Light Up Your Family’s Life: What You Need to Know About Different Types of Outdoor Lighting

The outside of your home is the first thing a stranger (or potential buyer) will see, so why not start off on the right foot?

Gone are the days when outdoor lighting consisted of a few floodlights for safety purposes. Modern outdoor lighting provides you with a simple, cost-effective method to make your home stand out. A quality outdoor light installation is also one of the best ways to add value to your home, with the average homeowner seeing a 50 percent return on investment. (Source: Electronic House)

Thanks to advances in LED lighting, you can have complete control over your lighting’s aesthetic and color temperature. Since the wattages are adjustable, you can even make the entire fixture brighter as the seasons change or as new plants grow around it. And because LEDs are up to 75 percent more energy efficient than a regular incandescent bulb, you get to enjoy the added customization they provide without a spike in your power bill.

Photo courtesy of Patrick Beam, 9th Avenue Designs

Before You Start

As you start looking for inspiration and researching different styles of lighting, it’s vital to keep the style of your home in mind. If you have a traditionally styled home, stay with traditional lighting. For modern homes, a modern lighting style will be best. Your lighting should complement the best parts of your home, not overwhelm them. Consider the colors used in your stonework, siding and roofing. Earth tones, beiges and red brick work best with light fixtures in similar finishes such as bronze, brass or copper. If your home features slate, black and grey tones, you’ll want to consider lighting with a black, pewter, chrome, nickel, stainless steel or white finish.

It’s important to remember not only the style of your home but also its proportions as well. Different styles of lights lend themselves to different ceiling heights and house shapes.

Last but not least, beware of the big box stores. Before dropping time and money into your outdoor lighting project, consider professional help. There are thousands, literally thousands, of options for outdoor lighting. Many people feel overwhelmed. Then they go to the nearest big box store and ultimately feel underwhelmed at the results.

Hiring a professional installer (hint: hiring New Vista) will give you access to the best lighting options (including many you hadn’t even considered) along with the added security and extended warranties you wouldn’t get otherwise. New Vista, as a Pro Installer for Kichler Lighting, enables customers to enjoy an impressive 15-year warranty on lighting products.

Landscape and Garden Lighting

Nothing enhances the sophistication of your landscape and garden like proper lighting. If you’re looking for a “wow” effect, then landscape and garden lighting is your best direction. Besides the aesthetic benefit, adding lighting lets you enjoy your garden with family and friends well into the night. Garden lighting is a surefire way to transform your existing landscaping into an eye-catching space that people won’t want to leave.

If you’re thinking of installing a new garden feature, consider installing the lights at the same time. This not only will make sure the lights are perfectly placed but will also save you some money as well.

Front Door Lighting

Lighting the front entrance of your home never goes unnoticed. Most people only think of front door lighting for safety, but it’s also a great way to make your front entrance “pop” when viewed from the street. You can enhance your home’s natural features by adding lights on top of stone piers in the form of post lights or accent columns. With a variety of options available, you can really let your imagination run wild and find the perfect fit for you and your home.

Front Walkway/Path Lighting

If you have a walkway from the street, illuminating it instantly adds a beautiful aesthetic to the front of your home and boosts your home’s curb appeal. This could be achieved in a variety of ways from small integrated lights to lamp posts or light canopies. There’s no better way to welcome your guests at night than by greeting them with some serenity on their way to your front door. Path lights also have the added benefit of making your front path safer for visitors.

Outdoor Staircase Lighting

For added security and safety, consider adding lighting to your outdoor staircases. These can be placed either on the riser (lights are placed on the vertical portion of steps to illuminate step below) or on the side (lights are placed on the side of the stairs to illuminate each step’s surface).

Outdoor Wall Lighting

Of all outdoor lighting types, installing lights on outdoor walls seems to be the most popular. With many options available to fit your style and taste, you can choose a lighting scheme that presents your house in a way that’s unique to you.

Integrated Lighting

Small, low voltage lights can be strategically placed to subtly highlight special aspects of your home and garden. Integrated lights are self-contained and can be mounted almost anywhere. Most often these are used to accent decks, patios, walkways or arbors.

Interested in building an outdoor kitchen? We’ve designed and installed all types. Give us a call at 216-291-1100 today or email

JD Drcar is production manager at New Vista Enterprises, Inc. Founded in 2000, New Vista designs, installs and maintains breathtaking outdoor environments for clients throughout Northeast Ohio. JD is a graduate of Ohio University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Horticulture/Environmental Health Sciences. Connect with JD on LinkedIn.

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