Landscape LED Lighting – Options and Applications

Landscape Lighting in Richmond VA

Choosing LED lighting for your landscaping has many benefits: they are long lasting, they tend to use far less energy than other types of bulbs, and they can provide even lighting in areas where you need them. LED lighting often comes at a higher upfront cost than other types of lighting, but it won’t need to be replaced as often and can save money over the long run.

When choosing LED lights to use in your landscaping, there are many options to choose from. From highlighting interesting features to casting a conversion of soft glow and vivid colors over a wide area, LED landscape lighting can illuminate the outdoors in a way that is both aesthetically pleasing while also providing practical and safe lighting. If you need help with your landscaping visit, to hire someone to do your landscaping.

Common Applications for Landscape LED Lighting

Before taking a look at the various lighting options available with LED lights, it will help to quickly review the landscape lighting techniques used in outdoor areas in general. These include:


Washing is achieved by casting light over a wide area from the side, keeping it well lit. Lights need to have a wide angle beam to do this successfully.

Path Lighting

Lights set along a path demarcate it, creating attractive highlighting while also improving safety. This technique can also be used to illuminate stairs, driveways, and landscape features on the ground.

Up Lighting

Lights can be set to shine upward and illuminate the lower portions of a structure or tree.

Down Lighting

Inversely from up lighting, down lighting techniques use lamps placed high in structures or hardscaping in order to illuminate structures down below.


Shadowing with shade sail is when a light is used to cast a shadow against a surface, such as by shining it at a tree in front of a wall.


The opposite of shadowing, silhouetting is when a light shines on an item from behind, creating a silhouette that highlights interesting details that might otherwise be hidden.

Moon Lighting

Placing a light in a tree and shining downward is called moonlighting, and it creates an effect similar to that of the moon shining behind the object.


Grazing highlights details on flat vertical areas by aiming a light to shine up or down along its surface. It can be used to highlight surface features such as brickwork or siding.


Each application can add to the aesthetic appeal of an outdoor space, but they must be applied correctly and with the right types of lights. Typically, the actual bulbs are best kept out of sight. This helps highlight landscaping features without washing them out with a glare.

LED Lighting Options

To achieve the above effects, various types of lights are used. LED lighting comes in numerous varieties, making it a versatile way to illuminate outdoor areas in attractive ways. The following types of LED lights can be used to create an aesthetically beautiful landscape lighting scheme.


Used for casting light over a large area, LED floodlights have a wide angle beam, often as high as 120 degrees. This allows them to cover open spaces with ambient lighting without using more energy than lamps with narrower beams. Floodlights are typically mounted on the ground, but they can be used on other surfaces as well.

Floodlights can be used to shadow larger objects or for casting shadows for long rows of landscape features. In addition, they are ideal for washing out open areas.


Spotlights are similar to floodlights, but they cast a much more narrow beam. This makes them ideal for highlighting specific features of your landscaping rather than covering wider areas, and as such are best used in strategic locations where they can highlight outdoor features without being seen.

LED spotlights fulfill a wide variety of landscape lighting applications. These include up and down lighting, silhouetting, shadowing, and moonlighting. For larger trees, one can be placed up in the top branches shining down while another illuminates it from the bottom, creating a truly dramatic effect.

Path Lights

Designed specifically to illuminate pathways, path lights consist of small beacons mounted on stakes, allowing them to be planted in the ground on each side of the path. They can also be used to illuminate the borders of a pond or mark out the driveway after dark, creating both a pleasing aesthetic effect as well as improving safety.

When using LED path lights, it’s best not to use too many. A few lights can attractively highlight an area, but too many will overdo it, washing out the area with far too much light.

Well Lights

LED well lights are mounted on the ground and shine upward. As such, they are very easily hidden in the landscape, creating very attractive lighting effects. This naturally gives them a wide variety of uses in landscape lighting scenes.

Well lights can be used to uplight features, illuminating the lower parts of trees and structures. In addition, they can graze flat walls to highlight interesting patterns and textures and cast silhouettes and shadows.

Hardscape Lights

Hardscape features of your outdoor spaces such as walls, patios, paths, and other manmade structures can all be well light with hardscape lighting. This type of light is typically set under overhanging ledges to illuminate spaces and surfaces below.

This makes them excellent for grazing applications, such as casting a light down the side of a stone garden wall, simultaneously illuminating the brickwork as well as any paths or greenery running along the structure.

Hardscape lights can also be used to downlight certain features near patios or eaves. For instance, they can illuminate bushes or plots of flowers set along the patio railing.

Using Landscape LED Lighting for a Total Effect

The end result of your LED lighting should be to create a complete aesthetic, with every light working together to highlight individual features without making any particular feature stand out unnaturally.

LED lights should be strategically located to cast light where it’s needed without creating glare. Placing the right light in the right place is key to accomplishing this, which is why a variety of different LED’s is necessary for outdoor landscape lighting.

Learn more about configuring the perfect landscape lighting for your home. Contact Livewire at 804-554-0372 for a Free Consultation today.

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