Designing a Landscape Lighting System – Ideas & Advice | Lamps Plus

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Designing a Landscape Lighting System – Ideas & Advice | Lamps Plus

Designing a Panorama Lighting System Putting in an exterior panorama lighting system is a good way so as to add magnificence, curb attraction and security to your private home backyard, walkway and entrance areas. Plus, when you have an current system, it might probably simply be enhanced or tailored to mirror new layouts, kinds, or landscaping updates. On this article, you’ll be taught the fundamentals of how you can design your panorama lighting.

Outdoor lighting in front of a home.
The entrance of this house is superbly accented by numerous wall lights and panorama lighting.

Getting Began with Panorama Lighting

Earlier than you begin buying objects, it’s finest to get a number of issues with a purpose to keep away from further complications, journeys to the shop, or worse—incompatible parts. We suggest first grabbing a notepad and pencil and doing a walkthrough of your property to get a way of the way you envision your system.

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Common concepts to bear in mind as you intend

  • Resolve what exterior areas or objects you need to gentle.
  • Choose the suitable lighting methods.
  • Select the fixtures and equipment that provide the desired impact.
  • Select the ability provide, both line or (extra generally) low voltage.
  • Choose the suitable bulbs.

Panorama Lighting Strategies

Accent or Spot Lighting

Panorama spotlights focus a managed intense beam to focus on the focal factors in your backyard: flowers, small shrubs, and statuary. This creates glowing islands of curiosity in your panorama lighting plan.


Positioning the sunshine near an fascinating floor can deliver out the feel of tree bark, a masonry wall, wooden shingles or a pretty door. Grazing of clean surfaces shouldn’t be normally really useful.


Mild the item from the entrance and under to challenge intriguing shadows on the wall or different vertical surfaces.


While you conceal lights behind and under a tress or bush, you obtain that very same wondrous impact as seeing it on a ridge silhouetted in opposition to the sky at nightfall.

Pool and Fountain Lighting

Underwater lighting creates dramatic results in swimming pools and at fountains. Set up a dimmer for turning lights up so as to add pleasure. Notice: Water could also be used as a mirror by lighting the realm behind the reflecting floor.

Downlighting or Space Lighting

Mount lighting items excessive up in timber or on the home to forged broad illumination over large areas. Panorama flood lighting lets you entertain in your yard or outside space after darkish, and does double responsibility for safety and security. For highlighting flower beds, paths or steps, the downlight is positioned near the bottom.

An outdoor grill area with outdoor lighting.
An outside space is accented with applicable outside lighting for an entire look.

Cross Lighting

Illuminating a tree or statue from two or extra sides reveals the three-dimensional kind in a putting perspective.


Lights aimed upwards (generally buried within the floor) create a extremely dramatic impact akin to the theater. Use it with fascinating timber, a statue or textured wall surfaces. Autumn leaves or swirling snow present spectacular views. Focus the sunshine on the important thing crops or objects in your yard.

Unfold or Subtle Lighting

The place you require round patterns of sunshine on flower beds, bigger shrubbery or floor cowl, unfold lights cowl a wider space with low-level illumination. Some items, equivalent to these bollards, forged softly subtle lighting for patios, decks, driveways and pathways. Wall brackets present the same lighting perform. The trail or flower mattress must be extra illuminated than the precise fixture.


Like downlighting, however utilizing mushy gentle sources positioned very excessive up, this method simulates the stunning impact of moonlight filtering by branches, casting enticing shadow patterns.

Panorama Lighting Areas


Illuminating aspect and rear entries to the home, in addition to partitions with easy accessibility widows, can discourage prowlers and thieves.

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Driveway Lighting

Highlighting your driveway with gentle additionally improves security and safety, whereas the delineation creates a pretty sample.

Outdoor fountain and landscape lighting.
The panorama lighting on this scene enhances the outside fountain.

Rear Yard Lighting

Floodlighting from home or timber helps discourage intruders and vandals. The place you’ll be able to’t conceal the sunshine supply, choose items which look enticing—not industrial. Organize for automated timers, photocells or movement sensors.

Entrance Entry Lighting

Present a heat welcome after darkish. Choose a wall bracket which casts satisfactory illumination on entrance steps, in addition to lighting the keyhole and home numbers.

An outdoor path accented by path lights.
Outside path lights add to the look of this walkway.

Steps and Paths

Often uncared for, but in addition necessary to keep away from accidents in darkish places, are low path lights, publish lanterns and lights connected to the home.


Ample lighting over the storage will improve each security and safety, significantly when different lights usually are not on.

Sorts of Panorama Lighting Fixtures

Cylinder, Field Form and Bullet Form

These designs assist focus and direct the sunshine beams. Some additionally minimize off glare and defend the lamp and socket from particles and moisture.

Unfold and Subtle

These low-level items are designed to forged illumination in a broader sample for; flower beds, perimeter plantings, driveways, steps and paths.

In-ground or Properly Mild

Burying these fixtures flush with the bottom conceals the sunshine supply. Use for uplighting timber and shrubs, and grazing textured partitions.

