Landscape Lighting Do’s and Don’ts

Landscape Lighting Do’s and Don’ts

Mar 2nd 2023

Nothing is more essential to an evening garden than the lighting you use. To create a peaceful ambiance, you can utilize string lights, spotlights, fairy lights, and more, depending on the available space. Here are some of the most important landscape lighting do's and don'ts to ensure your nighttime garden is just how you imagined it would be.


If you have any pathways in your yard or garden, consider adding path lights along the trail to ensure no one walks on your carefully cultivated plants. Solar-powered lights are the easiest solution for path lights because you don't have to deal with burying any wiring. But, if you find the perfect path lights, it may be worth investing even if you need to plug them in.

When thinking about adding any hanging string lights, create a plan and find sturdy locations to hook them up to so they will be secure during high winds or storms. Ensure the lights you choose are rated for outdoor use, so the weather won't damage them.

If you plan on using the garden or yard at night to let out the dog or if you want extra security, consider installing a motion sensor. When someone or something passes by your sensor, the lights will automatically turn on. This can deter potential intruders and help you keep a watchful eye on your pup.

Do be mindful of making sure you choose the right outdoor light bulbs. The longest-lasting bulbs today are LEDs and are also the most efficient. However, not all of them are rated for outdoor use, so check the packaging on any you plan to purchase. If you enjoy controlling all your lighting from one place, consider getting a smart bulb. Smart bulbs can be dimmed, change tones for a brighter or softer look, and even be automated to change on a schedule you set.

Do consider investing in a landscape controller. As your garden becomes more and more complicated with irrigation systems, lighting systems, and more, you can help keep track of all the variables. This ensures all the parts of your system will operate without a hitch and without solely relying on your memory.


Don't limit yourself to one type of lighting. Using a mix of paths, string, and spotlightswill add visual interest to your landscape.

Don't overdo the lighting in your landscape. Simple lighting with a purpose is key for an appealing look and for your wallet. Focus only on lighting up the essentials, like pathways or key features, and emphasize safety. If a corner isn't lit up when you're finished, you can always add another light or use a flashlight.

When illuminating a tree, remember to include the trunk, or the foliage will look like a floating UFO.

Use wire nuts to repair any breaks in the line or connect separate wires in your outdoor landscaping. When using the right size and rated wire nuts, creating a safe connection between wires is relatively simple.

Don't put your lights too close together. Lights on your landscape should draw your eye from one place to another, up the path, around the house, or to a focal point. Path lights can be placed closer together than spotlights.