Curb Appeal After Dark: Let Landscape Lighting Illuminate Your Home

Light up the night with beautiful landscape lighting design

From the manicured lawn to the well-appointed porch, you’ve worked hard to create a home that is welcoming to guests and eye-catching to passersby. The addition of a well-planned landscape lighting design will ensure your home’s curb appeal is in the spotlight even when the sun goes down.

But where to start? Consider your home and the surrounding property. Are there areas you want to illuminate for safety, such as steps and walkways? Does your home have architectural details that simply must be seen at night? Perhaps you have flower beds filled with interesting plants or decorative elements such as statuary?

Once you have chosen the focal points of your lighting plan, it’s time to explore the different types of landscape lighting.   


Types of Landscape Lighting

Hinkley Pathlights Round Posts

Path lighting adds style and safety to a walkway. Consider the light output of your fixtures to determine spacing that keeps the light from overlapping. Stagger the lights along each side of the walkway to create pools of light that illuminate a safe passage to the home’s entrance. (Atlantis Round Bollard, Hinkley Lighting)


Exterior Night image of modern multi level home with landscape and hardscape lighting

Hardscape lighting is ideal for use with brick or stone columns and under all types of steps, including wood, stone, brick and composite. It also works well on the underside of outdoor surfaces such as hand railing and fence rails.


Nighttime image of a home's exterior that is illuminated with spot lights

Spotlights are the workhorses of landscape fixtures. Use them to highlight the most visually-appealing focal points such as foliage, trees and architectural elements, like this home’s stone façade. (120v retrofit path and accent lights, Kichler Lighting)


Steps with lighted risers leading to entryway with modern JELD WEN door and windows.

Step lighting is a safety must for any outdoor zones with elevation elements, especially in areas without overhead lighting. Consider the traffic pattern of your space to ensure commonly used areas are covered. Step lights should be installed on the horizontal center of each riser.


Landscape Lighting Techniques


Beautiful home exterior landscape lighting grazing technique

Grazing emphasizes a textured surface — think tree trunks or stonework — by placing a light source within one foot of that surface and aiming the light beam parallel to it. 


Uplighting and downlight landscape light techniques displayed along a walkway and wall

Uplighting illuminates an area, surface or object from below to create a focal point in the landscape. For example, a spotlight is aimed at the tree in the foreground while the front of the home remains relatively dark. Alternately, downlighting illuminates an area from above, such as a tree-mounted spotlight pointed at specific garden elements or an area that needs a little extra light for safety. (FX Luminaire Lighting)


Landscape Lighting Design Techniques Shadowing and Silhouetting

Shadowing is an effect created by placing a light source in front of an object and projecting a shadow onto a surface behind the object. For example, placing spotlights directly in front of a row of bushes will produce shadows on the home’s façade. Silhouetting is used to dramatize a uniquely-shaped object, with a spotlight placed between the object and the front of the home. (Spot and path lighting, Kichler Lighting)


Landscape lighting design should be equal parts functionality and creativity. Whether you illuminate a simple walkway with path lighting, or project the shadows of hedges onto the front façade of your home, landscape lighting will ensure your property’s best features are in the spotlight. 


Photos courtesy of vendors.