Top 4 Exterior Lighting Mistakes You Need to Avoid

Outdoor lighting is essential in many respects. First, it provides ambient illumination when the sun sets. Second, outdoor lighting illuminates the exteriors and make the property safe to tread at night at the same time ward away intruders. Lastly, outdoor lights can accentuate the beauty of your landscape and bring the focal areas into the spotlight.

Unfortunately, some homeowners meet stumbling blocks when planning and executing their own exterior home lighting design. So to help you achieve the best results and stay away from costly mistakes, here are the ones you need to avoid at all costs.

Gathering All The Lights In A Single Place

Sure, the patio is such a beauty, and you’re tempted to hang every lighting fixture imaginable in this area. Don’t. Like most things in life, you need to take outdoor lighting in moderation. Aim to distribute light evenly in most, if not all areas, making sure that each space gets its own share of illumination. You don’t want a reasonably bright entryway and dark backyard, for instance as that would serve as an open invitation for burglars to come through this spot.

Opting for Unsuitable Color Temperature

Each lighting fixture has a color temperature, and when you place a particular light or bulb outdoors, it creates a particular effect. Now, you need to know how color temperatures work to achieve the kind of mood or ambiance you have in mind. For instance, warm color temperature bulbs can make the entryway and pathway more inviting, while cold color temperature can make them seen cool, subdued and perhaps a little creepy. Color temperature is also an essential factor in lighting up plants and water features.

Lack of Contrast

Using large lamps like floodlights can provide more than the needed ambient lighting, but you’ll also find your property too glaring, flat and boring. Of course, you need ambient lighting, but you also need to create contrast with light and shadows to give the outdoors some drama. You can do this by combining adequate amounts of ambient lights and accent lights to form a layer of lighting that has depth and texture. Also, try to check how lighting would look like from the corner of your home, upon stepping into the pathway and even from your second-floor windows.

Improper Lighting Placement

Take into account the places and positions of your fixtures, including their overhead height (if it needs to be hung, like pendants) and their distances from each other. Some homeowners like to find order in their lighting design, so they tend to place everything with equal intervals, like path lights being perfectly parallel to one another.

While this semblance of order make the design look organized, it also creates an airport runway effect that diminishes the beauty and appeal of the area. Instead, position the lights in such a way that they provide enough illumination and play with shadows to come up with a more unique and appealing look.


Think of outdoor lighting design as a long-term plan, one that you don’t want to change for the next two or three years. With that said, you must strive to come up with an outdoor lighting look that you know you will love to come home to each time.

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