Written by Breakaway Landscaping

house lighting in woods

An excellent way to make the most of your outdoor living space is to add landscaping lighting. Lighting is not just functional. It also transforms your space by adding drama, highlighting your favourite garden features, and even casting shadows to add texture. Here’s how to design landscaping lighting for safety and aesthetics.

Create a Plan

Make a rough layout of your yard so you can consider the best spots to install your lighting. For practical purposes you’ll want to add lighting in the following areas:

  • Pathways
  • Driveways
  • Stairs
  • Patios
  • Cooking areas

However, for aesthetic purposes, you also want to consider any garden features you might want to highlight such as:

It’s all about where you want to draw focus, and areas you might prefer to remain dark or shadowed.

Choose the Lighting Function

Once you scope out the ideal lighting positions, you need to consider the function of each light installation. Typically this would include one of the following:

  • Overall lighting: For areas such as dining and entertaining areas, kitchens, or the pool.
  • Task lighting: Ideal for your kitchen or grill area.
  • Accent lighting: For aesthetic purposes to highlight areas or objects.

The function also dictates the type of light you wish to cast with softer lighting in overall areas and more pronounced lighting for taskwork and accents.


To keep your outdoor landscape lighting safe, it is best to choose low-voltage lighting of no more than 12 volts. Your installation also requires a transformer, cables, and lights specifically designed for landscaping/outdoor installation.

Prioritize for Budgeting

If you have a budget, use your plan to prioritize the areas you feel you absolutely need lighting including:

  • Steps: This is very important for safety, but also ends up creating a more aesthetically pleasing look for your patio or deck stairs.
  • Pathways: Pathways require downlighting to cast light where people step.
  • Decks/Patio Spaces: Since this is where most people will spend their time, lighting on your entertaining/gathering area is a must.
  • Security: Consider the perimeters of your property to help create boundaries and light up key entry points such as side doors and windows.

Once you prioritize you can move onto your landscape features.

Light up your yard with some landscaping lighting. To learn more about landscape lighting, contact our team at Breakaway Landscaping today!

Contact Us

garden lights

Feature Lighting

As part of your landscape lighting design, focus on the garden features that will make your outdoor space more inviting. Consider the items on your plan and decide the type of light you wish to cast:

  • Uplighting: This is ideal to draw attention to taller features such as trees, trellises, or walls. To add drama, set the lights behind the feature to cast light and shadow, and to focus strictly on the feature use two lights on either side cast from the front.
  • Downlighting: This lighting can be installed in trees or at the tops of walls to cast light downward. It also works well over water features or garden sculptures. They also can create texture when cast over brick or stone walls.
  • Mirror Lighting: This is the most effective lighting for larger water features and pools. By lighting one side of the water it creates a reflection from the other side.

If you are thinking about adding landscape lighting to your home, look no further! At Breakaway Landscaping, we can help you pick out the best outdoor lighting for your home. Contact us today to learn more.