Lighting can be one of the most important aspects of landscape and hardscape design, yet it is often overlooked or underdone. Proper outdoor lighting design allows you to highlight focal points and hide eyesores. It can also be used to enhance safety and security, to accent special trees or plantings, and to create a festive atmosphere for outdoor entertaining.

Landscape lights also serve a number of needs, from letting you walk safely down a flagstone path at night, to giving you a place to spend time with your family after school and work. Outdoor lights even deter burglars and reduce crime. Yet for homeowners, choosing which areas to light can be a challenge. Here, landscape professionals share their expert tips for lighting different areas of the landscape. If you’re planning for lighting in your landscape, this section will give you a better understanding of what to expect when landscape lights are installed, where the best places are to put lights, how to create effects with lights, and much more.

Landscape lighting is more than just shining some direct light at a walkway or up a tree. Not only are there techniques and methods for creating ambiance with lights, but some contractors even prefer to accent the architecture of the home rather than the trees or walkways or patio areas. Home lighting gives you the chance to highlight architectural features like pillars or columns, or enjoy the shadow play of lights on the craggy surface of stone veneer. “When you have a beautiful home, sometimes it’s more effective to light the architecture than the trees.”