Types of Garden and Outdoor Lighting

outdoor lighting

You may be surprised by the various types of outdoor lighting and garden lighting that exist today. A single style doesn’t work in all outdoor situations – some lights cover further distances while others light up a small area in the perfect way. 

Regardless of each outdoor light’s purpose, it is important that you know about each of them. That way you can make an informed decision about how best to light up the outside of your property. Having a well-designed outdoor area leaves a strong mark on how your property appears as a whole.

outdoor lighting

Garden Lights

Garden Wall Lights

Garden wall lights are a form of spotlight that is designed specifically for the garden. The main difference is that garden wall lights are spotlights that both blend into their environment and light it up. 

Most of the time, garden wall lights are powered through the main power line coming into your home. However, there are battery-operated garden wall lights as well. The only difference for you is that you need to remember to replace the batteries before they run out every few weeks, depending on how often your outdoor lights are active.

Another option is to use a solar powered energy source. Solar-powered garden wall lights save a decent amount of energy as well as reducing your monthly electricity bills. The initial cost is a little higher than for the typical light, but you will save money over the long run. 

Garden Spike Lights

Garden spike lights are exactly how they sound. If you take a regular outdoor light, attach it to a spike and stick it in the ground wherever you need it, then you have yourself a garden spike light! These lights are quite useful when placed on either side of a pathway in your garden. 

Similar to wall lights, spike lights have electric, solar or battery powered options. The choice is yours and depends on your garden situation. 

Garden Bollard Lights

Garden bollard lights look something like a typical streetlight, except shorter. They’re fantastic for lighting up larger gardens. The most common garden bollard light has 360-degree illumination, meaning it lights up everything around it. They are also quite powerful, which is why they work best for gardens that are on the bigger side.

There are alternate garden bollard lighting options which focus their light into a 90-degree arch. These still tend to be powerful, but you can counter that with a dimmer if you feel it is necessary.

Pendant Lighting

Outdoor pendant lights are great for setting the mood and lighting up an area. They are most commonly hung from trees or outlying ceilings. These outdoor pendant lights provide ample lighting as well as add a nice design feature due to the interesting lampshade that pendant lights often come with. 

The best bulb to use in a pendant light is an LED. LED pendant lights consume very little power while still producing a large amount of light at the same time.

Outdoor Pendant Light

General Outdoor Lighting


Spotlights, much like the garden wall lights, are installed in an elevated position, such as on a tree or wall. These spotlights are designed to focus on a singular location and light it up well. These lights are used to light up specific features such a water fountain or a pathway (though you would need multiple spotlights to effectively light up the full length of the path).

Outdoor spotlights come with either halogen or LED bulbs. Halogen bulbs are slightly cheaper than LEDs. However, LEDs conserve a lot more energy than halogen bulbs, saving you money over time. Not only that, but LEDs also produce more useful lumens than halogen bulbs, even when the bulbs use the same amount of energy. 


Floodlights can be used in two major ways. The first involves security. Floodlights will cover a large area in a 120 to a 160-degree radius. They are usually incredibly powerful and drown out all other lighting forms in the area. You can set them up for security purposes by using sensors. This way, the floodlights will only activate when they detect someone moving through your garden at night. 

The other way you can utilize outdoor floodlights is by installing them low to the ground in front of something you want to illuminate. For example, you could place one in front of a particularly large tree or a water fountain. This way, the light would be blocked by the object it is illuminating, removing the issue of the floodlights drowning out all of your other lights. 

Deck Lights

Deck lights work in a similar way to in-ground lights. The major difference is that they aren’t installed quite as deep as in-ground lights would be. Since they are being installed in wood, they can be installed in a much shallower area without risking being damaged or pulled up. 

You can also use deck lights in the ground. However, the ground shouldn’t be too hard to dig up or else the light won’t work all that well. Places such as your flowerbed would be a good choice. 

LED Candle Lights

LED candle lights consume little to no energy and help make a garden or patio environment look amazing. If you’ve heard the phrase dinner by candlelight, then you can expect a similar level of romantic or peaceful ambiance to radiate from these. 

LED candle lights last much longer than conventional candles but give off a similar vibe. They are incredibly useful at setting the mood in an outdoor patio setting. The best place to keep them is on either side of your outdoor furniture or on railings if you have some.

LED Candle Lights

How to choose the correct garden and outdoor lights

At the end of the day, the choice of lighting is up to you. You should try your best to balance everything so that you only cover your own property. But be mindful, it is rude to allow your lights to illuminate the area of your neighbours! Other than that, try out our tips and have some fun with it.

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