4 Practical Outdoor Lighting Tips with Examples


Landscape lighting is a highly sought after feature to add to your home. A well thought out LED lighting system can add safety, security, curb appeal, and even functionality to your property. Just like any industry, there’s a DIY way to do something, and a professional way to do it (we’ll get into that in another post).

Even if you hire a company to install and design your lighting system, it helps to have a little bit of knowledge or a general idea of what features you want to highlight.

Here’s four real practical and creative lighting techniques we used on a recent project.

The “Floating” Look

Fireplaces are usually a major focal point in landscape designs. Although they already look pretty cool as is, to enhance the visual appeal even further we like to add recessed strip lights underneath the bottom of the fireplace to give off a “floating” fire pit look at night. The strip lights really add to the element and help create a welcoming environment without the need for any overhead light source.

This project also had some unique concrete benches in the backyard around the pool area. But how do you enhance the look of a concrete bench and bring it out at night in a creative and practical way? Again, the “floating” look. Install some LED strip lights underneath the lip of the bench to add a nice architectural design component to your outdoor space. It creates a really cool effect that is sure to wow your guests at night.

Highlighting Trees

One of the most attractive things about maples is they look really good in the spring and summer because of their rich colors and as we move into the winter months the trunk structure is really enhanced by the lights at night.

A common question we get is “How many lights do I need per tree?”.

The answer to that depends on multiple factors like size of the tree, how wide the canopy is, and where it can be seen from the property.

This property featured a number of maples that formed the focal point of the whole lighting design. Considering that the Maples can be seen from inside the house, the pool, the fireplace, and from the new outdoor structure that the homeowners put in, we decided to highlight those and really make them stand out. To do that, we installed two spotlights on each tree ensuring that the Maples look good from any angle.

Should You Light Every Tree?

Speaking of illuminating trees, when working on a project that has a series of trees in a row, the question always comes up “Do we need to light every tree?” The answer for us is typically, yes. Now, that’s just a preference thing but the reason we say that is because as these trees grow, you don’t want one tree to look really good and then have a big dark spot next to it because the other tree is not lit. It also creates a much more dramatic feel to the lighting design.

How To Use Outdoor Lighting Around A Pool

Something to remember about landscape lighting is that your sight line is a lot lower when you get into a pool. Therefore, we try to avoid installing lights that shine towards the pool which would cause a lot of glare when you’re hanging out or swimming in the pool at night.

Instead, establish a nice perimeter of lighting to help visually expand the space and highlight your favorite landscape features while letting the ambient light provide the necessary safety to see around the pool.

Interested in learning more about what Oregon Outdoor Lighting can bring to your property? Schedule a complimentary nighttime demo to see how we can transform your outdoor space at night. 

outdoor lighting tips


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