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Light with Technical Touch: Learn the many Landscape Lighting Techniques

The right light can make a big difference in your landscape lighting scheme. Equally important is the correct application or technique for that particular light. Listed below are the many techniques you may employ in your lighting scheme.


Accent or Spot Lighting

These lights are used to focus an intense, controlled beam of light on focal points in your garden like flowers, statues, and shrubbery, creating points of interest in your landscape scheme.



If you’ve got some amazing masonry work to showcase, the grazing technique is perfect. Position the light close to the surface and bring out the texture of your highly-prized masonry wall or other interesting fixtures. Not recommended for smooth surfaces.



To create an eerie and cool effect, light objects from the bottom front. This technique projects shadows on the surface behind it, intriguing and perhaps warning passersby.


Down-lighting or Area Lighting

If you want to cast broad light over a wide area, mount lights high on the house or in trees. Floodlighting serves two duties: security and outdoor after-dark entertainment. To best highlight paths, steps, and flowerbeds, position the down-light close to the ground.



By concealing light behind and below bushes and trees, you’ll get a silhouette effect that’s absolutely gorgeous.


Pool and Fountain Lighting

Looking for a little liquid lighting? Underwater lighting creates beautiful and dramatic effects in pools and fountains. Dimmers allow you to control the intensity of the light and the water reflects beams very well.


Cross Lighting

Cross lighting involves two or more lights from different angles illuminating a tree or statue resulting in a strikingly beautiful display of the three-dimensional form.



Aim lights upward to create a theater-like effect. Place emphasis on interesting trees, textured walls or surfaces or statues. Uplighting is also great to use in order to focus on key plants or objects of interest on your landscape.


Spread or Diffused Lighting

Spread lights use low-level illumination to cover wide areas. Use in places where a lot of soft lighting is needed, like patios, decks, pathways, and driveways. Wall brackets provide this technique as well. Make sure that what you need lit is more illuminated than the fixture you use to light it.



The only difference between down-lighting and moonlighting is the intensity of the beam. Moonlighting calls for softer light positioned very high up so as to emulate soft moonlight.  


These are only some of the techniques. Don’t be afraid to use a good mixture of them, depending on what you need to be illuminated. Keep it interesting and switch up your techniques as they fit the lighting fixture. You don’t want to use only one technique; that’d be like using the same fade-in and out transition in your PowerPoint presentation…Boring! Switch it up, have fun and find everything you need to design an amazing landscape lighting scheme at eLightSpot.com