Showcase your landscape after dark by cleverly highlighting its features. This will improve safety, increase ambiance, and turn your backyard into an outdoor work of art.

A popular technique is uplighting, which uses a light to illuminate a feature from below. This can be used for trees, water fountains, and garden sculptures.

Focal Points

Like a spotlight in a theater, exterior lighting focuses attention on key elements of your garden. This makes a small yard feel sizable and draws the eye to dramatic features like water gardens, flower beds, and secluded pergolas. With strategic exterior lighting Overland Park, your backyard becomes a stage for nature’s beauty, a captivating show that unfolds as twilight descends.

Use low-voltage lights to accentuate flowering vines and shrubs, highlight a sculptural tree, or draw out texture within plants. You can also highlight a gazebo, patio, or walkway, using the same techniques you would use to lighten up your home’s front entryway.

Unlike high-intensity floodlights, the ideal landscape lighting is subtle and unobtrusive – you can still see the landscape at night, but the fixtures aren’t calling attention to themselves. String lights can be hung from trees and other structures to create a fairy-tale-like ambiance, while the deck and step lights are a great way to add a soft glow to pathways and seating areas without creating tripping hazards. The trick is to keep the number of lights in proportion to the size of your yard – too many lights can look chaotic and overcrowded.

Dramatic Effects

Landscape lighting techniques can also create dramatic effects in your gardens. For example, cross-lighting can draw the eye along garden pathways to accentuate statues or fountains. This lighting style highlights specific focal points in your garden and adds drama to a space you can enjoy even after the sun has set.

Another way to highlight landscape features is by using silhouette lighting. This is achieved by placing a light behind a landscape feature and aiming it at a wall or fence so that the dark shape of the landscape feature is silhouetted against the illuminated background. This is a great way to make a statement in your yard and showcase your creativity with unique lighting designs.

In addition to providing a dramatic aesthetic, landscape lighting can improve the function of your outdoor spaces. Well-lit entryways, paths, and stairs can deter potential intruders and make it safer for guests to navigate your property after dark.


Using different lighting techniques to highlight the features of your garden is essential. Combining ambient, task, and accent lighting allows you to create an immersive effect that will draw your guests’ attention beautifully and functionally.

For example, a light placed at ground level and directed upward can highlight a water fountain or a sculpture. This technique is known as uplighting. Another option is to use a light installed above a feature like a tree that focuses its beam downward. This is called downlighting and can create a dramatic, mottled effect miming a full moon.

Deck lights can line pathways and prevent tripping hazards, while string lights can be hung from trees or pergolas to add a magical feel to your outdoor dining area. Using the right landscape lighting design will allow you to showcase your gardens at night and even after sunset.

Color Temperature

When painting a landscape, it is essential to consider color temperature. Warm colors (yellow, red, orange) are warm, while cool colors (greens, blues, violets) are excellent. Lighting and reflected color impact color temperature, measured in Kelvin’s units.

Illuminating your garden with the proper lighting techniques will bring out your garden’s best features. You can show off your landscaping to guests, family members, and passers-by long after the sun goes down.

Highlighting is a great way to showcase your garden’s sculptural features, such as pergolas or statues. This technique is usually achieved by pointing a spotlight upwards to create shadowing on your landscape walls and draw attention to their textured surfaces. It also helps to accentuate the height variation of your plant beds. It is recommended to use an angled light to avoid over-lighting your plants and washing them out.

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