Landscape Lighting – Design Basics

Landscape Lighting – Design Basics

Landscaping lighting is a great addition to your landscape design that makes your home more inviting and safe.

When thinking about your landscape lighting design, there a few basic rules you should follow.


Design Basics – Lighting Tasks

Your landscape lighting design should include both functional and accent lighting. The goal of your design is to have your lighting be multi-dimensional;  a nice balance of functional and accent lighting.


Task Lighting

Task lighting are lights that have a specific role. These lights add brightness to specific areas of your landscape and should be free of glare or creating shadows.

Task lights are great for security, like lining paths and walkways. Task lights should not be used for general lighting and should provide just enough light along a path to navigate.

Security lights, spotlights, and path lights are all great examples of task lighting


Accent Lighting

A good landscape lighting design will incorporate a lot of accent lighting. Accent lighting should not be used to light your whole house but to highlight specific features in your landscaping like fountains, tress, or a water feature.

The most commonly used  accent lights are well lights and bullet lights.


Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is considered the general lighting of landscape lighting design and is used to fill large spaces.

Ambient lighting is used in backyards for patios, decks and pools.  Think of any area in your yard where you and your guests spend a lot of time. Those areas are where ambient lighting work best.

Soft flood lights are great for providing ample ambient light.


Design Basics – What to Highlight

Last week we mentioned the top three lights our customers use for outdoor lighting.  You can read more here.

Here’s a list of the basic areas around your home that should be highlighted in your landscape lighting design.





Large Trees

Unique Architectural element of your house

Water Features


Design Basics – Creating a Mood

There are three basic “tactics” to use when deciding how use your lights; down lighting, up lighting and cross lighting.

Down lighting gives the effect of a full moon in your yard. All the lights are positioned high, above the trees and yard. Using down lighting is a relatively inexpensive tactic that can give your yard a more dramatic feel.

Up Lighting is a tactic used to create a dramatic effect on specific landscape features.  Lights are placed below a feature and the light is focused on a specific target.

Cross Lighting is the approach of lighting a feature from two sides to ensure the lighting in your design does not create shadows.


A Pro Tip from Old Mill’s Lighting Team

Once your design is finalized and your landscape lighting is installed, you have to position or reposition your lights at night.  It sounds kind of obvious but it really helps.  When positioning your lights at night, ensure the weather is clear and try three different time blocks; like right after sundown, 9pm and 11pm


Finance your Lighting Project

We have made getting your project done a little easier. We offer 100% financing for your lighting project.

Just ask us about financing when we visit for an estimate. You can read more about our simple financing here.


Request an Estimate

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an estimate, please call us at: 516-679-6228