When improving your home’s exterior, lighting plays a role. Good illumination provides safety and security while contributing to the property’s aesthetic. Whether you need to brighten pathways, highlight architectural features, or create a welcoming ambiance, exterior lighting can transform your property. Here are a few helpful tips to make the most of your outdoor lighting.

Ways to Improve Exterior Lighting

Assess Your Needs

Before diving into your lighting project, walk around your property at dusk and identify areas that could benefit from illumination. Inspect the front porch,  pathways, entryways, steps, landscaping features, and the dark areas of the property where intruders may hide to determine where to install exterior lighting.

Layer the Lighting

Just like indoor lighting, exterior lighting is most effective when layered. Incorporate a mix of ambient and accent lighting to create depth and visual interest. Use lampposts or wall-mounted sconces for ambient lighting, install pathway lights for safety, and incorporate spotlights to highlight focal points like trees or architectural details.

Choose the Right Fixtures for Your Exterior Lighting

Select fixtures that complement your home’s architectural style while considering durability and weather resistance. Options range from traditional lanterns and modern fixtures to solar-powered lights and LED technology. Verify the fixtures you choose are suitable for outdoor use and can withstand the elements.

Install Lighting to Improve Safety

Adequate lighting is essential for the safety of your family and guests. Install bright, motion-activated lights on the porch, near entryways, pathways, and dark areas to deter intruders and prevent accidents. Path lighting and step lights guide visitors to your door safely and improve night visibility.

Highlight Features

Use lighting to draw attention to your home’s best features and landscape. Illuminate trees, shrubs, and architectural elements with spotlights or uplights. Add fixtures around water features, sculptures, or outdoor living areas to make them more inviting and enjoyable after dark.

Exterior Lighting Control

Invest in a lighting control system to customize and automate your outdoor lighting. Timers, motion sensors, and smart lighting technology allow you to manage the brightness and timing of your lights based on your preferences and schedule. Remote options add convenience and enhance security by giving the impression that someone is home even when you’re away.


Regular maintenance is key to keeping your outdoor lighting looking great and functioning correctly. Clean fixtures and globes regularly to remove dirt, debris, and dead insects obstructing light output. Replace burnt-out bulbs promptly and inspect the fixtures for signs of damage or wear.

Seek Professional Help if Needed

While you can tackle many outdoor lighting projects as DIY tasks, complex installations or wiring may require the expertise of an electrician or lighting designer. Hire a pro if you need help safely installing your outdoor lighting system.

Exterior lighting boosts safety, style, and curb appeal. With these tips and getting creative with your lighting design, you’ll create an inviting outdoor environment that you and your family will enjoy for years.


What are the best ways to illuminate a water feature on my property?

To brighten a water feature, use underwater lights or submersible LEDs in the water to create a captivating glow. You can also use spotlights or uplights positioned around the perimeter of the water feature to highlight its contours and create a dramatic effect.

Are there eco-conscious options for exterior lighting?

Yes, LED lights are energy-efficient and have a longer lifespan than traditional incandescent bulbs, making them a sustainable choice. Solar-powered lights harness energy from the sun to illuminate outdoor spaces without relying on electricity.

Can you offer tips on how to improve exterior lighting on a budget?

Improving lighting on a budget is possible by prioritizing essential areas for illumination and choosing cost-effective lighting solutions. Add solar-powered lights for pathway lighting, repurpose existing fixtures with a fresh coat of paint, and strategically place lights to maximize their impact without overspending.

What are my options for pathway lighting?

Pathway lighting options include solar-powered stake lights, low-voltage LED path lights, and recessed step lights. Install these fixtures along walkways, driveways, and garden paths to provide illumination and guide visitors safely to your home’s entrance.

Can exterior lighting help improve the value of my property?

Yes, exterior lighting boosts curb appeal, increases security, and creates an inviting outdoor atmosphere. Well-planned lighting highlights architectural features, landscaping, and outdoor living spaces, making your home more attractive to buyers. Additionally, security lighting offers peace of mind to prospective buyers and may be seen as a valuable asset.

House2Home Inspection Services offers inspection services to homebuyers and sellers in the Tampa Bay area and surrounding counties. Contact us to schedule an appointment.