Outdoor Lighting Design Tips – Expert Ideas to Brighten Any Outdoor Space

Daylight savings hits, and we all feel left in the dark during the coldest months. Lighting design focused on brightening outdoor spaces can have a major impact not only on the outside of our property, front entrance, and back yard spaces, it can also make your home feel bigger on the inside, too. 

Outdoor lighting adds safety and ambiance to any space when it’s designed well. Illuminating even a single tree in your front yard can increase the feeling of space both inside and outside, especially if all you can see is black when you look out. The best outdoor lighting designs will make your entire garden look magical at night, especially in winter when sunset is before 5:00pm in St. Louis. Learn how to pick the best outdoor lighting design for your home, and get inspired to make your own garden GLOW! 

Show your St. Louis Cardinals pride! Plus, Valentine’s Day and Christmas.

Use Outdoor Lighting to Highlight Garden Features 

Maximize the full potential of your beautiful garden features with the soft ambiance of outdoor lighting. Cast brilliant luminescence on your favorite outdoor elements so that you can actually see them when it’s dark outside. Trees, fence lines, garden beds and retaining walls can all be used as a focal point. An outdoor pond or pool area can also be made more brilliant with the right lighting. A backyard water feature uses lighting to make the outside feel more special – and more spacious when it’s pitch black. 

The amount of time the lights are on can be adjusted throughout the year to save on energy. Lighting is strategically placed to highlight features with year-round interest, like the large boulders surrounding the waterfall and the larger trees where birdfeeders hang. Lighting like this breaks the “black wall” you would otherwise be seeing when you look out. 

Outdoor Lighting Doubles as Low-Maintenance Holiday Décor 

What could be easier than using a quick mobile app to change the color settings to match the season when it comes to holiday décor?! Life is stressful enough, and this clever décor hack can go a long way in adding a festive vibe practically on-demand with the right outdoor lighting system. Adjust individual light settings or use the preprogrammed options designed for popular holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Mardi Gras or Valentine’s. The possibilities are endless when it comes to lighting colors to show your support of your favorite sports team, pride, or just your favorite color of the moment. Outdoor lighting can be used to minimize the use of string lights or other decorations that take up valuable storage space in your home. 

outdoor lighting for Christmas and holidays

An architectural focused lighting system will enhance curb appeal, a color-changing LED lights give you full control over the light’s hue. Synchronize all lights for a stylishly simple monochromatic look or mix and match to instantly change the mood. Pair with string lights for added holiday drama, or keep it low maintenance if you’re pressed for time. 

Use Outdoor Lights to Make Your Home Feel Bigger

Did you know that outdoor lighting can actually make your home feel more spacious? We’ve already hinted on this little talked about interior design trick here; when it’s completely dark outside it essentially creates a dark barrier between your interior spaces and the outside world. When you look every single window in your home and all you see is a black wall, it can make your interior spaces feel smaller and more cramped, no matter what size it actually is. Adding lights to the outside of your most popular hangout areas in the house will extend your living space while improving visibility at the same time. Dining rooms, kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms can instantly feel more cozy with strategically placed lights. This also applied to hanging temporary holiday lights. Display them where you can see them and enjoy them the most! This might mean hanging lights in an unexpected place, like the side yard, back yard, garage or balcony. Use your most commonly looked out of windows as a guide to more enjoyable holiday lighting. 

Showcase Your Personality or Cool Art! 

It’s no surprise that people take great pride in the things they collect and display in their homes – inside and out! Art sculptures, statues, water features, garden gnomes and everything in between can be made to feel more special thanks to uplighting, spot lighting, cross lighting or other light design techniques. Use different shades and colors of lights to add nighttime interest to your most prized garden features. Blown glass and other art pieces reflect light in unique ways, adding instant drama when the sun goes down. The garden photo shown below is filled with cool art pieces and sculptures that are made more brilliant as soon as the sunsets thanks to a well balanced lighting system. 

Thoughtfully designed outdoor lighting can boost your mood and expand the visual space of the inside of your home. It’s a brilliant way to boost your interior design, working from the outside in to create more depth and visual interest. If daylight savings gets you down, and you hate coming home to a dark, unwelcoming house every day then outdoor lighting could do the trick to make you feel happier at home… especially during the winter months. See other charm-adding upgrades our design pros love to use to maximize curb appeal and overall home aesthetic.