Outdoor Lighting Basics

Not only can outdoor lighting enhance the safety and security of your home, but it can also add beauty and ambiance to your property. As you work to choose the right lighting for your home, consider these factors.

Your Safety.

Most people think of protecting a property from nefarious activity when safety is mentioned together with lighting, but safety also encompasses increasing visibility to avoid trips and falls. Safety lighting doesn't have to be harsh and glaring; it can and should enhance the beauty of your property. For example, you can install post-mounted lanterns near driveways and wall-mounted lanterns next to doors for ease of access and to welcome guests. In addition, step lights on deck stairs or terraced paths gently aid in navigation. Illuminate paths to define edges where walkways meet grass.

Your Comfort.

When your property is beautifully lit, you want to be able to sit outside and enjoy it. LED lights are less likely to attract mosquitoes and other insects than incandescent lights. Also, you may want to put floodlights and security lights on a motion sensor so they only come on when you need them and they don't keep your property lit like an airstrip.


Your yard is a direct extension of your home, so design and style are just as important outside as they are inside. Creating interplay with light and shadow adds magic to your property by night. By carefully placing accent lights at upward or downward angles and using wall wash lighting, you can silhouette trees and direct shadows.

Energy Usage.

Choose your bulbs carefully so that lighting your exterior spaces doesn't drive your home's energy bills out of control, especially since outdoor lighting is often left on for many hours at a time. LED lights last up to 25,000 hours (15 years, on average) and use 75% less energy than incandescents.