How to Place Outdoor Landscape Lighting

Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Kyle Whitley

placing a bulb in an how to place outdoor landscape lighting

So you are interested in putting some new outdoor landscape lighting in and around your home.  There are so many options of where you should or shouldn’t place your landscape lighting.  Let’s take a quick look at how to place outdoor landscape lighting at your home.

Where should you focus your outdoor landscape lighting?

You should focus your lighting on the areas that you use the most. You need to think about which places around your home are using the most and light them up.  You could consider your pathways and walkways or even your pool area.  However, you should more than likely focus on the most important thing in your landscape which is your home.

How Should You Place Outdoor Lighting

Your home for most people is the largest financial purchase they will make in their lives and you should spotlight the pride and joy, right?  If you want to know how to place outdoor landscape lighting, you need to take the following into consideration.  You need to take a look at where to place the outdoor landscape lights, how many lights to use in your landscape, how to layer the lights, light patterns, and the correct bulbs to use.

Focus your outdoor landscape lighting on your home

That’s right you should focus your first outdoor landscape lighting on the primary item in your outdoor space, your home. If you’re lighting your house, put your attention on outdoor light fixtures that provide safety and security at night. You would want to look at motion sensor flood lights as an example.

While they help secure your home they can highlight some of its best features. Positioning lighting fixtures in the correct location can help highlight the walls and architectural features of your house. You paid a lot of money for your home, so you might as well show off its good looks.

Don’t Use too many outdoor landscape lights

While we want to highlight those areas of the home that we like, we don’t want to place so many light fixtures that the focus becomes the light fixtures themselves.  It is kind of like adding too many accessories to a car,  you begin to just notice the accessories and not the car itself.

You want to provide the right amount of lighting and focus to an area, but not too much focus.  Limiting the number of light fixtures will actually emphasize a feature and not detract from it.

Layers, Layers, and more layers of outdoor landscape lights

If you have a feature in your landscape that you want to highlight, you will want to highlight it from all sides. For example, if you have a prized tree in your landscape you wouldn’t group three lights in the front of the tree, you would highlight the tree foliage with accent lights from all sides.

This will provide different layers of light and shadows that will help show off those prize landscaping features at night.

Don’t create a runway with your pathway lighting

Look I might be a little OCD but I love things to match.  I love symmetry as well, but in landscape lighting that might not be the best thing.  You don’t want to line your pathways like an airport runway.  Pathway lights should lead you along the path.

Stagger landscape lights for a more even distribution of light. This is done by staggering the landscape lights to give a more even light output.  You don’t want to go crazy with the staggering of your path lighting,  like creating some kind of zig-zag pattern, but you do want to break up the lines.

Choose the right bulbs and choose LED if possible

The exterior bulb should also be chosen in consideration of the type of environment that is being illuminated. The bulbs that are typically used for outdoor lighting are halogen or led. The type of bulb that is used will determine the distance at which it can be seen as well as its versatility.

Led bulbs are more environmentally friendly than halogen bulbs because they use less energy and have a longer lifespan. Led bulbs last up to 25 times as long, use 60% less power, and emit only 10% of the heat as halogen bulbs. Installing LED lighting on the exterior of your house has numerous benefits, but you need to choose the right type.

LEDs are more very versatile and have the ability to be used in lamps, outdoor light fixtures, or floodlights.  I personally only use LED lights in and around my home.  We moved into our current home 6 years ago and I haven’t had to replace any of my motion-sensing floodlights in that time period.

Placing your outdoor landscape lighting

Now that you have a good idea of how to place outdoor landscape lighting, you should start to think about placing your outdoor landscape lighting, you should go out and put this plan into practice.   Planning for it properly can make a big difference in the ambiance and quality of your outdoor living spaces.

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