Jun 062014

It’s full-on spring, and there seems to be a lot of activity in the landscape lighting world. That’s probably because landscape lighting is generally a great and affordable way to significantly improve the curb appeal of your home. Landscape lighting ideas abound on the internet, and, since it’s a popular season for landscape lights, I thought I would curate for you some of the best landscape lighting I have seen out there on the Web.

1. Wall Grazing at Its Finest

Wall grazing is a lighting technique in which light is cast up or down a wall in order to let the light and shadow play off the wall’s texture. Wall grazing works especially well on this wonderfully textured stone wall. Interesting walls like this almost demand uplights to play off their texture.

2. Cinematic Pond Beacon Situation

Very bright light on this structure in the middle of a pond creates a dramatic, almost cinematic effect. Bright uplights on the trees give some context to the attractive structure.

3. Variations on a Path

Using different styles of path light can make the walk to the house much more interesting. Never assume it’s law that all your path lights match. Mixing it up a little gives the eye a lot more to look at, and the outdoor lighting design looks more calculated, in a good way. Instead of the string of path lights that come in a pack, this is conscious design that makes every trip to the front door pleasant.

4. Variation on Variations on a Path

Another way you can break the monotony of path lighting is to place your path lights according to the visual features along the path, like plants or garden ornaments. Setting up the path lights to be spaced a little farther apart and placing them in different proximity to the path – now directly on the path, now set back near some interesting plants – leads the eye farther down the path, which creates a spectacle and gives the eye much more to admire.

5. Path Lighting without all the Path Lights

Landscape lighting doesn’t always have to include path lights. Here, adequate illumination and very attractive lighting design is achieved by uplighting trees and using downlights mounted on the house.

6. Moon Lighting: A Supernatural Experience?

Moonlighting is a technique in which lights are hidden higher up in trees to create an ambient effect. Pretty cool!

7. Under Counter Lights

One really cool outdoor lighting effect is under counter lighting. Led rope, tape, or LED tape rope hybrid can be run under the edge of counter, stone wall ledge, bar, island, or bridge to create a wonderful lighting effect. This is one application in which LED landscape lighting works really well.

8. Water + Lighting =  Awesome

What’s cooler than light fixtures giving an almost otherworldly beauty to outdoor water features? This is my personal favorite kind of landscape lighting. It just provides such a reliably relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. If your home is your sanctuary, you might want to consider this one-two-three punch of water, sound, and light.

9. Shadowy Magic

Moonlighting can also be used to create cool shadows on the path. See that light mounted up in that tree? It mimics the light of the moon, creating interesting shadows on the ground and enough ambient light to see where you’re walking. Great lighting design.

10. Lit Up Night Time Oasis

There are a lot of interesting things going on here. The space feels large and luxurious, in part because that uplight at the back draws the eye directly to the back edge of the space, making the whole spread look larger. The path lights around the perimeter draw attention to the landscaping. Of course, the star of this show is the cove lighting used around the bridge, making it look almost as if it is floating on light. Yes to this.

11. Epic Landscape Lighting in a Park

I mean, this pretty much speaks for itself. The high powered uplights illuminating the tall canopy creates an amazing effect. Not only is it beautiful, but it also represents the dual purpose of landscape lighting: To beautify and to make safer. Urban parks can be dangerous, but this one looks even more welcoming at night.


Tom SowdersAfter majoring in creative writing at NC State, I worked in the home remodeling industry. Then, I attended graduate school for a really long time and gained experience as a writer and writing instructor. I live in the Raleigh-Durham area with my wife and baby boy, and you can find me around the Triangle anywhere there's good music and/or NC-style BBQ.

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