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Denver Landscaping Specialists: The Dos and Don’ts of Outdoor Lighting

January 3, 2018

Lighting can really make a room, including outdoor lighting. When it comes to having outdoor lighting and on the exterior of your home, a well-lit area increases security but really enhances your curb appeal. Outdoor lighting makes your home welcoming and friendly to guests and neighbors. Backyard spaces are no exception to outdoor lighting, either. But before you go out and purchase a bunch of lights, be sure to know the do’s and don’ts of outdoor lighting from your Denver landscaping service!


Choose fixtures that match or complement your home’s color scheme. If you’re wanting a color that goes with most colors, choose black finishes because it’s appropriate for all color schemes. White finishes work well with houses that have white trim and darker bodies. Bronze finishes go best with homes that have an earth tone color scheme or brown accents.

When it comes to your deck and patio, space out the light sources. Adding more smaller fixtures with a low, ambient wattage of light will look better than have just one large, bright bulb.

For your driveway, be sure to use lanterns on posts. If you have a long driveway and your front door light or garage lighting doesn’t extend the driveway path, add post lanterns as an additional way to greet visitors (and make sure no one trips or stumbles in the dark).

Go with LED fixtures and bulbs. LED bulbs use less energy than regular bulbs, last a LOT longer, and come in a variety of color temperatures. Old variations of LED bulbs only gave off a bluish, cool light, but new variations come in warmer temperatures that give off yellow light. You can also choose from clear finishes or frosted. These new color schemes will still help you achieve whatever look you’re going for but also save you energy and money!

Mount your lights slightly above eye level on walls. Generally, 66” is what landscapers recommend when it comes to the front of your house.

Finally, be sure you find a quality line of lighting fixtures so that they come with a warranty and will last for years. The last thing you want to do is spend time to install fixtures only to have them break or rust after one season’s use.


One of the main “Don’t” of outdoor lighting is to avoid using light bulbs that have way too high of a wattage. The best wattage for outdoor lighting is between 40 and 75 watts. Most fixtures will give you a recommended wattage which will be appropriate. Never use more wattage than what you need because it will create glare and harsh lighting that’s not very welcoming for your guests and neighbors.

One of the most common mistakes that homeowners make when purchasing outdoor lighting is choosing lighting fixtures that are too small for the space. Your front door is the only place outside that should have a large and ornate fixture, because it’s the focal point for the home. Outside of the front door, avoid using very large fixtures that will create one large lighting focal point that can come off as too harsh. Use multiple small fixtures that make your outdoor space more ambient and relaxing for you and your guests.

While we recommend using smaller features for your outdoor area, don’t use a small fixture for your back door. Don’t use the same one as your front door, but keep it large so it matches the home’s lighting but avoid making it small. This is also important for safety reasons.

For the best landscaping help in Denver, call Water Solutions Company! Our experts have years of experience with outdoor lighting! Contact us today for a free estimate for all of your landscaping and irrigation system needs!