10 Outdoor Lighting Trends to Enhance Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Allie Ogletree
Written by Allie Ogletree
Updated October 26, 2021
Modern outdoor lighting along entry path
Photo: Александр Беспалый / Adobe Stock

Outdoor lighting makes your home safer, more secure, and more attractive

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Curb appeal is one of the first impressions you’ll ever get of a home. And, while many people want to boost curb appeal to sell their house faster with gardens and pavers, nighttime curb appeal is often left in the dark.

Over the years, many outdoor lighting trends have blossomed to keep homes secure and aesthetically appealing, so you don’t get an industrial look that can be harsh and displeasing to the eye. Here are 10 popular outdoor lighting trends to enhance the look of your home.

1. Low-Voltage LED Lights

Swap out incandescent lights for low-voltage LED lights to accentuate outdoor focal points, such as fish ponds, swimming pools, decks, patios, fire pits, and fountains. LED bulbs use an estimated 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last 50 times longer. When the winter holiday season comes around, you can also decorate in style by using different-colored LEDs on holidays.

2. Path Lights

Solar light for home path
Photo: Chalongrat / Adobe Stock

Illuminate your yard’s pathways by adding in the ever-stylish solar LED lights. These lights are easy to push into the ground, don’t need any fancy wire systems, and produce a dim light that won’t create unwanted light pollution. Don’t forget that solar-powered lighting is energy-efficient and perfect for eco-friendly enthusiasts.

3. Smart Security Lighting

Take security lighting to a whole new level by opting for smart security upgrades. Traditional security lights are typically mounted on an exterior wall or stable structure and have motion-sensing detectors that go off when movement is detected, alerting you of—and scaring away—potential intruders. 

Smart security lighting is a step up because you have the ability to control the settings of your security lights with the touch of a button on your smartphone. This allows you to turn lights off if an animal has triggered the sensors, adjust the lighting, and, in some cases, use voice control to operate the lights from afar.

4. Reduced Light Pollution

Though security lighting helps keep an eye on your home and prevent burglaries, industrial lights can cause unsightly glares that slip through windows and disturb both you and your neighbors while you’re trying to sleep. Not to mention, excess light might also contribute to “light pollution” that impedes those night sky views.

To counter this, efficiently place fixtures in a way that minimizes light loss. Tips include placing lights as close as possible to the house or landscape element, selecting the appropriate size and type of light for the purpose, and angling fixtures so they don’t waste light into the sky or off the property.

5. Wall Lights

Outdoor vintage wall lamp
Photo: Tirachard / Adobe Stock

Wall lights are another exterior lighting trend that takes the best of your security lighting and infuses it with a more subtle aesthetic. Delicately accent your outdoor walls with wall sconces, lanterns, or even oil or natural gas lamps to add a warm glow around the perimeters of your home. You can also use motion-detecting LED lights that easily attach to the walls.

Most outdoor wall lighting is installed by mounting the fixture onto a vertical surface. If you opt for LED lights, this can include stairways, pools, and any location that is low to the ground.

6. Landscape Light Fixtures

Fixtures installed in trees, shrubs, flowerbeds, and other landscapes can help accentuate beautiful plants and decorations in your yard long after the sun has set for the day. A great way to illuminate your favorite landscape elements, add some light to your trees, or let that unique, ornamental décor really glow at night is by using a spotlight. However, you can also make use of lanterns and other exterior light fixtures to get the most out of your yard.

7. Lighted Water Elements

Lighted water elements can look especially pleasing when it’s dark outside. The reflections of light in stark contrast with the dark surroundings add the perfect ambiance to your yard and outdoor space. Whether you have a pool, a fountain, or a small pond, don’t underestimate the effects a touch of outdoor lighting can add to these areas.

8. Tiki Torches

If you want a fire in your yard but don’t want the expenses that come with installing a fire pit, tiki torches offer a stylish way to achieve that fiery glow without breaking the budget. There are even smart torch lamps that allow you to use your phone to control the amount of lighting.

Another option is solar tiki torches. These sustainable torches use a combo of LED lighting and solar energy to create “flames” that resemble the flickering of a natural fire without needing to replace any oil.

9. String Lights

Patio with string lights
Photo: Cavan Images / Adobe Stock

If you’ve ever been to an outdoor patio at a restaurant or bar, then you know the subtle, warm effect that a good string of lights can have on a space. That ambiance can just as easily be taken to your own backyard or front porch area.

Simply hang your string lights near the outdoor seating in your yard to allow for optimum lighting; this could be a balcony, a veranda, poles, trees, or any other space that has pillars from which to hang them. Be sure to choose waterproof, long-lasting, and solar-powered LED lights for the most energy-efficient outdoor lighting.

10. Lighting for Decks and Stairs

The last outdoor lighting trend on our list provides both enhanced aesthetics and safety. Lighting for decks and stairs helps prevent loved ones from tripping on steps in the dark while also adding a nice glow to some of the most angled areas of your yard.

Most lights for these outdoor elements are installed using recessed LED lighting that is embedded into the concrete itself, but if you already have your stairs or deck built, some lights can be attached to the surface of the platform or placed in the ground nearby. 

For any projects that require extensive work, you might want to hire a landscape and outdoor lighting company to help with planning and implementing the outdoor lighting trends of your dreams.

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