July 14, 2024

Terrance Weihl

Comfortable Interior Design

How to Choose Outdoor Lighting


Outdoor lighting is a great way to enhance the look of your home and turn it into an inviting space. But when you’re choosing outdoor lights, it’s important to consider your needs and make sure that those requirements are met. When I’m choosing outdoor lighting for my clients, I look at how they use their space both during the day (when they’re out there) and at night (when they’re not). We also take into account how much time they spend outside and what kind of architecture is already in place.

Here are some more tips:

How to Choose Outdoor Lighting

Consider the function of your outdoor space.

The purpose of your outdoor space will determine what type of lighting you want. If your yard is a place where people gather, consider lighting that’s interesting but not too bright. This can be achieved with string lights and lamps that give off a soft glow rather than harsh light. Similarly, if the purpose is for relaxing, consider dimmer options that aren’t overwhelming or distracting from the environment around them.

Look for lighting that offers year-round illumination.

The best outdoor lighting is the kind that offers year-round illumination. This means you can use it during the day, at night and during all four seasons of the year.

There are many different types of lights that work well in all seasons: solar LED lights are great because they don’t require any electricity to run; solar floodlights provide bright light without needing an outlet; gas lanterns give off plenty of warmth even when it’s cool outside; string lights make it easy for you to decorate your porch or patio without sacrificing safety (and they’re also easy on the eyes).

Consider how you’ll use your outdoor space.

The next step is to consider how you’ll use your outdoor space. Do you want it to be a place where people gather and relax, or do you need it to be safe and secure? Perhaps both! It’s up to you how much time and money you want to invest in the lighting.

If it’s just for safety, then consider motion sensor lights or even solar-powered spotlights that can light up pathways at night without any electricity needed from inside the house. If entertainment is more important than security for your outdoor area, then consider adding some string lights along with some potted plants as decoration (and maybe even an outdoor sound system).

Plan for safety and security.

Safety and security are important considerations when choosing outdoor lighting. You want to ensure that you can see where you’re going, what is around you and in front of you.

  • Brightness: The brightness of the light is important because it helps determine how far out into the distance the beam will reach. If your yard or driveway is large enough that it takes a while for someone walking across it at night to get from one end to another, then having brighter bulbs will help them see better as they walk along so they don’t trip over something hidden by darkness or fall into a hole (or worse).
  • Coverage area: This refers to how much area around an object receives illumination from a given source of illumination (e.g., bulb). For example, if there was only one lamp post located directly above your garage door when driving into your driveway at night time then there may not be enough coverage available since most cars aren’t nearly long enough compared against distance between two lamps spaced apart further apart than say two feet away from each other.”

Choose a style that fits your home’s aesthetic.

When choosing outdoor lighting, it’s important to consider the style of your home. If it’s a colonial-style home with Palladian windows and high ceilings, then you may want to go with something more traditional like chandeliers or lanterns. If your house is more modern in design, there are plenty of sleek options that would complement its clean lines and angles.

If you’re looking for something that matches your personality, think about what makes you unique as an individual: Do people describe you as funny? Quirky? Outgoing? Then maybe find some fixtures that reflect those qualities–like hanging strands of lights shaped like cartoon characters! Or maybe even try something unconventional like solar powered “light bugs” that come alive at night (they’ll never bite).

It can also help if the other decor items throughout your yard match up well with whatever type of lights are being used (or vice versa). For example: If someone has acres upon acres worth of grassy areas around their house but only uses plain old white bulbs for their landscaping lights…it would look weird!

When choosing outdoor lighting, think about what you need to do in that space, how much time you spend there, and what kind of architecture you have in place.

When choosing outdoor lighting, think about what you need to do in that space, how much time you spend there and what kind of architecture you have in place. For example:

  • If your backyard is the center of your family’s summer activities–and you want it to be safe and secure–you’ll want lights that shine bright enough for everyone to see at night. You may also want motion sensors so that they come on automatically when someone walks by them or if there’s movement nearby (like a dog playing fetch).
  • If this space is more reserved for relaxing alone or with one other person, dimmer lights will be fine since they won’t detract from the ambiance of starlight shining through trees onto your patio furniture set-up.


If you’re ready to begin planning your outdoor lighting, it can be helpful to start with a simple checklist. Think about what you want the space to look like and what functions it will serve. Then consider the different styles available and how those might fit into your home’s overall aesthetic. You’ll also need to consider safety and security needs as well as how much time you spend in each area of your yard or garden before making any final decisions on which lights will work best for each area.