Landscape Lighting

by | Jul 6, 2021 | News

What is Landscape Lighting? 

When it comes to landscape lighting, there are two primary functions that can be achieved: lighting for architectural enhancement and lighting for security. In this first email, we will discuss different techniques used to enhance the architectural beauty of any project. The second email in our series will focus more on landscape lighting used for security purposes.

There are a variety of different landscape lighting techniques that, when used together, can create a really special lighting application for the exterior of any project. While accent lighting, pathway/spread lighting and in-ground lighting are the main three techniques that we at Premier attempt to integrate into all of our landscape lighting designs, wall washing, grazing, hardscaping and deck/patio lighting are techniques that can also play an integral part of our design. We will discuss accent lighting, pathway/spread lighting and in-ground lighting in this email.

Accent Lighting

The main objective of accent lighting is to illuminate an object, such as a tree, statue, or flagpole. Typically, lights are placed at the bottom of the object and positioned upwards to create a dramatic effect on the object, just as in the pictures you see above.

When accent lighting most trees, 1-2 fixtures should be adequate, though larger trees can sometimes require 3-4 lights. On smaller trees, we generally either place one light on center or lights on the left and right of the tree. On larger trees, we place lights at the left, right, and center. We position lights upwards, highlighting different areas of the tree to create seamless illumination throughout.

Pathway & Spread Lighting

Pathway and Spread lighting are very versatile forms of landscape lighting. Pathway lighting can help navigate driveways, mark property entrances and even mark parking spots. Spread lighting on the other hand, can be used to illuminate colorful flowerbeds and small shrubbery.

When lighting a pathway such as a sidewalk or driveway, we typically place lights on both sides, in an offset fashion. This technique allows for even illumination throughout the entirety of the pathway.

We typically place spread lights in colorful flowerbeds and use high CRI LED fixtures, which render the colors of the flowers very close to their natural daytime colors. This gives the landscape a nice pop of color, providing a layer of depth at night.

In-Ground Lighting

In-ground lights provide a wide range of applications. They can be installed in the landscaping to light small trees or shrubs or in a hard surface such as a driveway or walkway to illuminate parking spots or wash walls. In-ground lights can also be used as an alternate form of pathway lighting.

Typically, we use in-ground lights to illuminate small trees or larger plants. Since the fixtures are buried in the ground, these types of lights can be placed almost directly under a tree or plant to create an even more dramatic effect than accent lighting. If we are working on a new construction project or one where a new driveway is being poured, we will design in-ground lights to mark parking spots or a path to and from the garage.


To truly enhance the architectural beauty of your project at night, multiple levels of lighting are key. When designed together, accent, pathway/spread and in-ground lighting can create a really spectacular landscape lighting system, showcasing not only the beautiful landscaping around the project but also the project itself.

If you are looking to highlight your landscaping or enhance the architectural beauty of your project at night, give us call to set up a design consultation. During the consultation we can discuss how to bring your vision to life, or design a system ourselves, based upon our knowledge and experience.

If you are looking for someone to troubleshoot, provide general upkeep and manage your existing landscape lighting system, give us a call. We have experienced and licensed electricians on staff that can troubleshoot not only any landscape lighting issues you may have, but also any other electrical issues found in your project.

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