You’re hanging out in your backyard with friends, having a beer and a lovely time. Then, it gets dark, and you realize something’s missing.

The lights.

Backyard lighting is a combination of functionality and feeling. Sure, you have to light your paths and see your friends’ faces in the dark, but you can also use lighting as an element of landscaping to bring drama to your yard.

We’re breaking down everything you need to know to get the best outdoor lighting for your yard, whether you want to host the best barbecue on the block or just hang out with your dog in the backyard.

Include At Least Three Types of Lighting

When figuring out how to light your backyard, you should make sure to include at least three types of lighting:

  1. Ambient
  2. Task
  3. Accent

Ambient lighting can be achieved through things like wall lights, hanging lights, and post lights. Task lighting, as the name implies, includes more functional lighting like path lights and security lights.

Then, there’s accent lighting, which draws out certain features you want to highlight. Spotlights are the easiest example of this.

Know What to Light

But, before you start choosing your lighting, you should know what you want to light and what you want to leave in the dark.

The easiest place to start is to identify the features in your yard you like the most. Maybe you have a particularly stately tree or some lovely landscaping work.

In addition, keep in mind that anything which isn’t lit at night won’t be seen. This means you can add a certain drama to features that might be lacking during the day.

Finally, you should also think about function. After all, you want to be able to see your path and your front door at night.

In other words, you can figure out what lights you need by breaking down each type of lighting and figuring out what you need (and want) to accent.

Know Your Lighting Options

Once you know the types of lighting you have to work with and what you need to light, you need to get familiar with your lighting options.

For example, there’s uplighting, which is the most basic variety of outdoor lighting used to create drama. The most common example is a spotlight lighting a tree.

There’s also silhouette lighting, which is when you place a light behind something you want to dramatize.

If you have especially large or high trees, you can also use moonlighting, which is when you place a light high in the tree and aim it downwards. This will wash the tree branches and the space beneath them with light.

The Best Outdoor Lighting for Your Yard

The best outdoor lighting for your yard isn’t just a light you flick on to see what you’re doing. It’s a light which brings out the personality of your home.

We’re committed to helping you bring out the best in your home, whether you need a new lighting installation or a service call.

Check out our blog for more ideas, like these 5 fall display ideas.