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5 Outdoor Lighting Tips for Home Decor

By: Decorated Life Team |

These 5 outdoor lighting tips are perfect to show off your garden, landscaping and outdoor decor at night, using the dark night sky as your backdrop and the lights to create mood and ambience. I think outdoor lighting is often overlooked. With more outdoor entertaining, anytime of the year, money spent on your lighting is money well spent.

Landscape design by Mondo Landscapes - Gardening Zones

Get it right and you add instant curb appeal by creating outdoor features where none exist during the day. It forces you to maximize every bit of garden space and create amazing features that work for you day or night. 

outdoor living

There are more outdoor lighting options than ever to help you showcase your entire garden, patio and yard. And these options are growing. From the easy to install, to solar lights, pendants, uplights and downlights.

Mixing up your outdoor lighting

Let’s see if there are some ideas you can use and fall in love with. 

1. Go for Low-Intensity Bulbs

A few lower-intensity lights create a softer look that makes it easy to see your decor at night. Its friendlier too. Ever had a sharp bright light on your face as you approach a friend’s door at night? Its hard on your eyes, isn’t it? You can barely see their face and having a conversation isn’t exactly easy.

Outdoor lighting ideas

Even if you’re highlighting a single wreath, you should still opt for low-intensity bulbs over high-intensity options. A single bright light won’t showcase your beautiful wreath, instead it will create harsh contrasting shadows that make it hard to see the whole wreath and its details.

Magnolia wreath lighting

If you are going traditional with lamps on either side of the front door, they should be one fifth the height and width of the doorway, including trim. e.g. a 100″ high by 60″ wide entrance would require an 20″Hx12″W fixture. 

Outdoor lamps should be approximately one fifth the height and width of the doorway, including trim. (For example a 100″ high by 60″ wide entrance would require an 20″Hx12″W fixture.) Post lights should be as large or larger than the lights at your front door...

2. Select Lighting to Create Different Moods 

The type of lighting you choose can create completely different moods. Its not only the style of your lighting but the way it focuses the light, so make sure you select something that gives you the look you want.

outdoor lighting elements in the backyard

Uplighting points from the ground up is great for gardens for a bold and dramatic feel to create features in your garden by highlighting them.

Mix downlighting and moonlight from above for a soft romantic feel.

Uplights and downlights sets the mood for the night

Finally, crosslighting helps to eliminate shadows and gives your decor more depth.

IALD Award Winners AKA Beverly Hills By Oculus Light Studiio

It fills in the gaps and is perfect for outdoor entertaining so you can see who you are talking to and what you are eating! 

Add different levels of lighting

3. Accent! Outdoor Lighting Tips

Overall lighting is good for illuminating your entire landscape, and task lighting can help you see to walk up a path, but if you want to showcase one particular part of your decor, you need to choose accent lighting.

Path lighting by Jam Architectureon interior design and home decoration

Accent lighting brings the focus to one particular area or object.

front door spot light

Make sure its suitable for outdoor weather, waterproof and long wearing.

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While you can usually accomplish this with a floodlight or spotlight, those aren’t your only options.

create a pattern of lights

You can also think about installing smaller lights around the doorway or aiming the lights near the door to shine toward your decor.

night lighting

4. Consider Cove Lighting

If you’re interested in something different to highlight your outdoor decor, consider installing cove lighting.

lighting - cove lighting

Although you typically see cove lighting installed inside the home to bring attention to decorative ceilings, you can incorporate it outside as well. You can install cove lighting around the perimeter of your porch or under seats to bounce off the wall or ceiling and offer indirect ambient lighting.

Outdoor lighting ideas

5. Don’t Forget the Timers

You’ve got a busy life, and the last thing you need to try to remember is to turn your outdoor lights on and off.

outdoor string lights

This is when timers come in very handy. Simply set up your timers so your lights come on at dusk and turn off at dawn, and your home and decor will look beautiful no matter the time of day.

create a feature

Whether you want to show off a gorgeous wreath or your other beautiful home decor, these outdoor lighting tips can help you do it.