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Landscape Lighting Techniques

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Landscape lighting adds a unique look to your house in the night when it’s dark and only lights illuminate the exterior at the angles you set them. There are not only lanterns available right now but first it’s useful to know some landscape techniques. These techniques can be helpful if you want to accentuate certain parts of landscape such as flower beds, pathways, trees, fences, shrubs or other. From standard lamp poles to built-in lights there are many lighting options as well as techniques you can use to enhance the look of your outdoors.

Outdoor Lighting Techniques

Uplighting & Downlighting

The most common lighting method is uplighting. It is great if you want to highlight the architectural design of the house. The lighting fixture is installed on the ground below the building you want to uplight. Uplighting is also used to illuminate water installations like pools and fountains, as well as the walk paths.

Downlighting is when a lighting fixture is installed on a tree or pole or wall and it is used to create a certain lighting effect. It can be used illuminate the pathways, doors and fences, or flower beds.


Moonlighting is achieved by installing a lighting fixture high on the tree and directed downwards. The tree crown breaks the light giving a mild gleam that is pertinent to the moon.

Shadowing or Backlighting (a.k.a Silhouetting)

Shadowing is used to create shadows of object against the surface like a tree or decoratively shaped shrub. To make this work you need to place a lighting fixture in front of the object so that its shadow fell onto the adjacent wall. If you want the shadow to be larger place the light source closer to the object.

Spread Lighting & Spotlighting

Spreadlighting is used to illuminate shrubs and flowers and the fixtures are installed lower to the ground. Spotlighting can  be used to illuminate certain object or parts of the landscape. For this  a narrow beam of light is directed right at the object. The floodlighting is similar to spotlighting but this has lighting fixtures produce wider beams that provide lots of light.

There are also other landscape lighting techniques that can enhance the look as well as increase safety of your outdoors. Want to accentuate the texture of stone in your walls? Use grazing lighting technique that requires to place a lighting fixture from six to eight inches of a wall or facade at an angle of 90 degrees. To increase safety for walking outdoors in the evenings look into step lighting, a built-in lights in the stairs or deck lighting the lighting used for decks.

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Mona Liz

I am an interior design and fashion enthusiast with a passion for writing, gathering up interesting/alternative home design ideas. I love lofts, canopy beds, fluffy throws and rugs, but also cats, food, and video games.
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