Dos and Don’ts of Outdoor Landscape Lighting

When arranging your outdoor landscape lighting, remember the 5 Do’s And Don’ts Of Landscape Lighting. Using multiple levels of light fixtures will enhance your design while avoiding the ‘pool of light’ effect. Incorporate a variety of lights for a more rounded appearance. Also, avoid lighting in a single straight line. Instead, make the arrangement look layered with different types of light fixtures. Then, make sure to experiment with the lighting to find the right balance.

Avoiding ‘pool of light’ effect

Outdoor landscape lighting can be a beautiful way to enhance your property’s appearance. But in order to make the most of the effect, you must avoid the ‘pool of light’ effect. A pool of light is when the light from the landscape falls on a single point. Avoid this pool effect by designing your lighting with different viewpoints in mind. Consider how you would view your landscape from every window in your home. Also, consider key high-traffic areas where you would want to emphasize.


Before installing your lighting fixtures, visualize the desired effect that you wish to achieve and choose the right fixture and lamp combination. Then, plan your lighting scheme with your desired effect in mind. Remember to consider the placement of each feature as it will influence the overall lighting effect. You can also change the bulbs of your spotlights to get a festive or seasonal look. Regardless of the lighting style, make sure that you plan your landscape around its intended effect.

Avoiding placing lights too close together

A common mistake people make when implementing outdoor landscape lighting is placing lights too closely together. It will look gaudy, and you may end up with dark spots where people could trip and hurt themselves. Lighting paths should be positioned at a distance of six to eight feet apart. If your pathway is too narrow, only place lights along one edge of the path. Using moonlights is a good option for adding soft ambient lighting.

When installing landscape lighting, remember to place lights eight to six feet apart. While this is a guideline, there are no hard and fast rules. As long as you know the correct distances for your lights, they will be evenly spaced and create the best ambiance. Make sure to mark your lighting locations to avoid the pool of light effect. Keep in mind that landscape lighting should not create a runway effect.

Adding layers to the arrangement

The key to lighting your outdoor space is to include different types of fixtures. Ambient, task, and accent lighting are all important in your outdoor landscape lighting design. Each type of lighting adds a different level of functionality and atmosphere, and the overall effect creates a more cohesive look. For example, you may want to have a downlight for a pathway, while another light will help you see when you are cooking outdoors.

Lighting can be layered three ways, depending on the need. You can use overhead lighting for general visibility and task lighting for areas like the kitchen and vegetable/fruit gardens. Ambient lighting is perfect for ambiance and accent pieces, and it can also help you enjoy the area at night. For more flexibility, you can also add security lights and cafe lights to your outdoor landscape lighting arrangement. You can choose whichever combination you prefer, but remember to space the lights evenly.

Avoiding putting lights in a straight line

One mistake that homeowners make when installing landscape lighting is trying to create a runway effect with the lights. Instead of guiding your guests or visitors down the pathway, you should place the fixtures on a slope or in a shady spot. If your path is narrow, you’ll want to consider putting smaller fixtures at intervals to help guide them through the space. For example, if you’re putting landscape lights in a straight line down the middle of a lawn, you can use a shorter fixture that can be placed higher.

In addition to aesthetics, you should consider safety when arranging your outdoor landscape lighting. Remember that most people can’t see a long way in the dark. When planning your lighting layout, it’s best to focus on both the front and the backyard. Lighting walkways and pathways is an excellent choice for security. Just make sure that you’re planning to hang multiple lights, not just one or two.