Spot or Accent

Versatile/adjustable fixtures used for uplighting, crosslighting, accenting and grazing; when mounted excessive up present centered downlighting and moonlighting.

Wall Bracket, Ceiling Shut-up, Chain Lantern

Mounted at entry doorways, over garages and on porches, these chain-hung lantern type items forged gentle outward—both direct or subtle.

An outdoor light on an outdoor railing.
This outside gentle helps to accent a porch space.

Bollard and Publish Lights

These standing fixtures gentle pathways, steps, backyard walks, deck and pool areas. Additionally they present enticing gentle patterns for driveways.

Swimming Pool and Fountain Lighting

These fixtures are put in in sides and at ends of swimming swimming pools and bottoms of fountains. Moist area of interest fixtures will be eliminated for lamp modifications, whereas dry area of interest fixtures require entry to the again of the pool shell. Coloured lighting is in style for this software.

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Timers, Transformers and Different Equipment

Computerized timers, photocells, or movement sensors which flip lights on at nightfall and off at daybreak make panorama lighting handy and power saving. See producers catalogs for different equipment which can be required.

Panorama Lighting Suggestions from the Professionals

Jeff Emerson, lighting professional from the Lamps Plus Professionals commerce pricing program, provides these tricks to obtain an expert look.

  • Conceal the panorama lighting supply when potential—besides the place the fixture itself is an ornamental factor.
  • Don’t overdo it! A little bit gentle goes a good distance at evening.
  • Be artistic in utilizing a mix of lighting methods.
  • Organize for an automated machine like a timer to show lights on and off.
  • Be thoughtful of your neighbors. Goal lights so they don’t shine into their home windows.

Outside Mild Bulbs

Lastly, don’t overlook panorama gentle bulbs. The big variety of obtainable bulbs means you can tailor your option to your wants. You might want mushy illumination in some areas, vibrant in others. Watts are a measure of electrical energy consumed, however some bulbs yield extra gentle than others of equal wattage. Keep in mind the longer the space of sunshine throw, or the larger the depth desired, the extra gentle output can be required.

It could appear apparent that bulbs which ship extra gentle and are extra environment friendly usually value extra. Some value significantly extra, however it’s essential to additionally evaluate the rated lamp life, since some lamps costing a number of occasions extra normally final a number of occasions longer.

A landscape light in a flower bed.
This hooded panorama gentle provides magnificence to a flower mattress.

Effectivity, Power Financial savings and LEDs

Some sorts are extra environment friendly than others. Low voltage, for instance, can save power by concentrating gentle beams, however it usually lacks the equal beam throw of line voltage. Newer 65- and 120-watt incandescent bulbs yield as much as 25% extra gentle. New compact fluorescent bulbs present mushy lighting and the very best power financial savings. Mercury vapor bulbs provide robust illumination with power financial savings, however challenge a cool coloration appropriate just for greenery.

Better of all are LED bulbs or lights with built-in LED arrays. LEDs are the way forward for panorama lighting are quick turning into the usual lamp of alternative for the business. They final for years, eliminating the necessity for time-consuming bulb modifications, and so they use little or no power, permitting you to put extra lights on the identical transformer, or use a smaller, inexpensive transformer.

Quartz/Incandsecent Tungsten-Halogen

Compact gentle supply which gives a persistently vibrant gentle. Additionally out there as a reflector (MR) and as a projector (PAR) kind. These match into smaller and fewer obtrusive fixtures.


White lengthy tubes are primarily used for partitions, banisters and indicators, compact fluorescent bulbs present a mushy gentle high quality and the very best power saving. (Some temperature restrictions apply.)

Mercury Vapor/Excessive Strain Sodium

This household, often known as high-intensity discharge, present intense gentle at low power value. Their coloration renditions restrict use, and they don’t go on instantly—they need to heat up. Notice: A lot of the above sorts can be found for both 120-volt or 12-volt programs, however it’s essential to specify the system. Fluorescent, Mercury Vapor and Excessive Strain Sodium are for 120-volt solely.

Incandescent A

Customary kind generally used across the dwelling. Cheap, however yields much less gentle than different incandescents.

Incandescent B

Reflector kind, both flood or concentrated highlight. About twice the sunshine output of A bulbs.

Video Inspiration

Get extra inspiration from the Lamps Plus YouTube channel, together with a video on our new Tremendous Obligation assortment of huge and tall panorama lights (see video under).

Questions About Panorama Lighting?

Name 800-782-1967 to talk with considered one of our pleasant, skilled Lighting & Residence Decor Consultants or go to a Lamps Plus location close to you. Whether or not through telephone or in particular person, we’re completely satisfied to help you in finishing your challenge.

Extra Panorama Lighting Concepts and Recommendation

Panorama Lighting – Suggestions for Getting Began

5 Issues to Know Earlier than You Purchase Panorama Lighting

3 Should-Haves for Putting in Panorama Lighting

All of the Extras: Panorama Lighting Sorts

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