Types of Landscape Lights

Commonly Used Types of Landscaping Lights

Landscape lighting is a great way to enhance your property. Different types of landscape lights can be used to create different landscape lighting effects throughout your property.

The most commonly used types of landscaping lights include:

Area Lights

Area lights are used to illuminate larger areas and are often mounted high up on poles, buildings, or in tall trees.

Deck Lights

Deck lights are most commonly used to illuminate deck or patio areas, hence the name. Most decks have posts, usually used to support some sort of railing, therefore most deck lights are designed to be mounted on posts. Other uses for deck lights may include lighting up walkways or stairs as they can be mounted to the sides of nearby structures or stairs.

Flood Lights

Flood lights are a type of area light. You would commonly see them being used to light an outdoor sports field to enhance viewing capabilities during or after dusk.

Hardscape Lights

Hardscapes refer to the man-made features of a landscape. These can be any built structures such as patios, decks, walkways, walls, arbors, etc. Most hardscape lights attach to the underside or an overhang area of a hardscape structure. These light fixtures are often hidden in the design of the hardscape making the hardscape appear as if it is glowing from underneath.

Path Lights / Bollards

A bollard is defined as a short, thick post. Since most path lights are attached to bollards, they can sometimes be referred to as a bollard light.

Path lights are used to aim light downward, and most illuminate a 360 degree area around the path light itself. Since this downward pointing light helps light up areas below it, a.k.a. the ground, they are most commonly used along walkways, driveways, or stairs to help a person better navigate their path.

And since these path lights or bollards are usually out in the open, along a frequently travelled area, the design aesthetics of these fixtures is often important and should fit in with the overall landscape design.


A spotlight can be a type of area light, but it is usually used to focus a more intense light on a smaller area. Most are used to draw attention toward and highlight a very specific object or area within the larger design. Spotlight shapes and intensities can vary, so you may need to test a few different ones to get the ideal lighting effect you are looking for.

Step Lights

Steps are typically comprised of two main parts:

  • Treads – The horizontal part of the step you actually step on.
  • Risers – The vertical part of the stair often referred to as the back of the stair.

Most step lights are mounted to the risers or along the walls of the stairway. The fronts of step lights should be installed so they are flush with the riser or the wall as to not cause a tripping (safety) hazard.

String Lights / Rope Lights

String lights, also referred to as rope lights are just that – lights that run along a cable, appearing as if they are attached to a rope or string. Most string lights are placed evenly along the cable and most commonly used for decoration.

Christmas tree lights are the most common form of string lights purchased in the U.S., however other string light forms and designs have become more popular in recent years as a relatively inexpensive way to put a personal touch on a space.

Submersible Water Lights

Also often referred to as underwater lights or pool lights, these lights are waterproof and specially designed to be fully submerged in water. They are most commonly used in pools, ponds, fountains, waterfalls and other water features to create a unique affect illuminating the water and what’s behind or underneath it.

Wall Lights

Wall lights are lighting fixtures affixed to a wall and using only the wall for support. Most wall lights direct lighting either upwards or downwards, but in recent years wall lights directing beams in both directions simultaneously have become more popular.

Wall light fixtures come in a variety of shapes, colors, intensities, etc. They should be chosen carefully so that they enhance the overall design aesthetic of the area.

Wall light fixtures can also be more difficult to install than other types of fixtures since they usually need to be connected to an electrical box by running wires behind the wall.

Well Lights

Well lights, also sometimes called ground lights or in-grade lights are used for uplighting, basically lighting an object(s) from below.

In many instances well lights are built into hardscapes to keep the surface of the well light flush with or beneath the surface of the surrounding hardscape. This makes them ideal for use in driveways or walkways where traffic can move right over them without damaging the lights.

Get a Custom Landscape Lighting Design from Gibson Marine Construction

There are so many different types of lights to choose from and even more ways to use these lights. The landscape design experts at Gibson Marine Construction can create a custom design, using these different types of lights to highlight the best features of your property. And the best part about hiring Gibson Marine – they offer turnkey landscaping services. They find the perfect fixtures for you – so you don’t have to lift a finger until the work is done.

Call today to learn more.

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