The Bright Ideas Blog

Design inspiration and outdoor lighting tips and advice for homeowners

Lighting Your Driveway with Down Lighting for Beauty and Safety

Illuminating your driveway can add both beauty and safety. In this post, we discuss our favorite driveway lighting technique, down lighting.

Traditionally, a home's driveway is illuminated with coach lights by the garage or with the residual light coming off the street lamp out front. While these two solutions do add light to the driveway, they're a bit lack luster.

If mother nature allows, we prefer to light the driveway with a lighting solution called down lighting. Down lighting is a low voltage landscape lighting technique used to cast a soft light over driveways, walk ways, patios, etc. 

Down Lighting

Down lighting is created by mounting a fixture called a down light high up in a tree or off the architecture of the home. The higher the better. Once the fixture is mounted, the light it emits is cast down to throw a soft splash of light over the target.

We can see in the image below how this technique is used to reveal a walkway. 

Down Lighting Pathway

The key to a great design is trying to make the down light look natural. We don't want the light to be strong. An overly bright light will ruin the natural effect we want. 

When it comes to down lighting, less really is more. 

Down lighting is often refereed to as moon lighting because of how well it mimics the feeling of moon light. However, strategic placement also makes up for a large part of this feeling. 

For example, the down light needs to be shielded in order to block the glare coming from the bulb. The last thing we want to do is ruin the effect with a glaring effect shinning in our eyes. Proper down lighting is accomplished by ensuring the viewer sees the effect and not the source.

Curb Appeal

For the best curb appeal, the down lighting on the driveway should have some imperfection. 

Shadows are a great tool for adding some natural variation and imperfection! The shadowing and dappling of leaves on the ground from the light can make your down lighting look exceptional.

This is one of the reasons why we want the fixture to be as elevated as possible. The higher the fixture, the more branches and leaves between the light source and the driveway or walkway. 

When you drive up to your home at night, or return from an evening walk, the down lighting will create a warm inviting feeling on the driveway. 

Down Lighting Driveway Holladay Utah

Closing Thoughts:

Remember, the key to beautifully down lit driveway is having established trees, a natural look, and an overall vision you are attempting to create. 

Down lighting isn't for everyone. However, I can say with confidence that all our clients we've done down lighting for absolutely love it.

Landscape Lighting Makes All the Difference

At Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah, the art of outdoor illumination is a real passion we work to perfect. Designing elegantly bespoke landscape lighting systems is simply all we do. For over 15 years, our award winning team of designers and craftsmen have striven to bring the best outdoor lighting experience possible to people’s homes and businesses across the Wasatch front and beyond.

If you have an upcoming project you’d like help with, call us at (801)440-7647 for more information, schedule a free consultation, or feel free to simply fill out a contact form on our website,

Located in Midvale, Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah installs, maintains, and repairs lighting systems throughout Utah's residential areas, including Salt Lake City, Park City, Draper, Davis & Utah Counties.


Outdoor Lights | Lighting Specialist | Landscape Design