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Landscape lighting for contemporary outside spaces

Landscape lighting enhances outdoor spaces, regardless of whether it is installed for practical reasons or for aesthetic appeal. Used in gardens and commercial properties, landscape lighting transforms all sizes of outdoor areas from tiny back yards to large commercial exteriors.
Interestingly, it’s not only outdoor spaces that benefit from landscape lighting. It also has an impact on interior spaces. In this article we explore where to place landscape lighting and how it influences beautiful interiors and exterior spaces.
outdoor landscape lighting

Where to place landscape lighting

Landscape lighting comes in various forms, each performing a particular purpose.

Outdoor surface spotlights

Spotlights project a narrow beam of around 20-45°. These are ideal for simply illuminating outside spaces or for displaying architectural detail or landscape features (trees / borders).

Outdoor surface projectors / floodlights

Floodlights distribute light over larger areas such as driveways and vast commercial spaces in which a beam of up to 120° will provide safety and visibility.

Outdoor inground lighting

Also known as a well light, an inground light is installed directly into the ground to illuminate walkways and driveways provides discreet and uncluttered appearance. When considering where to put landscape lighting, an inground light can also create a feature by being positioned in front of a garden fixture, tree or wall. Especially when mounted closer to the wall provides a dramatic ‘grazing effect’.

Path lights

Path lights create curb appeal in front gardens and design features in back gardens. They also safely illuminate paths where there are no street lamps or floodlights.

Outdoor post lights

Outdoor post lights can be used in residential properties to illuminate driveways. For commercial spaces they’re used for signage or as waymarks, guiding people to specific areas of the property such as the car park or to reception.

Decking lights

Decking lights improve the look of an outside space while also enhancing safety by illuminating steps and walkways.

Outdoor ceiling lights

A practical solution for restaurants and bars, outdoor ceiling lights create atmosphere as well as providing light over tables and outdoor seating.

landscape lighting for contemporary outside spaces - entrance way

Create beautiful interiors with landscape lighting

How does landscape lighting create beautiful interiors? By facilitating a seamless transition from outside, in.

Over the winter months it is easy to forget the back garden and all the work that went into it during finer weather. By illuminating the outside planting and garden features with carefully placed landscape lighting, the aesthetics and health benefits of engaging with the great outdoors enhance the interior design.

Creating beautiful interiors with landscape lighting gives a much needed sense of retreat, particularly in winter months when there is less daylight. At the same time, with good lighting control (i.e. control of different circuits) outdoor lighting can be an important extension of the indoor space.

landscape lighting for contemporary outside spaces - step lighting

Landscape lighting supplier

Detail Lighting is a landscape lighting supplier based in Buckinghamshire, supplying all of the UK. We advocate the benefits of outdoor living and offer landscape lighting solutions to architects, designers, property developers and contractors that transform residential and commercial design projects.

Landscape lighting kits

We work with clients to create bespoke landscape lighting kits from our range of recessed and surface landscape lighting products and outdoor living range of lighting solutions.

What safety specification is required for landscape lighting?

The main difference between landscape lighting and interior lighting is safety and protection from the elements.

Landscape lighting for garden paths, uplights and tree lights requires an Ingress Protection (IP) rating of IP44 or above. However, for decking and patios an IP65 rating is required to protect the unit from excessive water ingress; heavy rain or jet washing

For lighting ponds, water features or swimming pools a minimum IP68 rating is required to ensure the lighting is low voltage and sufficiently waterproofed to withstand the surrounding water pressure.

How much energy does landscape lighting use?

There are different lighting options you can specify for your clients’ outdoor area, and the design and fittings you use will affect its energy efficiency.

A few low wattage fittings using LED lamps will use a minimal amount of energy, at least 80% less than conventional 12 volt landscape lighting. They generate very little heat and are cool to touch so they are also a safer alternative to halogen lamps.

Integrating motion-activated outdoor lighting systems into your clients’ designs is another good way to increase energy efficiency. It’s possible to create a highly functional and aesthetically pleasing landscape lighting system by combining motion sensors with permanent lighting fixtures. Our technical team are on hand to assist your project and design the correct amount of fixtures to achieve the desired coverage.

Investing in LED systems will offer an impressive return, year on year. LED lighting pays for itself leaving more money in your clients’ pockets and a smaller carbon footprint.

How do I decide upon my landscape lighting design?

At Detail Lighting we would suggest a measured approach to your clients’ landscape lighting design.

If you decide you want to illuminate everything in the outdoor space, you will saturate the outdoor space in light, and lose the effect that a layered system would provide.

Decide on architectural features you want to accentuate such as a pond, tree, or foliage, and how to achieve visual contrasts between different elements of the space.

Soft accent lighting is perfect for perimeter plants and foliage, then a more striking light source could be used for larger outdoor features e.g. a tree or seating area.

Security is also important to consider for your project. Which areas should be lit and which shouldn’t. Does your client have an area which they use frequently e.g. seating or a path to a shed/out house?

Can Detail Lighting help design my landscape lighting project?

Yes. We have an in-house team of lighting designers to assist your project. We are ready to discuss your requirements and what you want to achieve for your clients’ landscape lighting project.

We have technical expertise in lighting intensity, colour temperature and the positioning of light sources. And importantly we have a real passion in building relationships with design and specification professionals, helping their clients achieve their desired outcomes.

The design team would be delighted to discuss what you want to achieve and can be contacted at

What types of landscape lighting fixtures are there?

For your landscape lighting project, you have a wide choice of lighting fixtures to choose from.

Spotlights and floodlights provide varying spreads of light beams. Spotlights are more concentrated and provide a more intense light source, whereas floodlights are ideal for a wider outdoor area.

In-ground lighting is installed directly into the ground and usually used to illuminate walkways and driveways. They are easy to design, specify and install, and perfect for commercial and residential environments.

Post lights and path lighting are practical applications that help users of your clients’ space to see where they’re going so they’re an ideal accident deterrent.

Deck and step lights are becoming increasingly popular because they hit both the aesthetic and practicality mark. As such they are perfect for entertaining spaces for residential and commercial spaces.

landscape lighting for contemporary outside spaces - residential garden

Can we help?

For a no-obligation chat about your architectural lighting designs, please contact us using our online form, by email at, or by calling 01908 613256.

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