The Best Way to Install Landscape Lighting

Design tips for landscape lighting

With spring in full swing, it’s time to get outside and get to work. If your yard is looking great but you’re still searching for ways to boost your curb’s home appeal, you should consider adding a little landscape lighting. Landscape lighting is a great way to highlight focal points in your yard and really make your home stand out from the others in your neighborhood. Below, we’ve shared a list of design tips from Jim Gorman for This Old House Magazine. Good luck!

Trees: Gorman recommends using well, bullet, or flood, and downlight to highlight trees. When aiming ground lights straight up into foliage, he says, “be sure to also bathe the trunk in light.” When illuminating foliage from above, he says, place two 20-watt downlights as high in the tree as possible and point them so their beams don’t cross.

Planting Beds: Use garden fixtures, Gorman says, and place them no closer than 20 feet apart to guide your eye from one plant to the next rather than creating a continuous lamination.

Home Façade: Gorman says bullet and wash lights are best for facades. Fit bullet lights with bulbs that have 12-degree beam spreads, he says, and aim them at the corners of the home or architectural details. Fill in the space between them with softer wash lights.

Garden Walls: Position well, bullet, or flood lighting fixtures close to the base so the “beams bring textures into sharp relief.”

Focal Points: Gorman says you can highlight an element that deserves attention by aiming two or more lights at it. This will reduce the harsh shadows created when only one light shines on it. Flood, bullet, or wash light fixtures are best to use on focal points.

Tools For a DIY Project

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