How Do I Light My Dark Backyard

How Do I Light My Dark Backyard?


A dark backyard is gloomy. It’s also a possibly dangerous place for folks with nefarious intent to skulk. Lighting it will alleviate both of those issues. These are seven good ways to light it up.

Security Lighting

Security lighting is intermittent, usually powered by motion-detecting lamps. The idea is to mount these lights high off the ground with the wires hidden so that no one can intentionally damage them or take them offline. The other idea is that seeing these lights come on won’t just frighten those wishing to remain anonymous off so that they remain unseen, but they’ll also alert you to possible trouble.

Usually, you can plug these lights into a standard outlet. Alternatively, they could be battery powered, which removes the need for hiding the wires entirely. Security lights also cast intensely bright, wide beams of light in directions that you choose. Most of the time, these areas are back gates, walkways, and dark spaces around outbuildings. The most powerful of these lights have three bulbs, and they’ll light up their assigned areas with enough lumens to simulate full daylight.

Path lighting

Lighting the Path

You can accentuate the look of your landscape with path lighting. These lights come in a variety of colors so that you can not only “light the way” but also do it artistically in swashes of different shades. These lights aren’t just pretty, however. They increase safety by gently cutting through the dark, preventing trips and falls.

They are installed on the ground, usually on both sides of a walkway or driveway. If you have other items or buildings on your property, then you can illuminate the path to them too. A lot of the time, these lights draw power from the sun. A few varieties use stepped-down power from a wall socket. To reach the desired voltage, you’ll need a step-down transformer that will also convert alternating current to direct current. 

Though the DC lights will stay on until switched off, the solar-powered variety might go off occasionally. Still, even after one cloudy day’s charging, the lights should stay on for quite a few hours after dark. Sometimes, each light has its own solar cell while other versions have a central charging plate that you can put in the sunniest location of your yard.

Lights on Strings

For a warm and fuzzy mood to compliment an evening on the patio, or some such similar occasion, string lighting is the way to go. String lights are low-voltage and direct current from batteries or solar cells, so there won’t be any cords on the ground over which you or your guests could trip. Just hang them over any place you want to gather.

The lights produce a soft, white light that’s just right for intimate dinners, barbecues, and the accompanying conversation. They should be waterproof, too, so that there’s no need for a roof over them. Anymore, most of these lights come with LED bulbs, so they’ll last multiple thousands of hours before you’ll need to replace them. Such lights come in a variety of shapes and sizes, as well, so they’ll match any patio decor.

Wall-Mounted Outdoor Lights

These lights, which are also called sconces, are designed to illuminate a pathway, porch, or similar area but not be as blindingly bright as security lights. Mostly, they’re so you can see where you’re going and not either run into things or trip and fall. 

They’re easily mounted on any wall or other vertical surface. The best models shine most of their light down instead of up. Many folks mount them near sunken areas or pools so that people can see the edge and not topple into the water or sprain something stepping into a recessed area. Often, people also install one above their house number so that it’s visible at night for guests or family members who arrive at that time.


Lanterns come in two basic varieties: those that hang from arms that are attached to vertical surfaces and those that sit on tables. In either case, they’re usually crafted with translucent glass rather than transparent glass so that they don’t create a sharp glare that could blind someone. The diffuse glow illuminates the area just as effectively, so nothing is lost. You also won’t draw attention away from other items of interest in your yard.

Tabletop lanterns are battery-powered so that you don’t have cords lying around everywhere. As with lanterns throughout history, a lot of tabletop models come with handles so that you can carry them around with you, although you’ll probably be like Diogenes and not find an honest man either.

Lighting for Decks

Deck lighting is like path lighting, but it’s brighter and uses standard power instead of batteries or solar power. These lights are not as bright as security lights, however. Decks have stairs and edges that are off the ground, and folks need to be able to see these to avoid injury from falls. Most of the time, these lights are mounted in recessed grooves so that you can walk over them without either tripping or destroying the lights. They are LED lights, so they are powerful even being small.

In addition to having them in the floor of the deck or along the stairs, it’s possible to mount them in grooves on railings. These lights can be of any shape or even in strands of lights.

Landscape Lighting

Outdoor Landscape lighting is different in that it’s designed to highlight trees, large plants, and other landscaping items in your yard. The beams are narrow and focused instead of soft and diffuse. The light is shown upward instead of downward. For imposing objects, use lights that have adjustable heads and focused, long-range beams. Shrubs and other shorter objects work better with round lights that are designed for medium distances. Both kinds are mounted on stakes so that you can push them into the ground anywhere and even move them about to create different looks as you wish.

During the daytime, these lights don’t distract from other garden and yard items because they’re small and unobtrusive when they’re not lit. LED lights are always the best choice because of not only their longevity but also because of how they’re environmentally friendly.

Why Us?

At Washington Outdoor Lighting, we work with all customers to design a collection of lights that will both fill their needs and be creative and artistic at the same time. Customization is the order of the day because no two customers have the same taste.

The right lighting will boost your curb appeal while helping you maintain security and safety at your home. By lighting all the dark areas of your property, you’ll also be able to enjoy all of it even into the dark of night.

Having an experienced team on your side will provide you with peace of mind. We have 15 years’ experience, so you can trust us. We’ll even help you maintain, or even upgrade, your lighting system. Luxurious lighting for a luxurious property needs such upkeep, and you can pick a maintenance plan that fits your need and budget. Washington Outdoor Lighting is here for you. Contact us at your earliest convenience.


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