It’s easy to recognize good outdoor lighting when you see it. When the sun goes down, the house looks welcoming – there are no dark shadows, and entrances and the driveway are well-lit, secure and beautiful. 

You can create welcoming ambiance for your home with a good outdoor lighting plan. Here are some benefits of good exterior lighting and ideas for going beyond safety to improving your home’s curb appeal.

Outdoor Lighting Provides Safety and Security

Create well-lit paths and entrances

The most basic outdoor lighting plan will include exterior lights around your home. At the very least, you’ll want to make sure your entrances and paths are well-lit and shadow-free. This can include any side doors, any sidewalk or garden paths, and the yard entrance from the inside.

Motion sensors and solar

If you want to have your porch lit for safety reasons but it shines into a nearby bedroom, consider motion-sensor lights that come on when someone approaches the door. Every home has a pathway, even if it’s from the house to the driveway. Installing solar-powered path lighting is perfect to illuminate them and prevent trips when you’re coming home after dark. These lights soak up the sun’s rays during the day and start to shine as the sun sets.


Any stairs should certainly be included, and there are a number of ways to light them, including: under-tread lights, flexible LED strip lighting cut to size for each step, standalone bollards or post lights, and individual step lights mounted on a post or railing.

Exterior lighting makes it easier and safer to get around after the sun goes down and should be included in every homeowner’s overall lighting plan.

Add Beauty to Your Home

Our eyes are drawn to areas with the greatest amount of visual contrast, which means that you don’t necessarily need a lot of fixtures to create a beautiful lighting effect. Consider what you’d like to show off – (A unique tree? A fountain? A wall?) and then begin thinking about the best way to display it. Lighting can be cool or warm so don’t forget about light color and quality.


Subtle uplighting can make a striking tree, a fancy sculpture or a terraced garden look great. Lighting can also benefit water features, adding drama to your swimming pool or outdoor pond.

Layered Lighting

Talk to the specialists at J&S #Landscaping to discuss layered lighting, which can help set the mood of your space. This can be as simple as putting different lights on different circuits, such as your #pathway lighting against your deck #lighting. There is a also a wide range of #dimmers and controls available that will allow you to create different settings for different events. Keep in mind that if different light sources are all operating off the same dimming circuit, all the fixtures will dim at the same time. Planning ahead when it comes to this is essential—consider the #fixtures you want to control and how you want to control them.

What Are My Outdoor Lighting Options? 

  • Flood lights – good for showcasing large features such as an interesting-shaped tree or a garden fountain. You may need to use more than one to get the best effect.
  • Well lights – these work best on walls with uneven surfaces. Placed so they shine up or down, these can add a dramatic effect.
  • Recessed lighting – also good for showcasing various features, but because they’re set into the ground, they’re less obtrusive.
  • Outside pendants– use these in covered patios for direct lighting over tables.
  • Sconces – these are a great option to the typical porch light to illuminate the entrances
  • String lights – zig-zagged over seating or eating areas, these provide a soft, subtle lighting atmosphere reminiscent of European cafes.
  • Pond lights – designed to be submerged, these can add drama to your water feature

Call the Professionals at J&S Landscaping

There are important safety precautions to consider if you’re going to install outdoor lighting. You need to make sure that all bulbs, fixtures and cords are rated for the outdoors and all outlets are GFCI. To prevent fires, you need to know the correct wattage required for different lighting options.

Not everyone likes DIY projects. If creating or updating your outdoor lighting plan seems confusing and overwhelming, we can help! Start with a list of your goals for lighting your home’s exterior, then give us a call.

Contact J&S Landscaping. We can help you with all your outdoor needs! Call us @ 248-366-7980