Landscape Lighting Design

As a general rule, landscape lights feel most cohesive when they are understated and don’t attract attention during daylight hours. This session will cover techniques integrators can use to make this happen.

Lights that focus on a controlled intense beam highlight focal points in the garden, such as flowers, small shrubs, and statuary. They also provide security by deterring burglary and vandalism. Read on to learn more.


Lighting can be used to highlight different features of your landscape and can be a great way to enhance the nighttime aesthetics of your property. One of the most commonly employed lighting techniques is uplighting. Uplighting (or downlighting) is a way to draw attention to a particular feature, like a stunning tree, architectural element, or garden statue. Uplighting is achieved with spotlights, floodlights, or well lights that are positioned to shine upwards and accent the texture, form, and color of a given object at night.

Path lights are another common type of landscape lighting, which helps illuminate walkways and driveways after dark. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but they also keep people safe and prevent trips and falls on uneven or slick surfaces.


Light that is aimed downward from above can highlight the form, color, and texture of an object or surface. For example, lighting a tree from below shows off its bark and branch structure or highlights the shadows it creates on a wall. This technique is also great for highlighting garden statues, fountains, or other architectural elements of the property.

Downlighting can also be used to highlight a path or walkways. A landscape lighting professional can show you how to use multiple fixtures together to create a subtle, beautiful effect. Path lights are shin-height fixtures that aim for safe illumination along the length of a path. They are typically spaced every 15 feet, with a brightness that swells slightly and fades gradually for safety.

Another way to highlight a pathway or seating area is with moonlighting. This technique uses lights mounted in trees or other high vantage points to cast a soft, warm pool of light on the ground below. It can be tricky to execute properly and should only be undertaken by an experienced landscaping pro.

Symmetrical Lighting

Lighting that illuminates pathways and entertainment areas with a soft, gentle glow can create a welcoming atmosphere after dark. However, it’s important to ensure that your landscape lighting is designed correctly to avoid creating trip hazards and other safety issues. A skilled landscape lighting professional can help you achieve the desired ambiance while still keeping your outdoor space safe and functional.

For a more dramatic effect, you can use what is known as the statement approach to your landscape lighting design. This involves using a large number of spotlights and floodlights to brightly light your property. This type of lighting can be used to draw attention to a particular element of your landscaping, such as a fountain or a statue.

Symmetrical lighting is also a great way to highlight specific trees and shrubs in your garden. By aiming several lights at the same point, you can reduce side glare and highlight the unique shape of these features.

Lighting Plans

Many lighting professionals begin the layout process by sketching a property on a piece of paper or graph to show where each fixture is going. This also allows for estimating the number of wire runs needed.

Next, they’ll determine what type of lights are needed for the project. For example, spotlights cast a narrow beam that can highlight trees or shrubbery while floodlights emit a wide beam to illuminate larger spaces.

Path lighting, on the other hand, is a more decorative light that can be used to mark walkways and accent key features in the landscape. Some examples of this include a flag pole, statue, or water feature.

When deciding on a light for a specific space, it’s important to consider function as well as beauty. For example, a deck with stairs needs to be properly lit for safety reasons and to avoid tripping hazards. Adding a light to a walkway can also add curb appeal and increase the value of your home. Discover more interesting articles.