The Bright Ideas Blog

Design inspiration and outdoor lighting tips and advice for homeowners

Why Is "Layering" Your Landscape Lighting Design So Important?

What Is Layering Of Light?

When creating and designing your landscape lighting system there are 3 key elements that should never be overlooked.  These outdoor lighting ideas are what create the layers needed within a desirable lighting design.

  • Ambient
  • Task
  • Accent                                      

Ambient Light:

patio-lighting-image-landscape-lightingThink of Ambient Lighting as lighting that can carry our view from one area to the next.  This also may be considered as our general or overall lighting that creates balance and composition within our overall project.  Ambient Lighting should set the overall tone or theme and should never overwhelm the overall design.  

Often wash lighting or down lighting will be used to address ambient lighting needs.  


Task Light:  

pathway-path-lighting-landscape-lights-salt-lake-city-utahFunctional task lighting is used for specific functional purpose.  Areas in your landscape such as pathways, stairs, outdoor kitchens, pergolas, outdoor dining areas, and under counter tops.  Any area requiring special needs especially safety and even security.  

Specialty or specific lighting fixtures assist in filling the job of Task Lighting more often than not. Path lighting, beam mounted pergola lighting, even a flexible BBQ light can come into play.  


Accent Light:

picture6.jpgThis aspect of lighting focuses on very specific features.   Importance or visual impact is placed on specific interest such as special trees, water features, vases, statues or sculpted art.  The visual element of Accent Light can be applied to many pieces of the landscape.  

With accent lighting, proper lamp selection and use of light should be carefully considered.  This can make or break any lighting design. 


When creating The Art of Light  the 3 layers of ambient, Task, and Accent lighting should be considered.  Softly blending these elements is the key to creating a lighting effect that will truly be exceptional.  If you plan to make outdoor lighting your next home improvement project be sure your are working with a lighting professional that takes the time needed to describe these elements and be assured that your finished project will demonstrate this.  

 Free Landscape Lighting Design Guide



Landscape Lighting Design