A Look at Lighting Design Techniques

Another aspect of outdoor home lighting which you will want to consider when planning your light layering and landscaping is design techniques. Even though you select your units, decide what power source you want to use and even where you want to place the lighting fixtures more or less, there are some landscaping secrets which, when used in combination with one another, can dramatically enhance your home further.

A skilled lighting designer will consider all angles of the home and property and then mix and match lighting fixtures and the following techniques to creatively paint the landscape with various shades and tones of light the same as a master painter uses a brush and paint.


Accenting is a technique which utilizes light to highlight certain elements or objects. Although accent lighting is a type of light layering, accenting is the actual use of illumination to enhance a specific area. Rock features on a home, ornamental shrubbery and yard displays are good receivers of accentual lighting.


Grazing is achieved when a light is directed across a textured object to enhance it. Objects and surfaces such as trees, rock walls, rough cut wood and brick are good for grazing.


This technique is accomplished by placing lights in front of objects to cast its shape onto the house, garage, fence, wall, etc.


Silhouetting is the opposite of shadowing. Place the light source behind an object to create an outline of the objects features.


Downlighting is achieved when a floodlight fixture is attached high onto a tree, pole or building with its beam of light cast downward. This technique will illuminate a large area.


The reverse of downlighting, uplighting utilizes spot or floodlights positioned on or near the ground with the beam directed upward. Uplighting has a more dramatic effect than downlighting because it reflects off the bottoms of leaves and creates better effects on rough surfaces such as tree bark and statues.


This is a type of downlighting, although a softer light is used which is diffused through tree leaves and branches to give the effect of shining moon beams.

As you can see, there are quite a few techniques which can be used to enhance the beauty of your home, yard and garden. If you don’t have an eye for planning such a creation, consider hiring a professional landscaping light designer to assist with the types and placement of lighting. You and everyone who passes by your home should enjoy the results!

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