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Types of Outdoor Lighting Fixtures

Different Types of Outdoor Light Fixtures

You’ve created what can only be described as outdoor oasis. The effort you put into landscaping with perfectly placed plants, shrubs, trees, and flowers was worth it.

However, you still need to figure out the outdoor light fixtures so it looks just as good, if not better, in the dark. Otherwise, you’ll only be able to appreciate your work during the daytime.

Nighttime allows you to light your outdoor space exactly how you want it. You can make it look elegant, cozy, or even dramatic with the right choice of outdoor industrial, uplight, and other light fixtures types.

Knowing where to place your exterior lights will help you showcase the beauty of your garden, porch, patio, deck, pond, waterscape, walkways, and landscapes. However, it can be daunting.

After all, options abound, including spotlights, flood lights, attached gooseneck barn lights, pathway lights, and deck lights. You also need to know which outdoor lighting fixtures to choose for each part of your outdoor space.

That’s what this article is here to help you with. Transform your home’s appearance with our guide to the types of outdoor light fixtures.

Types of Outdoor Light Fixtures

From this guide, you’ll get all the information you need to choose the best outdoor lighting products to achieve a look of elegance and beauty after the sun has gone down. Below, you’ll find each type of outdoor light fixture, what designs they’re available in, and where they’re best used.

Spotlights & Floodlights

What are Spot & Flood Lights

Spotlights and flood lights are best used for uplighting, spotlighting, and downlighting. Because spotlights and flood lights are available in dozens of finishes, styles, and weights, along with fixed or flexible positioning, these LED outdoor lights provide limitless design capabilities.

Pathway Lights, Area Lights, and Garden Lights

What are Pathway Lights

Pathway lights, area lights and garden lights offer superior choice when it comes to customization. These lights may be mounted to the home’s exterior, staked in the ground, or available as inground lights. From whimsical to modern, garden and pathway lights offer countless options when it comes to type and color of shade, type of finishes, style of product, and effect produced.

In-Ground Well Lights

What are Inground Well Lights

Inground lights and well lights offer enormous versatility when it comes to achieving the perfect outdoor lighting look. These outdoor lights include in-ground pavers, marker lights, and open face style well lights. Designed to be unobtrusive, LED inground lights and well lights tend to steer your eyes to focus on the lighting effect they produce, rather than on the light itself.

Gooseneck Lights, Barn Lights and Sign Lights

What are Gooseneck Lights

Perfect for downlighting or to illuminate the door to your home, gooseneck lights, barn lights, and sign lights give you complete control over the design aesthetic, as they are available in soft, swooping curved designs, or in sharp modern and angular designs. Options on arm length allow you to determine precisely what you want illuminated, and how noticeable you want your lights to be in the daylight. Available in myriad finishes ranging from subtle cast brass, to bright red metal, gooseneck lights, barn lights, and sign lights are available to help you achieve your dream look.

Wall Lights and Wall Lanterns

What are Wall & Lantern Lights

Wall lights and wall lanterns including sconces, and adjustable lights mounted to the exterior walls of your home accomplish multiple goals, in terms of being attractive and practical. Serving to illuminate doorways, frame garages, or welcome guests to your home, there is no overall look you can’t achieve with sconces, lanterns, or adjustable wall mounted spot lights.

Underwater Lights, Pond Lights, and Fountain Lights

What are Underwater Lights?

To bring your waterscape, pool, pond or fountain to life after dark, spend time deciding how brightly you want it lit in the evening, and how noticeable or subtle you’d like the actual lighting product to be. From there you will be able to determine which type of underwater, pond, or fountain light will help to achieve your objective. Waterproof, rustproof, and leak proof, underwater lights can help add dazzle to your outdoor water features.

Industrial Pendant Lights

What are Pendant Lights

Hanging industrial pendant lights are completely weatherproof, and can add an retro feeling to your outdoor lighting look. When hung from eaves, in gazebos, or above a patio or porch, industrial pendant lights’ wide range of colors, finishes, and designs add a touch of “wow” to your outdoor lighting efforts.

Step Lights and Deck Lights

What are Step Lights

To showcase your deck, and ensure all steps are clearly lit for safety, flush mounted LED step and deck lights, along with pier mounted or surface mounted lights serve to bring ambient lighting to seating areas, multilevel decks, and the stairs connecting them. Fully weatherproof, and available in numerous finishes and styles, these accent lights ensure you remain safe and softly lit, while enjoying your outdoors.

Popular Outdoor Lighting Effects

Outdoor lighting products are designed to offer the ability to create various lighting effects. Some of the most popular effects include:


What is Up-Lighting

Uplighting is an effect created by strategically placing outdoor lighting fixtures on the ground, aiming upwards. For example, if you have a particularly eye-catching plants, shrubs, or trees, you may choose to highlight these features, with LED spotlights, well lights or flood lights. As an added bonus, choosing to create and uplighting effect can provide subtle safety and security, without being obtrusive.

Pathway Lighting

What is Pathway Lighting

As this landscaping lighting effect’s name implies, pathlighting is used to ensure that walkways, paths, patios, and porches are illuminated for both aesthetic and safety purposes. Types of outdoor lights used to best achieve ambient pathway lighting include the aptly titled pathway lights, garden lights, and area lights. In addition, striking gooseneck lights, barn lights, sign lights, wall lights, and wall lanterns are used to light paths and walkways.


What is Silhouette Lighting

Silhouetting produces an unquestionably dramatic look through placing smartly positioned well lights, and inground lights behind a specific feature of your landscaping, such as a tree, shrub, or other architectural feature. This creates a silhouette, with the object appearing dark but clearly outlined due to the soft lighting behind it.


What is Down Lighting?

In contrast to uplighting, which places an outdoor light on or below the ground, the effect of downlighting requires placement of industrial pendant lights, gooseneck lights, flood lights and spotlights to be mounted from above, directing the light downward over doors, gazebos, waterscapes, garden beds and more.

3 Tips for Designing Your Outdoor Lighting

When it comes to choosing the perfect type of outdoor lights, it’s smart to keep three design tips at the forefront of your plans.

Focus on functionality

Functional Lighting Tips

Be sure that any areas that need to be lit for safety are considered before making other outdoor lighting decisions. This includes making sure steps, paths and doorways are all adequately lit to prevent injury.

Choose Your Favorite Outdoor Features

Ideal Outdoor Lighting

After you’ve settled on lighting for safety, it’s time to focus on your favorite aspects, and choose appropriate lighting. Whether you’re lighting a pond, or silhouetting shrubs for a dramatic look, choose your favorite features, and design your lighting plan to highlight.

Add Accent/Decorative Lighting

Mood & Accent Outdoor Lights

Finally, look for areas that may benefit from not only illumination, but from the added appeal of beautiful outdoor lights, such as gooseneck garden lights which turn a lovely garden during the day, into a virtual wonderland at night.