Not only does outdoor lighting improve the aesthetics of your home, but studies find that having outdoor lighting installed can cut crime at night by 39%. It is an important investment for many homeowners when thinking about outdoor lighting options.

While outdoor lighting options can quickly get expensive, there are luckily many lighting options that work for any budget! Do you want to learn more about the different types of lighting for your outdoor space to find one that works best for you?

Keep reading this homeowner’s guide for everything you need to know about choosing lighting for your outdoor space.

Ceiling Mount Lighting

One of the most commonly used outdoor lighting options is ceiling mount lighting. They are especially common in homes with covered decks or porches, as they will provide plenty of light for these spaces and are still able to make a statement.

The one drawback with this type of lighting is that they need to be hardwired into your electrical system to have power.

When you buy ceiling mount lighting, you can consider using a flush-mount light, hanging pendants, or anything in-between!

Sconces or Lanterns

If you are looking for outdoor lighting options to make improve the curb appeal of your home, adding outdoor lanterns or sconces to the side of your house is a great way to do this.

They provide a timeless aesthetic to your home and are commonly used on your front porch, near your garage doors, on your outdoor patio, and more.

While these types of lights don’t provide as much light as other outdoor lighting options alternatives, they help your home stand out and look welcoming from the street.


Floodlights are commonly used for security purposes, not aesthetics. This is because they provide a much broader beam of high-intensity light to your home and yard.

They are often used to deter criminals, as burglars will typically avoid targeting homes that have well-lit yards with nowhere to hide.

Most often, homeowners will use floodlights in their driveway or backyard and they are often motion sensor lights as well.

String Lights

One type of outdoor lighting options used to improve the ambiance of your space is string lighting. They are often used for garden lighting or outdoor living spaces and provide the space with a soft glow.

These types of outdoor lights are one of the least expensive options for homeowners and instantly improve the aesthetics and vibe of your outdoor living space.

However, they don’t provide as much light as other lighting options, so they are mostly used for their appearance. This is because other types of lighting, like floodlights, will be too strong for an outdoor space at night and will make it difficult for your eyes to adjust.

Instead, this type of ambient lighting will give you a more relaxing, dimly lit space. They are perfect when used near a pool, over a patio or deck, or in an outdoor dining area. String lights are simple outdoor lighting options.

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Path Lighting

Path lighting is often an important safety feature that can keep you from tripping and falling when you are walking outside at night. They can illuminate your outdoor walkways leading up to your home. Many outdoor lighting options will include path lighting.

In some cases, outdoor lights sit on top of stakes that are driven into the ground. However, you can also design your space with lights that sit flush with the ground and are installed in your hardscaping.

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Solar Lights

Solar lights are a great option for homeowners that are not able to hardwire any of their outdoor lights. Rather than relying on your home’s electricity, solar lights are able to use the sun’s energy to gain power throughout the day. Once the sun sets, solar lights will automatically turn on.

Most often people use these types of solar lights for path lighting. They can be installed easily along a pathway in the grass and won’t use any additional energy.

However, solar lights may not perform well when the weather is bad or during times of the year when days are shorter. This is because they won’t be able to collect enough energy from the sun to power themselves.

Motion Sensor

Motion sensor lighting is another great choice for homeowners looking to improve the safety and security of their homes. Unlike many other outdoor lighting options, motion sensor lights turn on automatically whenever movement is sensed within a certain range of the home.

If a burglar were to come near your home, the lights would turn on and prevent them from breaking into your house.

One drawback of motion sensor lighting is that they may turn on if they sense other things that are not threats. For example, cars, pets, and even wildlife may trip the sensors and cause you to worry unnecessarily.

Smart Lighting

Smart lighting is a popular alternative to motion sensor lighting. Rather than being controlled by a sensor, you can control these types of lighting with a smartphone or some type of voice assistant.

This means that you can schedule your lights to turn on at certain times of the day, even if you are away from home.

Many people who go out of town leave their lights on the whole time to deter criminals. With smart lighting, you can save electricity without having to compromise your security.

Because this type of lighting requires newer technology, they are often one of the more expensive options for outdoor lighting.

Task Lighting

Outdoor task lighting is important for your outdoor living spaces and is beneficial for specific types of activity.

It is used to provide operational lighting, with enough brightness that you can do all of your required outdoor tasks. When selecting task lighting, you must make sure it is bright enough for your needs and is fit for its purpose.

For example, if you have an outdoor kitchen or grilling area, your task lighting will illuminate these spaces to allow you to use them even after the sun has set.

Some other types of task lighting are pathway and staircase lighting. Not only are they used to improve the aesthetics and appearance of your outdoor space, but they are also essential to keep people safe.

Indirect Lighting

Indirect lighting is a common type of outdoor lighting that is used to highlight features of your outdoor space while improving the ambiance of your space.

There are many inexpensive and efficient options that you can use for indirect lighting. For example, you can purchase rope lighting to hang on the underside of a retaining wall or under a railing. This will help you light the space without having to look at a bright light.

Indirect lighting can also work as dark-sky-friendly lighting if you choose the right options. Rather than having exposed lights, dark-sky-friendly lighting is shielded and typically pointed downward to keep it from brightening the sky.

This type of lighting also has a minimal blue light, which helps regulate light pollution.

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Moonlighting has only been around for a few years but is a great option for downward-facing lights. Moonlighting uses floodlights that are placed high, often in a tree, to mimic natural moonlight.

Although this type of lighting uses floodlights, it is typically used to improve the mood and aesthetics of a space, rather than improving safety and security.

Hardscape Lighting

Hardscape lighting is becoming more popular as more homeowners have created permanent outdoor living spaces with hardscaping features, like fire pits, retaining walls, and patios.

As part of this hardscape design, they integrate lighting into these structures to keep them well-lit and to improve the aesthetics of the space.

This type of lighting is low-profile but is still able to highlight specific features of your design and add dimension to the space.

Portable Lighting

Finally, you can invest in portable lighting. These include wireless lamps, lanterns, and even LED candles that come in many shapes and sizes.

These types of portable lighting are great for outdoor spaces because they can suit many different needs. If you move around in your backyard, you can take your lighting with you instead of having to use a hardwired light or another electrical source.

Looking for the Best Outdoor Lighting Options?

When it comes to home design, outdoor lighting is an easy way to protect your home while improving its aesthetics. By learning more about each of these types of lighting, you can find the options that fit your budget and needs best.

If you need help choosing the best outdoor lighting options for your home, Patriot Landscape Solutions can help! We will help you design your system and install it to help you transform the curb appeal of your home.

Contact us today to get a free consultation for our outdoor lighting services!