Types of Outdoor Lighting

There are numerous benefits of installing outdoor lighting around your home’s exterior. It adds curb appeal to your home, enhances your outdoor entertaining setup, and can provide an extra layer of security at night. In this post, we outline the different types of outdoor lighting and the benefits of each. There are three general categories of outdoor lighting: ambient, task, and accent. The best outdoor lighting design layers all three to achieve a complete effect.

Landscape Lighting (ambient)

Landscape lighting is primarily aesthetic, showcasing standout features of your lawn’s landscaping, such as flowerbeds, trees, and shrubs. They can also be used to illuminate decorative architectural elements such as columns or molding. Landscape lights often take the form of small spotlights or well lights, both of which are planted in the ground so as not to distract from the features they’re highlighting.

Wall Lighting (ambient)

Lanterns and sconces affixed to the exterior walls of your home are also primarily decorative in nature, providing a source of indirect or “off” ambient lighting. Wall lights can be used to add atmosphere to an outdoor entertaining space such as a deck or patio. They can also be attached to either side of the garage in order to illuminate the driveway. Some homeowners install a single lantern over the house numbers to make it easier for visitors to find their home in the dark.

Flood Lights (task)

Flood lights are typically installed under the eaves of the house, where they can’t be meddled with. The powerful bulbs of flood lights cast a wide field of light across large expanses. Their ability to illuminate large sections of your property make them an ideal security measure, discouraging intruders. Flood lights can also be useful for late-night play, illuminating areas such as a driveway basketball hoop or a backyard swimming pool to extend evening fun.

Deck or Step Lights (task)

Another outdoor lighting safety measure is deck or step lights. Installed low to the ground, these lights illuminate walkways, driveways, pool edges, or deck stairs in order to make traversing your property after dark less treacherous. Deck and step lights typically come with a top covering in order to disperse light along the ground without causing an upward glare that could impair visibility.

Lanterns and Torches (accent)

These vanity lights are simply for show. Though they don’t replace more vibrant light sources in terms of visibility and safety, they can add atmospheric and decorative element to complement your overall backyard setup.

3 thoughts on “Types of Outdoor Lighting

  1. I really like the point that talks about aesthetics of your house and yard when it comes to outdoor wall lighting. I totally agree with this. I remember my childhood home had these lights that would illuminate trees and bushes at night, and it always just looked really pretty at night! I will always make sure to have these on my future homes.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Jay! Our customers feel the same way. If they start a conversation about exterior lighting it often leads into the home as well. Lighting can play a huge role inside and out and we love helping our customers figure out what’s best for their homes.

      Bryan Delmont
      General Manager
      Bonfe

  2. I agree that outdoor lanterns don’t necessarily add a lot of light, but they truly do add a unique and intriguing look to your home. I personally think they can really help establish a peaceful, relaxing mood at your home. Lanterns are such an interesting way to help your backyard become a more desirable place to be.

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