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The Bright Ideas Blog

Design inspiration and outdoor lighting tips and advice for homeowners

Landscape Lighting Design - Ideas and Concepts to Consider

The process of Outdoor Lighting Design is a very important step in the overall process of a outdoor lighting project. This is the step where art and technique integrate to bring the landscape lighting professional into their own special niche. Many professionals, who are capable of constructing patios, decks, pergolas, steps, etc. outside your home, also offer the service of installation of an outdoor lighting system as a side service.  

A company like Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah only concentrates on Landscape Lighting Design, Installation and Maintenance of outdoor lighting systems. In all their marketing materials, they use the tag line “Art of Light”. This phrase actually gets at the soul of the outdoor  lighting industry. The Design Process of an outdoor lighting project is where the lighting professional collaborates with a home owner from the very beginning of that person’s decision to have a lighting system installed on their property.


The design process is the canvas that is the backdrop of the project.  This is where the landscape lighting professional takes on the role of an artist. The creative soul of the professional generates images of the look and feel the home owner wants the outdoor lighting to bring to the property surrounding their home. These design elements are incorporated here:

  • Place lighting fixtures where they will create shadows and depth.
  •  Make sure focal points to be highlighted include unique architectural features on the property.
  •  Hide the source of light and check for glare from those sources from all angles.
  •    Choose a combination of lighting techniques to showcase the home, patio and decks, water features and foliage.
  • Good outdoor lighting design is a work of art and should be designed to draw the eye to key elements of the outdoor area.
  • Always keep Safety and Security in mind while striving to generate an aesthetically pleasing visual experience.

Lighting techniques are wide and varied to effectively accentuate architectural and natural features on the property. Here is a list some techniques that are utilized by the lighting pro to produce an artful design throughout the property:

  • Highlighting- This technique places task lights (flood or spot) at the base of a feature a few feet away and pointing the light upwards towards the feature (tree, shrub, statuary, etc) to highlight that particular object.
  • Silhouetting- By placing the task light (flood light is preferred) behind the feature aimed towards an adjacent wall to create an illuminated backdrop for the object being featured.
  •  Shadowing- Like silhouetting, shadowing places the light fixture in front of the feature (i.e. a soft wispy tree) focusing the light through the object to an adjacent wall.  Movement of the tree in a breeze will create a dramatic effect.
  • Wall Washing- This technique creates a soothing and even glow on the facade that the task light is pointed towards.  Place a light fixture a few feet away from surface and give the fixture a sideways angle.  This creates an even and subtle ambient light accentuating the surface.  Using a flood light works more effectively than a spotlight.
  • Moon Lighting- Using a light fixture with a full glare guard and attaching it high up in a tree and angled downwards.  This technique simulates actual moon light shining down through the branches.  It provides a very natural and beautiful lighting effect spread over a large area.


All the creative techniques above, and many more, are available tools of the trade for the outdoor lighting professional with the training and technical background in the outdoor lighting industry. Here in Utah Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah has all the skills and artistry to help a homeowner who is interested in installing an outdoor lighting system on their property.  They have a proven track record and when you go to their website www.utahlights.com there is a very complete design guide section that can clarify many of your questions as well as many recommendations from homeowners like yourself that have worked with them to create an outdoor lighting system they are proud to share with their family and guests.

Free Landscape Lighting Design Guide

Landscape Lighting Design