Inspiration

Backyard Lighting Options for Homeowners

Light really does work wonders for the home. The right kind of lighting can totally transform each room in your home and can quite possibly do more for these spaces than furniture arrangement and a good paint job. As it turns out, it’s possible for lighting to do exactly the same for your backyard. Like interior lighting, backyard lights can accentuate, set the mood, and light the way for you and your family, as well as your guests. Today (or whenever you’re reading this) we’re going to tell you about the different kinds of yard lights, what they’re for, and what purpose they best serve.

Light really does work wonders for the home. The right kind of lighting can totally transform each room in your home and can quite possibly do more for these spaces than furniture arrangement and a good paint job.

As it turns out, it’s possible for lighting to do exactly the same for your backyard. Like interior lighting, backyard lights can accentuate, set the mood, and light the way for you and your family, as well as your guests. Today (or whenever you’re reading this) we’re going to tell you about the different kinds of yard lights, what they’re for, and what purpose they best serve.

Flood Lights

First up is floodlights. These lighting fixtures are the most effective way to illuminate large expanses of the yard simultaneously. They’re very bright and are most commonly placed over driveways and patios as a safety measure or to keep the party going long after sundown.

You have the option of either the always-on variety of floodlights or motion sensor-controlled. The former would work best for parties and outside gatherings and the latter is best for warding off burglars and vandals.

Spotlights

Spotlights are kind of a catch-all category for lights that point a narrow stream of light in a single direction. Spotlights can vary in brightness, although there are some that can shine brighter than floodlights. Whereas flood lights are best suited as a safety measure, spotlights are best suited for decorative purposes. You can use the contrast of light and shadow to great visual effect.

Step Lights

Step lights are either placed on the walls beside each stair or on the vertical face of the stair itself. Stair lights are useful for decks or porch steps because - let's be real - there’s got to be someone out there that has stumbled on their steps late at night coming in from work or a party. Step lights add an extra degree of safety and work alongside your railings to make sure that you don’t injure yourself or go tumbling to the ground.

Path Lights

Path lights tend to be on the softer to moderate side of outdoor lights and ensure that you and your visitors are able to see the path leading to your house. They’re also great for keeping you and others from tumbling off onto the grass or flower beds. Path lights can also serve to highlight your pathway and the bordering foliage. No need to put all that effort into your landscaping if people can only see it during half the day, after all,

Bollard Lights

These are lights that are mounted on top of posts and they’re able to shine their light in every direction. Bollard lights are actually rare in that they are the only kind of yard light that can do this. Bollards can be used as a safety feature but are also suitable for accenting landscaping, pathways, driveways, and houses. Really, these are so useful that unlike other choices on this list, they can go almost anywhere.

Up/Downlights

Uplights point up, and downlights point down; now that we’ve got that out of the way, you might be wondering what the lights are for and where they should go in your background. Uplights would be installed closer to ground level and downlights would be installed at higher points on your property.

These kinds of lights can be used to create a kind of welcome, mellow ambiance about your home’s exterior. Like spotlights, they play with the contrast of light and shadow and can make flat surfaces like fences and walls stand out more when directed on them.

To specify, uplights are best for placing emphasis on certain parts of your home, be it a favorite tree or a special piece of architecture. Downlights, in contrast, are best for calling attention to flower beds and any other ground-level quirks that your home has. You don’t have to choose one or the other though, if both appeal to you, then go for it.

String Lights

String lights are fantastic for invoking an intimate kind of ambiance that’s good for gatherings. These can be used to brighten the immediate area where they’re hung from either above on from around the borders.

String lights work best in outdoor kitchens and gazebos; places where people are likely to get together. To avoid having all sorts of cords running about the yard, you may want to invest in string lights with LED lights that aren’t liable to die anytime soon.

This assortment of lighting is a combination of accent lighting, landscape lighting, and safety lighting. The ideal choice would be to have all three types in your backyard so that every one of your lighting needs is met. Every yard may not need each one of these kinds of lights (and it’s possible that many of you may not want them all), but nevertheless, we hope that we’ve given you a good starting point to work with.

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