5 Outdoor Accent Lighting Ideas

landscape outdoor accent lighting ideas in pa

There are many reasons homeowners choose to add lighting to their home or patio. We’ll explain 5 reasons that you may wish to consider these outdoor accent lighting ideas when planning your next home improvement project. But first…

What is outdoor accent lighting?

It may include spotlights, path lights, area lights, patio lights, or more. Frequently they are low voltage systems (often called 12 volt or 12V lighting systems), although occasionally line voltage (referred to as 110 volts or 120V). Lighting fixtures may be built to recede into the landscape, or they may be ornamental and prominently displayed.


By far, the most common request received during patio project work is to add outdoor accent lighting to a patio project; in fact, we design all our patios to include some kind of lighting. The most common type of lighting is under cap lighting; this light fixture is glued into the wall or pillars under the cap block. We use Integral Lighting exclusively for this; they have developed an LED fixture that is very warm white at 2400 Kelvin. Kelvin, by the way, is a way of measuring color “temperature.” We prefer to use fixtures with 2200-2700 Kelvin ratings as they give a warm glow. 3000K will look very white, and even cooler ratings will tend to look blue.

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poolside outdoor accent lighting ideas

Another common patio lighting technique is to add pier lanterns on pillars. One of our favorite brands is Escort Lighting, built of solid copper and manufactured in PA.

ADD SAFETY WITH PATHway Outdoor Accent Lighting Ideas

Many times a patio or outdoor living area is connected to the driveway for easy access for arriving guests. Path lights provide a safe, welcoming entrance and serve equally well on the walkway leading to your front door.

pathway outdoor accent lighting ideas

These lights also help to deter criminal activity. In general, any kind of lighting will help deter intruders simply because they can be spotted more easily. A well-lit home invites the right kind of company and deters unwanted guests!

HIGHLIGHT ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS With outdoor accent lighting

This type of lighting can include a wide variety of features. Stone veneer, columns, reverse gables, and pergolas are all examples of features that can be highlighted with landscape lighting. Well-lights (which are recessed into the ground) or spotlights (which are typically mounted on a stake) are most commonly used. In this project below, we used a spotlight to light the reverse gable and well-lights to highlight the corners of the home.

front of home outdoor accent lighting ideas


The next item on the outdoor accent lighting ideas list deals with your plants! A tree or shrub that is beautiful during the day is stunning at night with a spotlight, well-light, or even a downlight. Shrubs with colorful foliage work well, as well as those with interesting branching structures. Japanese maples have both and are popular for uplighting. Trees with interesting trunks or bark also work well.

plant outdoor accent lighting ideas

Landscape lighting can be very energy efficient. No one enjoys a high electric bill, and LED landscape lighting is the answer to an energy-efficient system! Early LED lighting had extremely high price tags, ugly blue or green colors – or both! But today’s LED lighting can be placed side by side with an incandescent bulb… and you won’t be able to distinguish the difference. Today, we do not install any low-voltage lights that aren’t equipped with LEDs.


It’s best to design lighting so that the source of light isn’t obvious, especially when working with spotlights or well-lights. But when it’s a path light or pier mount light, then game on! Try to use fixtures that harmonize well with your home, both in style and color. Light fixtures are readily available in a range of colors. Focus Industries is our favorite brand for path or area lights as well as spot & well-lights. Standard construction is powder-coated aluminum, which is available in a variety of colors. Some are also available in bronze or copper.

backyard patio outdoor accent lighting ideas

Outdoor Accent Lighting Ideas From Willow Gates Landscaping

lighting contractor for poolside patio

If you are interested in outdoor accent lighting in PA, we would love to help you design your area! Give us a call or submit a free estimate using our contact form! We cannot wait to hear from you. Feel free to browse our featured projects to get some ideas in the meantime!