Types Of Outdoor Lighting

You might consider a fantastic outdoor renovation that makes your property stand out in the neighbourhood. The optimum lighting can significantly enhance the atmosphere for your outdoors. And one of the easiest ways to beautify a home’s exterior is to replace old, burnt-out outdoor lighting.

There are various outdoor lighting fixtures to choose from, depending on the purposes you need to achieve with your outdoor lights. Knowing these will help you project and budget the right lighting fixture for your outdoor space.

Skim through our outdoor lighting guide, and learn the types of exterior lighting and their most exemplary applications.

Choosing The Best Outdoor Lighting

This guide will impart the information you’re looking for to find the perfect outdoor lighting products to seize a look of classiness and beauty when it gets dark.

Task Lighting

Task lighting is vital for brightening pathways and entrances. It acts as a secondary light source meant for particular points. Task lighting ensures you have good focused lighting to finish tasks after sunset and makes the completion of them easier. These tasks are usually as simple as walking.

Task lighting is also helpful over an outdoor kitchen counter or bar tops. This exterior lighting is the answer if you have to see fine points of what you’re absorbed in.

Ambient Lighting

a living room with a couch a chair and a desk.
Ambient lighting comprises the use of brightness, colour, and temperature to create a relaxing and equal degree of light in every part of the area. It is a general lighting source that is indirect instead of focused – it doesn’t create an intense light but lets you walk around safely.

Ambient light has the most significant impact on mood; this is why it is also known as mood lighting. It makes a room feel warmer and more welcoming. And it also establishes a mood more favourable to entertainment.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting incorporates drama into an outdoor living space by generating visual interest. It is used to turn the spotlight on a piece of an architectural structure or landscape features. Unlike mood lighting, accent lights utilize concentrated light to create contrast.

With a strategic landscape lighting plan, specific property elements appear even better at night than during the daytime, impressively transforming your curb appeal and overall satisfaction of your landscape.

Outdoor Lighting Fixtures

Deciding which outdoor lighting best accentuates the aesthetics of your yard, pathways, deck, porch, outdoor water features, and other landscape elements can initially seem discouraging. Intrinsically, options overflow, ranging from spotlights and wall lights to deck lights, string lights, and even barn lights. Choosing the correct type of outdoor fixtures is as crucial as where to attach the lights.

Path Lights

Path lights will aim the light down and to the side of the fixture, illuminating pathways, and entrances. It helps you walk safely during the night in low or no natural light conditions. Path lighting can also usher people to matters of visual interest in the garden.

Some homeowners prefer solar pathway lights for the simplicity of attachment and the affordable fixtures. However, solar-powered fixtures are typically substandard if you host visitors more than a few hours after dark.


A outdoor lighting on a tree in a forest.
Spot lights will lighten up a specific unique attraction, like a stunning architectural or garden element in the property, without emitting a wide light beam. Concentrated and hidden, spotlights can be wired in the ground for classic uplighting or installed on trees or walls, gleaming down on the subject from the top.

Ceiling Lights & Hanging Lights

Outdoor hanging lights, like pendant lights and ceiling-mount light fixtures, radiate light from above, lighting up pavillions, entryways, and covered verandas. At times, these can also be bound to outdoor ceiling fans. Whether it’s a hanging lantern, outdoor chandelier, or outdoor pendant, they are best applied in outdoor spaces with high ceilings.

Wall Lights

Outdoor wall lights can go with any flat surface. Wall lights are very adaptable to illuminate any area outdoors. It’s not only for homes or garden walls. Depending on how you enter and walk around the house, you can lodge these lights next to a terrace, near a front door, in front of a garage, or on rear exterior walls.

Just ensure you don’t use bright light fixtures as that might undermine visibility in the place.

String Lights

You only need a good set of string lights to transform your backyard into a dazzling destination. String lights are a series of light bulbs or small lanterns placed along a cord or string.

They are versatile, easy to piece together, and cost-effective, enhancing the curb appeal of your outdoor area with their sparkling, soft lighting. And string lights can also make warm nights more relaxing and cheerful.

Post Lights & Pier Mount Lights

Both tall and short post lights, a post light is seen on top of a tall pole. Commonly, outdoor post lights brighten a large area without being so bright. Pathways can have bollard lights, shorter versions of post lights.

Another technique is mounting the lighting on some columns or piers, often called pier mount lights. It is a lighting fixture generally utilized on a house’s doorway post. Pier mount lights make the brick or stone pillar prominent, making it the grounds’ focal point.

These entry lights then produce light at the entrance and outside to help lead you towards the pathway and guide you into the structure.

