Outdoor Lighting That Will Help You Make the Most of Your Yard

Lighting can really change the mood of any space, including your yard. But, don’t use fluorescent! LED & solar lighting has been proven to be not only safer but also more energy efficient. Many areas around your yard can be brought to life at night with outdoor lighting. Read on to learn the different types of outdoor lighting and what LED lights should be used in different areas of your yard.

What to Light in Your Yard

When choosing your outdoor lighting, what should be lit up and what should be left in the dark? Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Functionality: What objects are used and what do you NEED to see at night; stairs, pathways, boat docks, near garages, the front door.
  2. Highlighting: At night, you can choose what people focus on with lighting. No one will see all that work you did planting new shrubs at night if you don’t show it off with lights!
  3. Drama: Lighting can add excitement to things that might be drab during the day. A stone wall can take on a whole new personality when you use lighting.

The most important parts of your yard to light are right outside your doors and up any steps that might trip up your guests. Just remember:

Illuminated Garden by LED Lighting. Backyard Garden at Night Closeup Photo. Lighting

  • Use softer lighting next to your doors. You want to be able to see to get the keys in the door, but you don’t want to blind anyone that might be coming to visit!
  • Make sure if your lights are visible that it adds to the look of your home and landscaping. Wall lanterns and sconces are often used near doorways and have a high design value. Industrial lights could get the job done, but it would be tough to find a yard/home design to match.
  • Lights can perform multiple functions. A motion sensor light can help you see to make it to your house from your car at night, but it can also be used as a security light to deter potential threats.

LEDs for the Shop and Garage

These may not be directly outdoor areas, but you’re definitely going to want proper lighting. LED shop lights are perfect for both because they provide a ton of light with little energy use.

  • These 4′ LED Shop Lights are Rural King’s most popular item in the lighting category and for good reason. You can link up to 8 units together to easily turn them all on and off simultaneously.
  • LED lights are lightweight, use up to 90% less energy, and work 10 times as long as the average household light.
  • 4500 Lumens covers a large amount of space. Folks that have switched over to LED shop lights needed fewer fixtures to cover the same amount of safe. Just another way LED lights can save you money.

Outdoor Lighting Guide: Types of Lights

Below are many of the most popular forms of outdoor lighting. If you’re missing any lighting opportunities in your yard, no worries! I’ll tell you what you need to get each look and how.

Pond Lights

fountain lightingThese lights are made to be submerged in water and can add a lot of excitement to your pond or fountain. Some come with fountains and displays, like this one from Outdoor Water Solutions.

  • You don’t need a fountain to make an impact with pond lights. Use some colored lights and point them around the water to make interest designs using these Koolatron 4-Piece Pond Lights.
  • If your pond isn’t very clear or is covered with algae, try Pond Champs for a clear blue pond. This is also 100% safe for humans, swimming, pets, birds, fish, and livestock.
  • Want the fountain & lights without the pond? Try on of these LED light garden fountains.


If you have a statue, fountain, or favorite tree or shrub, spotlights will be your best friend. By placing them in different locations, they can provide different types of lighting for your landscape.lighting LED backyard during the day

  • Silhouetting is when you place a spotlight behind an object and point the light at a wall. This will create a silhouette effect because you will see the dark outline of the object. Great for using behind shrubs!
  • Shadowing is another option for spotlights that is similar to silhouetting. This time, place the spotlight in front of the object and point the light at the wall again. This will create a shadowy effect on the object and contrast it with the background.
  • Tree lighting is something many people do with spotlights. Simply set up your spotlight at the bass of the tree and point the light upwards. Flag lights are a type of spotlight specially made to connect to a flagpole. Find one that is solar powered, like this 50 Lumen Solar Flag Light.


Floodlights can be used for security, functionality, and beauty. You can also use these lights for stylizing large areas, like yard space or a large portion of landscaping.

  • If you have a basketball hoop next to the garage or have trouble seeing to back out your car, flood lights can be great. Place floodlights above the garage doors or on the side of the house to get the most use out of them.
  • If you use motion detecting floodlights, you can have them set up to turn on when a person or vehicle comes close to your home. Using LED lights here will keep your secure longer.
  • Using floodlights in landscaping can seem strange for those of us who don’t have a trained eye. However, lighting up a large space with only one light source creates amazing shadows and will draw your eyes in to focus on the space you create.

Path Lights

Garden LED light on a green lawn close-up. path lighting

This is probably the most common type of outdoor landscape lighting. Long pathways benefit the most from this type of lighting, but it improves the look of any walkway.

  • Using stake lights, measure the distance from the beginning of the path to the end. Then, space out the solar stake lights evenly down the path.
  • You can also use rope lights to highlight a pathway. Simply take two rope lights that are long enough to span one entire side of the walkway. I wouldn’t suggest this option if you mow along the pathway, as you might cut into the rope lights.

Deck and Step Lights

modern minimalism style stairs with night lighting

Use as an accent and add safety to your stairs or deck. If you’re just looking to spruce up the backyard, these lights will surely do the trick.

  • Install LED wall lights under each step or alternating steps. Make sure that the light is pointing downward as much as possible so that is cascades along the top of the step.
  • You can also put lights down from a railing if adding to the steps is not possible.

Did you see any outdoor lighting types that your yard is lacking? Maybe you already have some of these examples. Let me know in the comment section below.

For more tips on lighting, make sure to ask questions in the comments as well. We will respond with everything you need for your next backyard update.

Check out our other blog categories for more information on the things that interest you!

2 thoughts on “Outdoor Lighting That Will Help You Make the Most of Your Yard

  1. Solar Lights Outdoor Pathway

    What a grand idea for garden lights! I love seeing solar lights hanging on shepherd hooks instead of the usual stake in the ground. They add an element of grace to your pathway! Visiting from Solar Motion Lights Outdoor

    1. Mandi Mundhenk Post author

      Thank you for visiting! I absolutely love our spring decor selection of solar lights. We’re carrying a lot of variety and color this year. If you like hanging solar lights, you should definitely stop in and take a look!

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