Landscape Lighting Design Tips to Get the Creative Juices Flowing

Contrary to what you many people think, a large number of homeowners do not know where to begin when it comes to landscape lighting design. They know they want to illuminate their yard but they don’t know what will work with their landscape and how the entire design will mesh together.

Landscape lighting design should be a fun experience even though it requires some work. Regard the process as a learning experience and a chance to create a new atmosphere for your landscape. The end goal will make the entire process worth everything you invested into it.

If you are feeling a little creatively challenged, try some of these pointers:


Observe your landscape during the day and notice the features that would look beautiful when illuminated. Remove your bias about what you see in catalogs and in pictures and imagine each feature with a soft glow or a spotlight.

Here are some places where lighting will enhance the landscape:

  • Walkways
  • Driveways
  • Pathways
  • Patios
  • Decks
  • Steps
  • Rocks
  • Trees and shrubs
  • Borders

Evening Research

Once you complete your daytime research, observe your landscape in the evening and use a flashlight to illuminate the areas you listed from the previous step. Notice how they look when lit and the shadows and glows they cast on objects around them. Use varying beam widths if you have them and different light strengths. Play around with colors as well.

Position the flashlight in different areas and uplight a tree or spotlight a water feature. Add a glow to water to see the reflection it casts. Shine a light on one feature and observe how nearby elements are affected. You may notice you prefer a stronger beam in certain areas and a weaker beam in others.

Write your ideas as soon as possible so you don’t forget. It will be helpful to have someone to assist you since you will be in the dark. Have your helper follow you around the yard and write your thoughts. Walk around your landscape several times since you are bound to miss an important feature if you are not concentrating. Step back after you complete this step and have someone shine the flashlight on the areas you chose so you can view how the lighting looks from more than one angle.

Draw a blueprint of your yard and place a marker at each area you chose to illuminate. List the type of light as well, whether spotlight, solar, low-voltage and the direction the fixtures will emit the light. This plan will aid you during your purchase process.

More Research

If you need more ideas, consult with a professional or search online. Visit DIY sites and related forums where homeowners will be more than happy to share their experiences. Ask a lot of questions before you dive in. Be prepared before you tackle the project so no unnecessary mishaps try to steal your flow. Good luck!