How to Select Lighting for Outdoor Living

Don't Overlook These Outdoor Lighting Functions
Yellow Dog Productions/Getty Images
Yellow Dog Productions/Getty Images
Outdoor lighting can do a lot more than brighten your front yard.

Adding outdoor lighting has more benefits than just making your yard brighter. It can also enhance your outdoor living area and cover up any blemishes that may exist. This is particularly true for outdoor furniturethat may be easily weathered. It's usually cheaper to light a space than to replace furniture, so this is a good way to transform your backyard without spending an arm and a leg.

While the basic function of a light is to illuminate an object, different kinds of lights offer different levels of functionality, so it's helpful to think about what you want the lighting to do when you create your scheme. Choosing to highlight a few of your outdoor features can make your backyard come to life. Whether it's a water feature, a sculpture or an ornamental tree, a well-placed light fixture can help make a dramatic statement.

When looking for pathway lighting, choose lights that direct downward to reduce the glare and make it easier to see. As we mentioned earlier, rope lighting can also be useful for paths and flower beds. It's a good way to make a dramatic effect -- and you can have a safe yard without drawing attention to that fact.

Safety is a key benefit of having a nicely lit yard. Lights can add ambience, but they also light up areas to make walking an easier task. If you have stairs, you may want to consider embedding lights into the vertical riser of each step. This unobtrusive way of illuminating the steps helps make them safe too. Underwater lighting in backyard ponds and pools highlights the beauty of the water feature, and it also accentuates the area so people know they should be more careful when walking around it. Finally, making sure your address or house number is well lit makes it easier for guests and emergency responders to find where you live.

With these tips in mind, you can now take care of some of the designing in your own home and create a magical space for you and your family to enjoy.

Read on for more information about outdoor lighting.

Related Articles


  • American Lighting Association. "Outdoor Lighting." (July 30, 2012)
  • American Lighting Association. "Outdoor Lighting: Create an Outdoor Resort in Your Back Yard." May 2011. (July 30, 2012)
  • Better Homes & Gardens. "Expert Tips for a Well-Lit Landscape." (July 30, 2012)
  • Schrock, Denny. "The Secrets to Fabulous Outdoor Lighting." (July 30, 2012)
  • Sparks, Madaline. "4 Creative Outdoor Lighting Ideas." Real Simple. (July 30, 2012)
  • Valeris, Monique. "7 Stylish Outdoor Lights." Real Simple. (July 30, 2012)

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