for path lights is that they specifically cast down lighting to illuminate a pathway. However, there are some path lights that serve as general area lights as well to illuminate the nearby area around the fixture.

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They are always placed on turf or grass to ensure that lawn mowers can go over the shallow lights without issue. Installing these lights requires a lot of pre-planning and measuring, but they are ideal for situations where you want the light to start close to ground level. With that, well lights can be used to cast uplight near a path, by the side of a building, or on specific shrubs and trees.

Well Lights

Well lights are beautiful fixtures that illuminate pathways, nearby architecture, or landscaping anywhere in the yard. These lights are highly luxurious in their design, partly because they are installed so that the majority of the fixture is below ground level.

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Because of their reliance on existing columns and piers, pier lights are typically used on a deck or patio close to the home. Post lights are more flexible in their placement and may be used near the house, by paths, or further from the home. In general, these lights are used for decorative purposes and setting your desired tone through their style, color, and wattage.

Post & Pier Lights

Post and pier lights are often used synonymously with one another, but there are key differences in how and where they are mounted. Post lights are often mounted on thin poles and are used to create ambient and accent lighting. Pier lights are mounted on top of a column or pier, which means that these lights can be used on top of existing structures.

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These lights are often presented in more artistic designs since they are so close to the home, which means that lights can complement the home’s existing architecture, color, and texture through their aesthetics. Wall lights near front doors are especially common, since they draw attention to the entrance and can foreshadow the style of the entire home.

Wall Lights

Wall lights are specifically mounted on nearby walls, which means they are used on patios, porches, decks, and other outdoor areas that exist along the immediate exterior of your home. Despite these specific placements, wall lights come in various types, such as wall sconces, downlighting, uplighting, linear lighting, and area lighting.

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Because of that, there may not be trees or plants in the near vicinity to be highlighted by these fixtures. However, since they are outdoor lights that cast light over different areas, they can still influence landscape lighting plans and cast light on nearby plants and architecture. That is why it is wise to consider all types of outdoor lighting when choosing a specific type of landscape lighting or blending various types of lights.

Other Outdoor Lighting Fixtures

Aside from these notable landscape lights, there are other fixtures that complement outdoor spaces and nearby landscapes. Outdoor pendant lights, chandeliers, flush mount lights, ceiling fans, and portable lights are typically stationed in indoor/outdoor spaces like gazebos, porches, decks, and patios.

Landscape lighting presents a beautiful opportunity to highlight a yard, plants, pathways, or the architecture of the home. With the various types of landscaping lighting available, you may choose a light that fits your home’s aesthetic and ensure that you are providing enough lighting to appreciate the nearby scenery.


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