Landscape Lighting Design, Ideas and Tips

Landscape lighting Mesa ArizonaNeed some help designing your landscape lighting? You can consult with our local Mesa electricians free of charge. They have the unique landscape lighting design ideas that you are looking for. Voted best electricians Mesa AZ, they will answer all of your questions, go over your landscape lighting ideas and share with you the professional landscape lighting tips that us experts use.

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Our local electricians in Mesa are available today, Wednesday, May 27th, 2020, between 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Give them a call or click here to schedule your professional onsite design and estimate.

The 6 Objectives of Good Landscape Lighting

  • Beautification: Illumination that compliments, enhances and brings forth the unique architectural attractiveness of your home and property.
  • Energy Efficiency: The use of fixtures and transformers that keep electric bills lower by converting a higher percentage of electrical energy into illumination, opposed to wasteful heat.
  • Environmental Harmony: Illumination that satisfies your needs and does not affect your neighbors with unwanted lighting pollution or trespass.
  • Functionality: The selection of the appropriate fixtures coupled with strategic placement to deliver adequate illumination for your family’s outdoor activities.
  • Safety: Illumination that provides for accurate visual navigation of pathways and areas without glare or shadow.
  • Security: Illumination that senses, discourages and aids in the apprehension of unwanted intruders.

While fulfilling all of these objectives may seem overwhelming, it should be noted that focusing on one or two primary objectives for each area will often deliver broader results.

Take as an example, the pathway leading up to your home’s front door.

A good primary objective would be safety so your guests can visually navigate the path and avoid any inconsistencies while being aware of the edges.

A second and equally important objective would be beautification. This is achieved with a fixture style that compliments your home’s unique architecture while delivering a balanced amount of light throughout the area.

In satisfying your primary objectives you have concurrently addressed environmental harmony, functionality and security. Energy efficiency may have been addressed if you elected to use LED landscape lighting. Visit our page about LED Lighting to learn more.

Equally overwhelming is trying to design your home’s entire landscape lighting system as a whole. This is not advisable. One of the best landscape lighting tips we can offer is to choose a great theme (style of lights) for your project and break the project down into smaller areas or zones. To learn about the mechanical importance of zones visit our landscape lighting installation page.

For our purposes, an area is simply a group of lights that are a similar distance from your low voltage transformer. An area can be a pathway as discussed earlier, a plant bed or a patio area as examples.

Each area will have primary and secondary objectives. These objectives will change from area to area but beautification should remain a constant objective in all of your areas. This is where lighting technique gets applied.

Design Techniques And Tips

A lighting technique is simply a skillful or efficient way of accomplishing the lighting goal at hand while delivering the desired beauty. There are several different techniques that can be applied to your landscape lighting design, choosing the right one depends on the objective and sought after beauty.

The Different Landscape Lighting Techniques And Unique Design Ideas.

Accenting adds to unique landscape lighting design

Accenting Technique

Down lighting technique

Down Lighting

  • Accent Lighting: Deliberately angled up-lighting or down-lighting that is strategically positioned to place emphasis on architectural features, plants, statues and other elements worthy of pronounce attention. Often hidden inside of or behind other elements, the use of narrow beam spot lights deliver a theatrical effect.
  • Cross Lighting: Basically the same thing as accent lighting except you are lighting the feature from two sides. Use this technique sparingly to avoid over-lighting or a washed out look.
  • Down Lighting: Strategically placing fixtures in elevated locations like trees, trellises and eaves to light up large or small areas (like above barbecue grills). Flood lights are recommended, especially for larger areas but spot lights can be used for smaller areas. Larger areas require higher fixture elevation, so be careful not to create unwanted light pollution for your neighbors or violate H.O.A. rules. Localized switching can be installed for on demand use or motion detection for security concerns.
Grazing technique

Grazing Technique

Highlighting technique


Moonlight technique

Moonlighting Technique

  • Grazing: This technique is used to show off stone work on walls, columns and pilasters. Using flood lights or well lights, place your fixtures right next to the stone work and shine the beams straight up. It will cast shadows that emphasize the texture of the stone. Grazing and the technique of silhouetting are often combined.
  • Highlighting: One of the most commonly used techniques, it is accomplished by placing a spot light at or near the base of a tree or other elements. Distance and angle adjustments can be experimented with to satisfy your objective. In some cases, distance and fixture angle may be limited by lawns or paved surfaces. In these instances, well lights would be the correct fixture choice. Large trees will often require multiple light fixtures for balanced illumination throughout.
  • Moon Lighting: Its mission is to reveal your landscaping as if the bright moon was shining down through your tree branches. Dim in nature with a hint of mystique and romance, this technique is essentially regular lighting with a full glare guard. Placement is recommended up in trees to enhance the theme with natural shadows adding drama to the ground. Again, be aware of possible light pollution and trespass issues with neighbors.
Pathway lights

Pathway Lighting

Shadowing technique

Shadowing Technique

Silhouetting technique


  • Pathway Lighting: First and foremost, choose a unique fixture style that compliments the architectural theme of your home. Make sure the fixtures direct their light down to avoid glare. Spacing can be anywhere from 5 to 10 feet apart depending on the light output. Most pathway lights will include spacing specifications. When lighting both sides of your path, stagger the fixtures in a back and forth zigzag pattern. Placing the lights directly opposite of each other will create a runway effect. Placement should not interfere with lawnmowers or be close enough to get accidentally kicked or moved.
  • Shadowing: Use to add the intrigue of light and darkness by casting shadows on walls. Done by placing the fixture in front of the feature, near the base and aiming upwards towards the wall. This technique works well when use with trees that have openings throughout the foliage. Additional drama is guaranteed as the wind blows and your shadows move about. Avoid aiming light towards windows.
  • Silhouetting: Also referred as back-lighting, this technique displays your feature’s distinct structure as a defined dark outline against a bright backdrop of light. Done by placing a flood light behind the feature and aiming it towards the wall. Silhouetting is often combined with the grazing technique.


Wall washing

Wall Washing

  • Up Lighting: This technique is use to create lighting contrast on walls. Spot lights are placed along the bottom of the wall with the intention of creating a concentration of light. Symmetry and consistency are key elements due to the boldness of this technique.
  • Wall Washing: Use this technique if you are looking to give your walls an even glow. Place a wide angle flood light a few feet from the wall and turn it sideways. By directing the light along the wall (instead of directly at the wall) an even amount of light is smoothly balanced. These are larger fixtures that should be hidden from direct sight behind bushes or boulders.

Our local Mesa AZ electricians are experts at applying and blending these lighting techniques. If you would like to know more about our landscape lighting services give our in-office electrician in Mesa AZ a call. Free estimates are available and all jobs come with our lifetime parts and labor guarantee.

Dolce Electric Company has been voted best electrician Mesa AZ and we would appreciate the opportunity to earn your vote too. Call today; you will be happy you did!

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