Our guide helps you understand outdoor lighting fixture types and functions so you can choose the best and safest lighting for your home.

What’s Outdoor Lighting?

Outdoor lighting includes a variety of light fixtures that address and improve exterior home security and safety. Additionally, these outdoor light fixtures highlight landscaping and architecture at night and come in a variety of styles and finishes.

1.Power and Performance

2.Types of Light Bulbs for Outdoor Lighting


4.The Best Color Temperature for Outdoor Lighting

Color temperature for lighting is measured on the Kelvin (K) temperature scale and refers to how cool or warm lighting looks. The Kelvin scale tracks from warmer to cooler. Lower Kelvin numbers are warm with yellow light, and higher Kelvin numbers are cool with blue or white light.

5. Outdoor Wall Lights

Outdoor wall lights mount on virtually any vertical surface and cast an ambient glow. Great for illuminating recessed areas, pathways, walkways and stairways, wall lights help eliminate shadows in recessed areas of architecture or hardscaping, therefore reducing the risk of tripping and accidents. Because these are accent lights, use low-wattage bulbs. Higher wattages create glare and can be harsh at night.

6.Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans offer multiple benefits: decorative overhead lighting, cooling and insect deterrence. These are best in covered porches, entryways and gazebos. Just make sure the ceiling fan you intend to install is rated for outdoor use.

7. Landscape Lighting

Landscape lighting accents a home’s facade and landscape features. With a variety of fixture types, it’s easy to find a solution that creates all the right highlights. Path and stake lights illuminate walkways to prevent accidents along footpaths. Deck lights attach to the structure to cast ambient light onto the deck for easy navigation. Use on stairways to prevent accidents. Accent lighting helps highlight a home’s architecture and outdoor living spaces by introducing uplights, downlights, well lights and spotlights.

8.Smart Lighting

Smart lighting — or lighting that directs its glow only where it’s needed — is essential as it minimizes the amount of light spilling over into unnecessary spaces.

Another way to minimize light pollution is to install dusk-to-dawn fixtures. Using a light sensor, the fixture determines the time of day and operates only in the evening. This is an especially useful feature when used in combination with motion lighting, so you can avoid paying for the electricity used unnecessarily in daylight hours.

If you don’t have motion fixtures or dusk-to-dawn fixtures, consider using a timer for outdoor lighting.

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