Landscape/ Garden Lights

Landscape lighting is devised to be secured on the ground and to illuminate the entire area, focus on a particular field, or add to the ambiance. These lights are powered by batteries, hardwired, or connected to an outlet.

Various landscape lights work better for an aesthetic intent than a security one. Positioning them in natural spots can exhibit your favourite and loveliest plants to the world while boosting safety and security.

These lights tend to be dimmer than full-scale light fixtures; hence, you must have at least a few to illuminate a particular walkway or driveway.

Deck & Step Lights

A set of steps leading up to a grassy hill illuminated by outdoor lighting.
To feature your deck, and ensure all steps are fully highlighted, LED step and deck lights, combined with pier-mounted or wall-mounted exterior lights, create an ambient light for multilevel decks and the staircases connecting them.

These lights are usually seated in the middle of every stair riser to shed light on every step. Step and deck lighting will keep you, your family, and your guests safer while having a blast on your patio. If you need to set up outdoor step lights effortlessly, battery-operated and solar-powered lights are easy to install without needing electrical wiring.

Inground Lights

Inground lights make creating a dramatic effect in your outdoor area easier. The light fixture is on the ground, and solely the light it casts is visible. This is perfect for making driveways, walkways, or steps and stairways brighter. It also produces an uplighting effect that delivers striking silhouettes and mysterious shadows.

Security And Flood Lights

Make your home a less easy victim of burglars or thieves by providing enough outdoor house lights to secure that there are no hideaways for them.

Types of Security Lighting

Dusk-to-dawn lights

Dusk-to-dawn lights are a brilliant choice for home security because they work with natural light. They remain off throughout the day to save energy but are switched on at night because photocells sense the lack of sunlight. They are positioned in most spots where electricity is already available.

Flood Lights

Flood lights are straightforward and effective options – often installed above entrances like garages, porches, and doors. They are the best type of outdoor lights for illuminating large areas.

Choose a dimmable flood light because this enables homeowners to light up their outdoor area without overwhelming light quality in your neighbourhood or causing light pollution.

Motion-sensor Lights

Considering they activate only when movement is detected and turn off if no other activity prompts the sensor, their distinctive design can reduce an increasing electric bill. Motion lights catch trespassers in the act, surprising them and causing them to hesitate to approach your home. Motion sensors are most effective in zones that aren’t often used and don’t require continuous light overnight.

Timed Security Lighting

Timed security light makes it easy to guarantee that your residence looks occupied even though it isn’t. These lights offer inner peace, knowing your lights will always appear without interacting.

High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Security Lights

Suppose you have a warehouse, plant growing rooms, or perhaps own a vast portion of land, like a hacienda or large meadows you want to illuminate; HID lights are more suitable than floodlights. The light delivered is so bright.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Outdoor Light Fixtures

Because there are many outdoor light fixtures, you must learn how to choose the best option. As you understand, all these lights may be ideal for outdoor applications. But there are things to consider when investing in outdoor lighting.

Outdoor Light Bulbs

A group of trees with outdoor lighting.
Initially, outdoor lighting was powered by a standard incandescent light bulb. But the common method nowadays is by using LED lights.

LED outdoor lights often have multiple small light units, casting a bright and long-lasting light together. They are energy efficient, help save money, and typically will never need to be replaced.

Also, ensure they’re dark sky-friendly outdoor lighting – these fixtures limit upward-directed light and have a low color temperature.

Right Wattage

Be sure to assess the correct lighting wattage suited for your necessities. A lower wattage bulb is a practical option if you need to embellish your outdoors. You can use 40-watt bulbs for gardens, pathways, and other low-level spaces.

A higher wattage bulb, around 40-80 watts, is more suitable for brightening areas like driveways and smaller lawns. Anything above 80 watts isn’t for home application.

Pick the wattage that matches the specific brightness you’re after.

Durability Of The Lights And Fixtures

On the subject of outdoor lighting, you want your lights and the fixtures to hold out. To ensure your fixtures last, it is vital to consider the type of weather in your place. And this will help you choose the material that is most appropriate for your climate and will be able to bear the elements.

LEDs are the most popular choice, thanks to their durability and effectiveness in casting quality lighting.

Lighting Design

Note that your lighting fixtures are visible all day. Thus, choose a lighting style with a matched visual interest for your lawn.


Whether you hired a professional lighting designer or not, you must understand the basics of illuminating your outdoors to make an impact.

We hope you found this guide helpful in becoming more familiar with each type of outdoor lighting fixture.

Curb Wise