Landscape Lighting Guidelines and Tips

Why Should I Light My Landscape?

Landscape Lighting

Landscape lighting allows you to enjoy the beauty of your home and surrounding property after sunset. You can control the appearance of your landscape with strategic use of light; Highline the unique design elements of your home; provide safety for your family and visitors; draw attention to unusual or beautiful plants and trees; provide a dramatic scene for your enjoyment while indoors or for entertaining guests.

Designing Your Total System

What do you want to light? Pick favorite trees, interesting plants, a fountain or statue. These items will be the focus of your lighting plan. Think about how you use the property. Are there areas you would like to illuminate for recreation, entertaining or work? Think about areas in which added light would enhance safety - steps, or a dark wall around the side of your home.

Application Techniques

Step & Bench (Deck) Lighting

Step Lighting

Step and brick lights can be used in masonry and wood constructions. These fixtures are specifically designed to provide safety and accent lighting.


Grazing emphasizes a textured surface (such as a tree trunk, a stone wall, climbing ivy, etc) by placing a light source within one foot of that surface and aiming the light beam parallel to that surface.


Downlighting describes the illumination of an object, area or surface from above. Moonlighting creates a more natural effect. The light, usually mounted high inside the canopy of a tree, bathes the ground with a soft glow.

Path & Area Lighting

Path/area lighting is used to enhance landscaping such as flower beds, shrubbery and borders while safely illuminating pathways.


Shadowing is an effect created by placing a light source in front of an object and projecting a shadow onto a vertical surface behind the object.


Uplighting refers to illuminating an object, area or surface from below.

Wall Washing

Wall washing is a technique that refers to the general illumination of a wall or surface.


Also called backlighting, silhouetting is used to dramatize an unusually-shaped object.

Step Lighting

Step and brick lights can be used in masonry and wood constructions. These fixtures are designed to safely illuminate stairways and walkways.