Outdoor Lighting Design: Rules of Thumb

December 4, 2023
Gazebo lighting

Ever passed by a property with a beautiful outdoor design and were taken aback like “Woah, that’s a beautiful property!” Then another property with a few dim lights on its exterior and had the impression that the owner must be on a tight budget, sad, gloomy, or that the place is haunted — Yikes! But that’s the impact of an outdoor lighting design. 

An outdoor lighting design is a critical element in shaping and enhancing the character and functionality of external spaces. And it’s more than just installing lights and placing them in random spots. It has to be placed in auspicious locations that highlight your landscape and most importantly, your home. Whether it’s for enhancing your space’s aesthetics, and safety, or setting a mood, outdoor lighting plays a huge factor in landscape architecture. 

In this blog, we will explore the importance of specific aspects of outdoor lighting design, including landscape, garden, patio, and commercial outdoor spaces.

Understanding Outdoor Lighting Design Basics

Two skulls having a conversation for Halloween

Outdoor lighting design is more than just placing lights; it’s about understanding why certain lighting choices are placed there. So let’s deep dive into certain lighting principles and how you can use them efficiently to make your outdoor spaces shine.

Different types of Outdoor Lighting Designs

It’s more than just lights you’re seeing outside. They all have a purpose. So let’s learn which ones they are through the different types listed below.

Landscape Lighting Design

Aims to improve the look of your whole lawn with the use of artificial lights. However, these artificial lighting designs must be placed in areas that will help to strategically illuminate the focal points in one’s lawn.

Lights on Trees

Garden Lighting Design

Ever seen a garden with the correct lighting design that is just giving you that out-of-a-fairytale vibe similar to “Beauty and the Beast?” Well, that’s what you’re going to get if you add a good lighting design to complement your trees, flowers, and other garden features.

Soffit light

Exterior Soffit Lighting Design

Soffit lighting increases your property’s value. It is popular to add to your porches, and walls, for both ambiance and security. It is the perfect lighting design to have for your outdoor lights.

Design Consideration for Residential Outdoor Lighting

With residential outdoor lighting, the approach shouldn’t just be about personal aesthetics, it should also be functional. Here are some of the factors that you should consider before deciding on the lighting design for your residence.

It Must Align With Your Home’s Architectural Style

You must assess the theme or the style of your home. You must always find a lighting fixture that complements your home. If it’s traditional, you can try a classic lantern-style light, or if you have a contemporary home, simple, straightforward lights are enough.

It Must Match the Natural Landscape of Your Property

Check out the layout and features of your garden or your patio. Suitable lighting highlights key elements like a majestic tree, a water feature, or an intricate garden path. Then some soft ambient lighting to gently illuminate your flower beds and shrubs.

It Must Reflect Your Personality

Does your lighting style suit your personality? Why bother putting out very bright lights in your home when you’re not even interested in it? Go for something straightforward if you’re someone with a serious personality. But if you want to express your artistic side or simply be inviting to your guests, then choose a more vibrant design.
Straightforward outdoor lighting

It Must Support Your Multi-Functional Spaces

What is the use of your patio, gazebo, or decks for some BBQ with friends when you can’t use it at night? The appropriate lighting fixtures will save your night of lounging and conversation with friends. 

It Must Blend Functionality and Aesthetics

As mentioned above, when deciding on a good exterior lighting design for your property, it must blend both purpose and design. By doing so, you’re not just adding beauty to your property, but you are also increasing its property value.

It Must Enhance Your Space

Whether it’s for functional purposes or design, a good exterior lighting fixture enhances your space. Once your space is enhanced, this goes with the others mentioned above, it makes it useful, enhances security and accessibility by avoiding accidents, and increases one’s property value.

Now, those are most of the factors that you should consider if you want to be successful at adding a good outdoor lighting design that will integrate both your property and your personal style. Let’s create something beautiful on your lawn together!

Commercial Outdoor Lighting Design

Many local businessmen often overlook the design of their exteriors when setting up their commercial space. However, to create a beautiful ambiance that will welcome your guests into your property, one must have a good exterior lighting fixture to attract customers. This is mostly important for business owners whose business is a restaurant, bar, or coffee shop, which are mostly open beyond sunset.

Two skulls having a conversation for Halloween

‘Tis the Time for Merriment or Spooky Seasonal Outdoor Lighting Design

Now here’s our favorite holiday season where we all decorate our homes with lighting fixtures according to theme. For those who celebrate Halloween, people often go for colored lights that offer a gloomy feel for their home’s exteriors. You mostly see a splash of red, green, and bright white or yellow lights on exteriors for Christmas. There are multiple types of Christmas lights you can decorate your home’s exteriors to help you create that festive and merry vibe.

Stressing the Importance of Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Lighting Solutions

The crucial aspect of an outdoor lighting design can include the selection of the right fixtures, along with its energy efficiency. Make advanced, sustainable, and eco-friendly for patio lighting design in homes. This not only benefits the environment but also reduces long-term costs.

Straightforward outdoor lighting

Let’s Choose the Right Outdoor Lighting Design for Your Home!

In conclusion, you must always consider the right outdoor lighting for your home or commercial space. Whether it is for enhancing functionality, safety, and aesthetics. Whether for enhancing your garden, or patio or just simply decorating your home to increase its value. When you blend these, you can transform your space into a well-lit, stylish, and functional area.

Read more articles:
15 Ideal Indoor Lighting Fixtures to Illuminate Your Home
10 Indoor Stair Lighting Modern Ideas to Beautify Your Path
Optimize Your Project: When Do You Need Lighting Designers?
What Does Lighting Design Bring to Architectural Design
Interior Lighting Design: Its Importance & Samples