Madison Wisconsin best lighting

Technique: 8 Ways to Light Outdoors

Outdoor and Landscape Lighting creates effects in your landscape and welcomes people to your home. We’ve gathered together some of our favorite techniques with illustrations to help you on your way to lighting the exterior of your home as beautifully as the interior. A couple of tips? 1. A little light goes a long way outdoors. Use a gentle approach. 2. See why we love LED here at Madison Lighting. 3. Multiple light sources will help you create effects like lighting the canopy of a tree or washing a wall. Talk with our certified lighting specialists in our showroom for help creating the look you’re after. And, bring photos on your phone or iPad of your home and walks to help us visualize your project. Let’s get started.

1. WOOD DECK & STEP LIGHTING

Step and brick lights can be used in masonry and wood constructions. These fixtures are specifically designed to provide safety and accent lighting. For the effect shown here, a surface mounted deck sconce is placed on the wall above each step to illuminate a safe entryway to the deck. Using an under bench light, a soft glow creates a warm atmosphere for seating in the outdoor area.

2. SHADOWING

Shadowing is an effect created by placing a light source in front of an object and projecting a shadow onto a surface behind the object. For the effect shown here, spot lights are placed directly in front of the cacti, developing shadows which are projected on the home’s face creating an interesting and inviting facade.

3. WALL WASHING

Wall washing is a technique that refers to the general illumination of a wall or surface. For the effect shown here, spot lights are placed along the front of the home to create a soft wash of light.

4. SILHOUETTING

Also called backlighting, silhouetting is used to dramatize an interesting-shaped object. For the effect shown here, a spot light is placed between the tree and the front of the home. The spot light is aimed at the front of the home creating a dramatic silhouette of the tree.

5. STEP LIGHTING

Step and brick lights can be used in the masonry and wood constructions. These fixtures are designed to safely illuminate stairways and walkways. For the effect shown here, the steps are gently illuminated leading up to the doorway to ensure safety.

6. GRAZING

Grazing emphasizes a textured surface (such as a tree trunk, a stone wall, climbing ivy, ect.) By placing a light source within one foot of that surface and aiming the light beam parallel to the surface. For the effect shown here, spot lights are placed beneath each stone pillar to create shadows and dimension, complementing the home’s entryway.

7. PATH & AREA LIGHTING

Path and area lighting is used to enhance landscaping such as flower beds, shrubbery and borders while safely illuminating pathways.
For the effect shown here, path lights are staggered around the walkway to illuminate a safe passageway to the home’s entrance and to emphasize the dynamic design of the landscape.

8. UPLIGHTING

Uplighting refers to illuminating an object, area, or surface from below. For the effect shown here, a spot light is aimed at the tree in the foreground while the front of the home remains relatively dark. This method creates a focal point in the landscape.