How to Position Your Outdoor Lights for the Best Results

Sep 19, 2023 9:29:31 AM

There are so many factors that go into the perfect outdoor lighting design. It’s generally a lot more complicated than people tend to realize. Most homeowners assume that you just select a few different lights and install them around your property.

But there are actually numerous factors that come into play. Everything from how bright the landscape lights are, to what type of lighting applications you use, to the location of the lights, and even how high they should be, all comes into consideration in a good design.

Where to place landscape lighting is also a crucial consideration.

Outdoor light position will have a significant contribution to the overall landscape lighting design. 

outdoor landscape lighting proper placement on property

In this article, we’ll talk about how to know where to position outdoor lights. Positioning lights is probably a bigger deal than you might have realized.

Where to Position Outdoor Lights

Where to place landscape lighting has a lot to do with the techniques that you are trying to achieve. People are often surprised at the multitude of ways that can be used to light a single area. 

It really depends on the type of effect that you want to create as well as the functional purpose of your lighting.

For instance, in order to light a pathway, you could go the traditional route and install path lights. But, you could also get a bit more creative and use a downlighting effect to light that path from above. This is generally a more subtle way of lighting the path (it creates a “moonlight effect”), but it still serves the main purpose.

Pergola Walkway Lighting from above
You can position outdoor lights in a variety of different ways so that they achieve different effects. For instance, silhouetting (placing the light behind the object you’re lighting up) can create a unique visual effect in which the object looks like it has a silhouette around it. 

Shadowing (placing the light at the base of what you’re lighting up), can do exactly what the name says and cast a shadow.

You can have the same light and simply position it in different ways to create entirely unique effects.

Consider Your Landscape Lighting Style

As you think about where to place landscape lighting, you’ll also want to consider your style. This is something that we’ve talked about in other articles, as every homeowner (and every Memphis property) is truly unique.

If you’re looking for a more natural and perhaps subtle lighting scheme, you might place lights in ways that achieve lots of moonlighting and a softer glow. 

But if you have a lot of unique elements on your property that you want to highlight in the evening hours (stone architecture, archways, or perhaps sculptures, as examples), you might want a bolder style with lots of accent lighting.

Outdoor lighting highlighting features in yard
It does not have to be one or the other. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to have different lighting styles and preferences for different areas of your property. It’s all about how you use the space and what you want to highlight various aspects of your property. Where you place lights can make all the difference in these various goals.

Working with a Pro on Where to Position Outdoor Lights 

These decisions can often feel overwhelming on your own but with a landscape lighting professional guiding you, you’ll be able to make the best choices for your Memphis home.

When you work with a skilled professional with an eye for design, they’ll know exactly how to position lights in order to maximize their purpose and appeal. 

Of course, every property is unique, so this should be a customized process. If you have a landscape lighting professional come in and just repeat a cookie-cutter design, then you’re going to miss out on the benefits. After all, you want something that is uniquely your own.

landscape lighting expert talking to customer on property
If you’d like to talk more about outdoor lighting ideas, we’re here to help. We want your outdoor lighting design to be everything that you desire so that you maximize the value of your property and your time outside.


Are you ready to create a secure, functional, and beautiful property at any hour of the day for your Memphis property? If so, let’s meet and discuss some bright ideas.

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