The Best Type of Outdoor Lighting for Any Situation


If you didn’t have any lighting outside of your home, well, it would be very dark. The moon isn’t that bright. So having lighting is pretty essential. But how do you know how to light your backyard? How can you figure out the best type of outdoor lighting for any situation?

There are different goals that you should be trying to accomplish. You also need to take into account: accentuating the aesthetic beauty of your home or your yard. Functional and safety concerns so that you don’t trip and fall into your pool or fountain. Security should be a consideration as well.

How do you light the exterior of your home, your yard, and your landscaping? Here are some helpful tips:

Choosing the best type of outdoor lighting for your needs

When contemplating placing a light in (or outside of) your home, you should always start with the goal of the light. What is it you are trying to illuminate? Why are you placing a light in this location?

Lights can often have different goals in a particular setting. One light fixture may even serve multiple goals. But if you do not know why you are lighting the spot you are shining the fixture on, your lighting design will probably a) make very little sense and b) not be optimally beautiful.

So when choosing a light, take into account the following types of considerations:

  • Am I looking to illuminate a general area with ambient lighting?
  • Am I looking to shine a bulb on a very particular and focused spot?
  • Will I be trying to accomplish tasks – like barbecuing – in the location?  
  • I’m looking for a more general and softer shine that will make my home feel warmer and thoroughly welcoming.

Each light should fit a particular purpose or goal. Multiple lights will often be working together to accomplish those goals. The goal you have in mind will determine the types of fixtures and bulbs you should be choosing. They will also determine the general lighting designs and layouts you settle on. Of course, consulting with lighting experts can always be helpful in making these types of determinations.

Where to place outdoor lighting

Lighting is a visual phenomenon. So, the first thing you need to do is: take a look around! What stands out around the exterior of your home and your landscaping? Where is light most needed? Which architectural or landscaping features do you want to highlight?

Do this at night. Find dark areas where extra lights – possible motion sensor lights – may need to be placed for security purposes. How bright are the sides of your entryway? Do you need path lights that beautify the walk leading to your entrances? Is there a water fixture or a gazebo that could benefit from some accents? These are all ideas you should take into consideration.

Types of outdoor lighting and fixtures

Kichler_lyndonOne you have determined your lighting goals and decided which spaces need to be further illuminated, it is time to start determining which fixtures you should be incorporating into your lighting scheme. Three types of primary outdoor lights you should be aware of are ambient lights, accent lights, and task lights.

Ambient lights are generalized lighting fixtures. They help to set the overall mood and tone of the spaces you are lighting. Ambient lighting, for example, can you help you achieve a tranquil, gentle tone that makes your yard feel friendly and welcoming.

Accent lights, on the other hand, are best used to focus on particular architectural or landscaping features that can be emphasized to great effect.  Task lights are practical lighting fixtures that help illuminate working (or playing) spaces like grilling spaces or workshops.

Other types of fixtures to be aware of include motion sensor lights, security lights, and floodlights. All of these can help you accomplish the lighting look you want while keeping your family safe from unwanted prowlers.

We don’t like to leave you without suggesting of some of our favorite fixtures. So, here are three that we think may be a key part of your exquisite outdoor lighting setup:

Hinkley Lighting 2805 Porter 8 Inch Wide 1 Light Outdoor Wall Light

Hinkley Lighting 2805 Porter

The Hinkley Lighting 2805 Porter Outdoor Wall Light can add beautiful illumination to either side of your entryway. These wall lights are 25 inches tall and made with clear glass and an aged zinc finish. They hang on sturdy loops and complement design schemes that range from a cool modern style to a rustic country feel. The lights are appropriate to install in all outdoor areas, including those that are wet. Therefore, you never have to worry about those rainy day lighting blues.


Quoizel NY9043 Newbury 12 Inch Wide 3 Light Outdoor Post Lamp 

Quoizel NY9043The Quoizel NY9043 Newbury Outdoor Post Lamp can give your lawn an aesthetically pleasing charm that you’ll love. These fixtures are available in several different finishes and contain three candlestick lamps behind their clear glass. Adding these lampposts to your driveway entrance can add curb appeal and charm. And who doesn’t like a little charm, after all?





Kichler 15322 Cross Creek 7 Inch Pathway Light

Kichler 15322

The Kichler 15322 Cross Creek Pathway Light is an eye-catching path lighting solution. It comes in an aged-bronze finish and textured seeded glass. The materials and design give these sophisticated fixtures both a warm and a classic feel. They’re so pretty, you’ll have a tough time keeping your eyes where you’re walking. But please do, so that you do not trip.

With Lighting, Think “Outside” the Box

Adding outdoor lighting can help to increase the curb appeal and value of your home. More importantly, however, it can help you to love where you live even more than we hope you already do.

By using this primer to understand the basic ins and outs of the best type of outdoor lighting for any situation, you can create a tranquil and safe outdoor space in with which to enjoy anything. From a quiet, contemplative night sipping jasmine tea to the most rollicking outdoor fiesta on the block, there’s an outdoor lighting solution for you.

– The Capitol Lighting Team

Don’t forget to browse our entire outdoor lighting collection – we have all of your needs covered



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