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  • Writer's pictureLisa Van Hoever

A Brief Overview of Landscape Lighting Fixtures and Their Uses

Landscape lighting serves a variety of important functions beyond enhancing your home's curb appeal, including adding functionality and increasing safety and security. A professional lighting designer will select the right combination of lighting fixtures that will transform your patio, garden, pathways, or backyard into additional living space that is not only beautiful but safe for you and your loved ones. Here are some of the types of landscape lighting fixtures and their specific functions that will help create the well-lit and visually appealing outdoor environment you're looking for:


Path Lights:

Path lights are designed to highlight walkways, driveways, and paths, enhancing safety by illuminating possible trip hazards, and guiding people through outdoor spaces. They are typically low to the ground, with a variety of styles, finishes, and materials to complement the landscape.


Spotlights / uplights:

Uplights highlight specific landscape or architectural features such as trees, statuary, or garden focal points by focusing a narrow beam of light at the desired feature, creating a dramatic effect. Adjustable heads allow for flexibility in directing light, and they come in various intensities to suit different lighting needs.


Tall pine trees lit with moonlighting effect
Moonlighting effect created with downlighting

Downlights:

Downlights are installed at a high point around your home or yard - for example, in a tree - and offer light in a more general area. With this high installation, they bring a warm and welcoming energy to your outdoor space. A popular downlighting application is called "moonlighting" because it replicates the light of the moon.



Deck and Step Lights:

These lights are designed to enhance safety by illuminating stairs, decks, and other elevated surfaces. They may be recessed or surface-mounted fixtures that blend seamlessly into the architecture, providing subtle lighting where you need it.


Well lights illuminating a row of arbor vitae
Well lights illuminate garden or architectural features

Well Lights:

Well lights are a type of fixture buried in the ground to uplight trees, shrubs, or architectural features, creating a striking visual impact. They are typically waterproof and built to withstand the elements.


Hardscape Lights:

Designed for illuminating hard surfaces such as walls, columns, and fences, hardscape lights bring depth and dimension to your outdoor space. They are compact fixtures that can be easily integrated into retaining walls or other hardscape elements



Bollard light illuminating walkway
Bollard light

Bollard Lights:

Bollard lights are excellent for defining pathways, driveways, or borders while providing an attractive wayfinding solution. They are tall, slender fixtures that are both functional and decorative, available in various styles and finishes.





Selecting the best landscape lighting fixtures and placement involves considering both functionality and aesthetics, which is why working with a lighting design expert is important. By strategically incorporating a mix of fixtures, your new landscape lighting system will transform your outdoor space.




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