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What Are the Best Tips for Backyard Lighting?

Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers

Many people add some form of backyard lighting to their property so they can see at night when outside. There are several varieties and uses for outdoor lights, and a homeowner's first step to picking backyard lighting likely should be to determine which varieties would help the most. For example, lights may be used to illuminate pathways, make it possible to see while performing tasks, or just accent a feature. Despite their many uses, there is such a thing as too many lights in one area, so it also is important to determine the right amount. Additionally, homeowners should consider how they can save money when lighting their backyard.

Backyard lighting often has various uses, so homeowners may want to consider how they will use the lights before making their purchase. For example, pathways, stairs and decks should usually be lined with path lighting so visitors can see where they are walking. Trees, plants and other backyard decor, such as fountains, often look impressive with accent lighting. This usually consists of a small light placed under or behind each item so a flattering glow is cast, allowing visitors to get a good look at the features that make up the overall backyard design. Task lighting also is often a good feature to add to specific parts of the backyard — particularly around grills, fire pits and tables — so people can easily see what they are doing.

Some area of the backyard, such as near a grill, need to be lit.
Some area of the backyard, such as near a grill, need to be lit.

Though backyard lighting is often both practical and appealing when applied right, it is possible to add too many lights to a yard. Homeowners are advised to use this piece of outdoor decor only as needed, because it is usually good to have some dark areas to create shadows. In addition, having too many lights can result in a waste of electricity unless the homeowner only uses a few at a time. On the other hand, having too few backyard lights can make it hard to see and may not allow anyone to admire the decor at night. For this reason, homeowners are advised to make sure there are enough lights to allow people to see without being blinded by too much light.

It is possible to light up the backyard without spending a lot of money on higher electricity bills and new light bulbs every month. Homeowners looking for cost-efficient backyard lighting are often advised to consider a light-emitting diode (LED) bulb. LED bulbs tend to last longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs, and they typically use less energy. Another way to save money on backyard lighting is to use solar lights, which are powered by the sunlight received during the day, often greatly reducing the electricity bill. In addition, it is possible to buy lights that are motion activated, which means they turn on when they sense motion nearby, allowing them to only be used when necessary.

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    • Some area of the backyard, such as near a grill, need to be lit.
      By: Jim Lambert
      Some area of the backyard, such as near a grill, need to be lit.