We spent over 27 hours researching and testing 22 different types of landscape lighting and found that power source, lighting life, and materials were most important. The GardenJoy Outdoor Landscape lighting scored high marks in all categories and is our top pick. There is no wiring to worry about with these solar lights. It is very easy to set up and uses the sun to power the lights so they come on at dusk. The lights will stay bright for 8 hours on a full charge. The design of these lights complement any outdoor area and provide needed light right where you want it.
Introduction to Landscape Lightings
Most homeowners want a beautifully landscaped yard they can enjoy with family or while entertaining friends. With the huge selection of landscape lighting that is available, transforming your yard into something spectacular doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Good planning and the correct lighting can make a huge difference in how your yard looks and feels.
It is common to see various types of outdoor lighting in yards nowadays. In addition to making your yard look beautiful it can also add a level of safety since it prevents dark spots and “hiding” places.
There are several things you need to figure out and think about before you start looking at any landscape lighting. With the many choices that are available, deciding on the perfect lighting for your home can be really challenging, especially if you don’t have a plan in place.
This buyer’s guide will provide you with the knowledge you need on outdoor lighting so you can determine what your needs and preferences are. The right information will make choosing your outdoor lighting much easier and keep it enjoyable as well.
Top 10 Landscape Lightings
Landscape Lightings Summary
Outdoor lighting is something that can transform even an ordinary yard into something wonderful. However, to get the best look, you should first devise a plan and then purchase the lighting that will help you achieve your goals. There are so many different types and styles of landscape lighting available. Without a plan, it is very easy to become overwhelmed.
With the many options that are available, it is important to consider what kind of lighting you want, which power sources you want to use and what is your total budget. The three landscape lighting packages we reviewed above are great examples of the kind of outdoor lighting you can purchase to begin your yard’s transformation.
These lights look great around decks, lining the driveway or walkway of your home, and along your flower beds or garden walks. None of the top-rated lights are difficult to install and if you make a choice that involves a power supply rather than solar, the energy costs are so minimal they will not even be noticed.
If none of the choices we have shown you match what you want for your yard, read the buyer’s guide below. It contains information that will educate you on all the ins and outs of landscape lighting and how to choose the best lighting to meet your needs.
This information will take you from being a landscape-lighting newbie to someone with a plan who knows what lighting to look for and how to follow through in the most economical, simple way possible.
Landscape Lighting Comparison Chart
Landscape Lighting Buying Guide
Before you start shopping for your outdoor lighting, there are some things you need to think about. Below we have listed some of the reasons that people use landscape lighting. It’s important for you to know what purpose your outdoor lighting will serve so you can choose the type of lighting that helps you accomplish those goals.
- Overall Lighting – This is to bring light to a broad area like an entire back or side yard
- Specific Jobs – This type of lighting takes care of specific jobs such as only lighting up a porch or the barbecue area.
- Access Lighting – If you want to light up your walkways, driveways or garden paths, access lighting is the way to go and provides light along the way so you can easily follow the path.
- Security – Security lighting can be found in the form of motion lights but there is also outdoor lighting you can install that provides a continuous light which is more of a deterrent to burglars and other intruders.
- Accent Lighting – If you want to accentuate a special feature such as a statue, tree, or water fountain, you can use lighting to bring out the beauty of that one area. This can often be achieved in the form of a spotlight which illuminates the feature.
The Benefit of LED Lighting
There are several reasons that you should consider LED lighting for your landscaping projects. Even though it may initially cost a little more, overall it is a much better use of your money and will provide better results. Below are some of the benefits of using LED light bulbs and lighting.
- They last a long time; much longer than any other type of bulb
- They keep insects away
- You will save up to 80% of the electricity it would cost to operate regular lighting
- They are much safer because they don’t heat up
- Using LED bulbs conserves energy
Different Types of Landscape Lighting
There are multitudes of different light fixtures to choose from that have been designed for outdoor use. When you are looking over the different choices make sure that you pay attention to how easy they are to use and set up, how much they cost, and the look of the fixture in regards to your outdoor lighting goals. We have listed the more common styles of outdoor fixtures below.
- Lanterns – Lanterns are a lot like lamp posts only they hang separately, usually from a chain or they can be attached to walls and posts. They are perfect for adding elegance and ambience to decks, porches and even over garage doors. If you have plenty of sunlight in the area you’d like to hang the lanterns, you can look at solar options which eliminate the need for wiring or power. Solar lanterns are more eco friendly and cost effective too.
- Lamp Posts – There are some very beautiful lamp posts available on the market to choose from. Some lamp posts look very ornate and old fashioned; reminiscent of the times when lamp posts lined the streets of town and oil was used to light the lamp. Placing this style lamp post along your driveway or even just at the beginning of the driveway can add a lot of charm to your entrance.For convenience and economy, you will want to consider solar powered lamp posts which eliminate any problems or hassles with wiring and obtaining licenses or permits.
- Pathway Lights – If you want to add a dramatic and noticeable flair to your home, line the walkway or driveway with pathway lights. These are easy to purchase in either LED or solar powered styles. They can be super simple to install too; just put the light together, take off the LED restrictor tab, stick it into the ground and you’re all set.
- Flood Lights – Flood lights are a security type of lighting that illuminates a broad area with a lot of light. Ideal places for flood lights include over the garage, on the corners of your home, in the backyard, and anywhere else it can be very dark at night. These flood lights should be motion detectors that will light up whenever movement has been detected. Once activated, most flood lights will only be on for a few minutes and they turn themselves off when no further movement has been detected.
- Spotlights – Spotlights can be a major part of outdoor landscape lighting because they can be used to highlight certain elements of your yard. Spotlights can also be LED and solar powered to help defray electrical costs. Just make sure that they are placed in an area that gets ample sunlight during the day so they can fully charge and be ready to come on at night.
- Deck Lights – Deck lighting can be great for lighting the stairs to your porch or deck but they typically require professional installation. The most common places for deck lights are on the side walls of each step.
- Porch Lights – Porch lights can come in many forms. Most often they are installed on either side of the front door, but you can also put them on porch posts and railings if you want additional light. Porch lights are usually tied into the home’s electrical system and may require professional installation. Any LED or CFC bulb can be used in a porch light.
It doesn’t matter what time of year or what season it is, transforming your yard with landscape lighting can lift your spirits and make your house really stand out. With the hundreds and thousands of choices on the market, choosing the type of lighting you want and deciding on a landscape design can be daunting. With the right information and some work and attention on your part, you can quickly and easily have the outside of your home looking showcase ready.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money before starting to work on your outdoor lights. Firstly, you should plan what you want to light up and go from there. Path lights and driveway lights are not expensive at all, even if they are solar powered and LED. This is one of the easiest types of lights to purchase and brings instant results the night you set them up.
The information in this guide will help you identify the types of fixtures you want to purchase and which are suited for specific tasks. With the proper knowledge you can confidently make the lighting choices that will transform your yard into a lighted, dream-come-true experience for you and your family.