Inspiring Outdoor Lighting & Landscapes

outdoor pathway lighting

When it’s time to brighten your outdoor landscape with some custom lighting, a few key pieces will go a long way. When you’re outdoors, your eyes adjust in a way that requires far less light entering into the lens in order for you to experience complex shadows and patterns, as compared to the indoors. Since—biologically speaking—your vision won’t be affected negatively if your lighting selections are understated, less really is more when it comes to your outdoor fixtures. To make the right selections for your space, start with something as simple as a relaxed stroll around your property, and allow yourself to visualize how you’ll use your space, then design your lighting to address your special night’s needs. 

Exterior Design

There are some key differences between interior and exterior lighting design. Although reflective surfaces are less of an issue outdoors, lighting fixture positions and shielding matter more, since they affect glare: and no one wants their guests blinded by severe glare at an outdoor party. Your outdoor design must also take direct versus indirect lighting into account; whereas direct outdoor light—like a direct light above a side entry door—lights up its subject exclusively, a nice indirect light can leave your surroundings in a broader, softer wash. Choose what you’d like to illuminate, and to what end.

Light ‘em Up

You can get creative with your outdoor landscaping lighting designs, but there are a few classic design mainstays that should top your list:

  • Paths: Light up your paths for a warm, inviting trail to your home; illumination that not only suggests you’re hospitable, but adds some security to late-night arrivals. Make yourself a pathway made for walking.
  • Entryways: Light up the doorways to your home, and make a late-night visit feel safer and more secure. Your delivery workers will appreciate it, too.
  • Driveways: If you’d like to feel like you’re pulling into your own personal runway—complete with safety lights—then illuminate your driveway in a soft wash that invites you home.
  • Steps: if you or your family have ever been prone to a tumble, then make life easier and light up your steps; especially useful in wintery, slippery weather.
  • Decks or Patios: If someone in your family is a superstar griller, then light up the grill (or outdoor kitchen) and give them the spotlight they deserve. If you’ve got a deck on a second floor, lighting your railing is a practical way to prevent any accidents.
  • Architectural Features: If you’d like to accentuate the beauty of a particular outdoor feature or a treasured plant, then some direct light can illuminate your favorite conversation-starter. Indirect light can set a whole wall off in a soft wash. 


You can get truly creative with the landscape lighting fixtures that make your home more secure, safe, and attractive; the right lighting fixtures will set off the beautiful landscaping additions that you’ve already implemented to set off your garden design. Contact Cottonwood Landscaping today for a quote on designs that will spark your imagination’s lightbulb, and light up the faces of any guest you invite.

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