Here Are Tips to Perfect Your Summer Outdoor Lighting

The right outdoor lighting creates a mood and ambiance that is welcoming all times of the year. Lights help to illuminate your home and make it beautiful, as well as show that it is occupied and welcoming for visitors. There are a few different types of lights that you can choose from, in many styles that will “delight” you and your guests.

There are special bulbs designed for outdoor lighting that are much more resilient than the ones for indoor lights. Be sure to check the packaging and see if the light bulbs you’re using in your fixtures are suitable for outdoor use. This will save you money in the long run, and help your lights to work their best.


Incandescent light bulbs, halogen spotlights, LED lights, compact fluorescent light bulbs, metal halide light bulbs and xenon bulbs can all be used outdoors.

There are many benefits to outdoor lighting, including: visibility, safety and security. With outdoor lighting, you can enjoy your property at night without needing to use flashlights and be able to entertain guests. It also creates a warm ambiance that makes your home look inviting and bright.

Key Components

There are a few crucial components to an outdoor lighting system. One is the transformer, which is the power behind the system. The transformer will plug into a GFCI protected outdoor electrical outlet. If you're using a low voltage system, it will step the current down from 120 volts to 12 volts.

Another key component is the electrical cable, which will deliver the current. Finally, you have the lights, of which there are a few different kinds. If working with electrical components is too daunting, please don’t hesitate to contact a professional electrician or handyman.

Front Entrance Lighting

Leaving a light on in the front of your home creates a warm and inviting atmosphere. When your spouse is coming home late from work, or any other guest, a bright light overhead makes a big difference.

Adding a front light also makes your home safer. Lighting outside and in the front makes it look like someone is home, so burglars won’t target your house if you happen to be away.

If your home has an overhang or a porch, you can use fixtures or recessed lighting close to the ceiling. For other entrances, you can use a wall lantern installed on the side of the door near the keyhole.

In-Ground Lighting

Another option for outdoor lighting is in-ground lights. These are recessed lights that go in the ground.  These are feature lights that work to highlight architectural features, sculptures or trees. You can find low voltage options available. Installation requires digging a trench, and you can ask for help from a professional to do this.

In-ground lights can also be used as pathway lights. Pathway lights illuminate gardens or walkways for easier access at night.

Accent Fixtures

Floodlights, hanging lights, spotlights, uplights, and wall wash fixtures are all accent fixtures that you can use in your outdoor home design.

  • Floodlights are popular outdoor lights that are used to illuminate large areas. These are used in stadiums, and smaller floodlights are used in landscaping architecture.
  • Hanging lights can be Christmas lights or other features that are suspended vertically.
  • Spotlights focus a beam of light on a wall, door, tree or architectural feature. Uplights are focused beams directed up a wall, entrance, sculpture or other vertical object.

Energy Conse​rvation

Solar Lights

Energy efficient lights with solar cells are a modern and affordable way to illuminate. Solar garden lights are the top choice for easy to use lighting that saves on energy. These have built in light panels that absorb energy during the day, and automatically illuminate at night.

When you first use them, it might take them a few days for the lights to absorb enough light to power on.

Solar powered lights do not require wiring, and you can simply stake them in the ground.

LED Lights

LED lights are wired in, and they use a lot less energy than conventional incandescent lights. According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, LED lights can cut energy usage by up to 50%.

LED lights are also environmentally friendly, and they are made without mercury.

Motion Detector Lighting

Motion detector lighting can add security to your home by only powering on when movement happens around the light. Along with video cameras, these types of lights will protect your home. They’ll also save on energy costs, as they’re only on when someone is outside.

There are many benefits to including outdoor lighting to your landscaping theme. Make the best of it by choosing cost effective and energy efficient lights that highlight the beauty of your home and create a welcoming atmosphere.

Edward Flanagan is the founder of Edward’s Enterprises, a handyman service & licensed general contractor that has been improving homes and providing facilities maintenance in Southern California since 1996. Their landscaping services include low voltage light repairs and installations as well as general yard work. Edward currently divides his time between Camarillo and Venice Beach, CA, and loves the 405.

Edward Flanag​​​​an

Abigail Jones

Hi, I'm Abigail. I like spending time tearing my house apart and putting it together back again. Join me on home improvement tutorials, tips on my blog.

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