People are incorporating a lot more outdoor living into their lives at home, and for this reason, outdoor lighting needs to be approached with the same principles as indoor lighting. Ambient, accent and task lighting all serve their purpose in an outdoor lighting plan.
Accent lights can be used to highlight particular features in your yard. Smaller trees are great showpieces in a spotlight, and larger trees can reflect light back into the yard. Flowerbeds benefit from ground lighting that adds drama and beauty to your yard scene. And if you get the itch to do a little gardening at night, ground lights can also provide good task lighting.
If you have a deck with built-in seating, downlights add the feeling of candlelight for an intimate scenario. You don't want to over-light, so a good rule of thumb is to come up with a lighting scheme that mimics moonlight. You can choose from a variety of solar lights which are charged by sunlight, or low-voltage lights that connect to the electricity in your house. Solar lights are typically less expensive, but they also don't give off as much light. Low-voltage lights are more expensive and require additional equipment, but they offer considerably more light.