Making full use of your outdoor space is important. When the weather is good, your yard can become very useful as an extra dining or socializing space. For this to work, it’s important to light your yard in the right way. Using lights can turn your outside space into cozy place to spend time with family and friends. It can also help to show off features of your yard, as well as being important for safety and security.

Depending on your lighting requirements, you may need help with designing a lighting scheme, and/or with installation. As a starting point, it’s useful to be aware that outdoor lighting falls into the same three categories as indoor lighting, ambient, accent and task.

Outdoor ambient lighting


Ambient lighting is the general lighting that you need in your yard once the sun goes down. For instance, if you spend time on a decking area outside, it needs to be lit effectively. You can use portable lighting but if socialising outside is a regular occurrence it may be a good idea to hire a professional electrician to lay cabling so that you have easy access to lighting at all times.

Outdoor task lighting

The most obvious form of outdoor task lighting is security lighting. Used in the right way, this type of lighting can help deter potential intruders. For instance, motion sensor lights are activated when anyone moves in front of them. You may even want to install flood lighting in areas of your yard where intruders could otherwise easily walk about unseen.

Another aspect of task lighting for your yard is walkway lights. They help to prevent trips and falls as visitors make their way around your yard. You can use solar powered lights for this purpose, if their position allows them to take in enough sunlight during the day.

Outdoor accent lighting


This type of lighting is where you can really come into your own creatively. For instance, you can use uplights to focus attention on a stature, or an unusual tree. You may also want to use landscape lights to draw attention to a part of your yard that you are especially proud of, such as a fairy garden you have created for your kids or rose beds that you have invested a lot of time and effort in. Using accent lighting is your opportunity to make your yard stand out.

Starting out lighting your outside space may seem daunting but it’s not that different to creating a lighting design insider your home. Think about what tasks need to be taken care of, such as improving safety and security, then  go on to consider what general lighting is necessary and how you can best emphasise the attributes of your yard using light. When it comes to installing a lighting system, any electrical work should really be done by a professional, to make sure that the system is safe to use and makes efficient use of power.