Discover how to set up the right lighting in your garden. Use our guide to learn about the different types of outdoor lights and their features.

Lighting makes any setting feel more comfortable or it can work in the opposite manner and make it an experience that is difficult to be in. Ultimately, having the right lighting is imperative regardless of the setting.

This is especially the case with outdoor lighting. You might not have previously considered outdoor lighting to be important, but it has far more of an impact than you may have ever realized before and here is why.

What are the benefits of investing in outdoor lights

For a variety of reasons, keeping your house lit at night might be something that you would like to do. For one, it makes for an aesthetically pleasing decoration. With the right lights around your house, you can highlight the exterior of your home on the darkest of nights, standing out in the sea of darkness and unlit homes. This makes your house seem like it is literally shining above the others on the block.

For outdoor parties, having ample outdoor lighting can keep the party going all night. If you don’t have any lighting on your patio area, the party will end when the sun goes down. No one wants that, do they? Instead, light up the night with the right lighting and everyone will stay until the party wants to end.

For safety reasons, having outdoor lights around your pool can be great. This is especially true if you have young children that don’t know any better and will find themselves in questionable predicaments. Keep that pool space illuminated so that both you and they can see where they are going and to keep them out of unsafe scenarios.

Save your money: go LED

As technology progresses, so too does the technology that we are using to provide lighting for any situation and scenario. Your traditional filament bulbs work just fine but they are inefficient, not nearly as safe, and need replacing far more often.

With LED lights, you get the most efficient lights possible. They will help to save on your energy bill over the long run and will provide cleaner, brighter light than ever before. Even better, LED lights are smart home capable, meaning that if you connect your lighting fixtures to a smart switch, you can control them from your smartphone or with a voice command.

Best of all, LED lighting provides you with a near-infinite amount of options in regard to color and control. There is a wide array of LED colors out there that you can implement in any space to mix things up and provide a different mood.

And as mentioned, you can control them in different and more effective ways than ever before. With smart home switches, you can dictate the color of your LED lights, in what rooms the lights turn on, and for how long. That is a level of convenience that has never been experienced before. 

What are the different types and specifications for outdoor lights

There are two different things that I want to focus on as key specifications for your outdoor lighting. Generally speaking, wattage is important but for most residential settings, you can get away with lower wattage so it is not something to focus on.

Instead, there are two things to focus on: motion detection and waterproof capabilities. You will find out quickly that these two functions can make an outdoor light into a real asset that you will be glad that you invested in.

Motion detection

These are absolute necessities for outdoor lighting that is being used for security purposes. When installing lighting for security measures, you want your light to be quick and responsive, especially when it comes to intruders on your property.

When you get lights with motion detection capabilities, you can rest comfortably knowing that anything – from a stay animal to an intruder – will have a bright light upon it and won’t be able to proceed onto your property without the whole neighborhood seeing. 


This is the most essential feature of an outdoor lighting fixture. Because it is outdoors, it has to deal with the elements and that means a little bit of rain from time to time. If you have a lighting fixture that can’t stand up to the elements, then why bother?

Get a waterproof lighting fixture and yon won’t even have to have a second thought about it when the weather turns sour. 

Different types of outdoor lights

There is a huge array of outdoor lights that might work for your particular situation, but there are far too many to go over. Instead, we will take a look at the most relevant kinds of lights and how they might best suit you.


This is your strongest light possible. It is meant to light up a small area very brightly. This is great with a motion detector to make sure that any unwanted intruders are immediately put on blast to anyone within a designated radius. No one will creep in the dark again. 


These are meant to help save you on energy costs while still providing ample light at night. Do your homework because not all solar-powered lights are the same and some might not quite live up to the standards that you need. 

Solar torchlight 

In a similar vein to the solar-powered lights, the solar torchlight uses the sun to charge it up for night use. The difference here is that instead of a bulb, the solar torchlight makes it appear as if there are real flames dancing instead of a bulb. The best part is you get that flame-like appearance without the actual dangers that fire can bring. 

Motion sensor activated

These are essential for home security. When you get an outdoor light with a motion sensor added in, it will turn on whenever it picks up on something like an animal or a person walking on your property. You might not want to get one that is super sensitive, because they can pick up when the wind blows in some instances and that might be overkill. 

Ceiling fan incorporated for your porch or patio

While it is great to be outside during the warmer months of the year, it can also be uncomfortable when the temperatures climb. If you have the capability, installing a ceiling fan is a must as well as having a light fixture that is incorporated into the fan. This will provide you with ample light as well as a bit of cool air to make your time outside all the more comfortable.

Sky lanterns

Some enjoy the lantern style of outdoor light and the best way to incorporate that is to have it dangle from overhead if at all possible. This way, you get the light that you need, the lantern aesthetic, and it doesn’t have to be in the way. That is convenience and style rolled into one.

Mosquito killer lamp

One of the worst aspects of the summer is the creepy crawlies. No one wants those nasty mosquitoes in their face and now, you don’t have to worry about it. Getting a lamp that will fry those suckers makes your stay outside as comfortable as ever and doesn’t require you to swat at those little buggers. 

Crystal Ball Solar Lamp

Much like the aforementioned solar entities, these require the sun to charge but provide the light through a round, clear globe much like a crystal ball. It is a cool aesthetic that can make an interesting talking point for guests and visitors when they visit your outdoor space.

Flame lamp

Who doesn’t like a touch of fire too bright and warm the night? With a flame lamp, you can bring that to your outdoor space in a controlled and safe manner. No worrying about the flames dancing out of control; they will simply provide the ambiance that you want.

String lights

These have become popular for the younger generation because they provide a unique aesthetic that can make for an interesting design motif. They won’t provide a ton of light, but they can certainly make for a talking point.

How to choose the best lighting fixture for your outdoor space

First, it is important to determine what you intend to use the outdoor lighting for. If you are simply implementing it for security measures, you might want to consider something with a motion light attached or perhaps a spotlight. This will ensure that anything that isn’t supposed to be there is lit up like a Christmas tree and visible in the immediate area.

If you are looking for outdoor lighting for an entertaining space, it depends mostly on your design motif. There are so many different variations that can provide ample lighting that it really depends on your personal taste when making a decision.

If you live in a warmer part of the country, consider getting the ceiling fan option. This way, you get the lighting that you need while staying as cool as possible even when the day has been boiling. Comfort is an important aspect of hosting outdoors.

Go with what your design aesthetic is and you can’t go wrong with any kind of outdoor lighting. Just think about what you need it for and the rest will fall into place, creating the optimal outdoor space.

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