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5 Common Outdoor Lighting Mistakes to Avoid for New Homeowners

Outdoor Lighting Mistakes

When done correctly, outdoor lighting can be the factor that sets your home apart from all others in the neighborhood. It can liven up the entire outdoor space, helping you maximize your patio and backyard day and night. However, there are a number of common mistakes that you can make which will be a detriment to your experience. Since you're looking to enhance and brighten your new home, you will want to avoid those errors at all costs.

Here are several outdoor lighting mistakes that you should keep in mind as you incorporate new lighting into your outdoor space. Be sure to consider them all while you find the right lighting combination!

1. Using Anything Other Than LED Lighting

Many homeowners make the mistake of filling their awesome outdoor lighting fixtures with incandescent bulbs or fluorescent bulbs. In so doing, they sabotage the integrity of their outdoor scene. LED lighting gives you a more sustainable lighting option than any other on the market. While they might cost more upfront, you'll get a much higher return on your investment.

LED lighting is also proven to be more eco-friendly than other bulbing options, helping you with your carbon footprint.

LED fixtures withstand the elements more than other traditional styles of lightbulbs. They can tough it out in torrential downpours and crazy-high winds as well.

Better yet, your energy bill won't be outrageously high after leaving the outdoor lights on. They require far less energy than other bulbs, making them the most budget-friendly lighting option on the market.

Another common mistake is mixing and matching different types of lighting among the different fixtures. Doing so can make your outdoor lighting seem messy and disorganized. Stick with LED lighting for all fixtures.

2. Using the Wrong Lighting Fixture

Different lighting fixtures will serve different lighting needs that you have for your outdoor area.

For example, many people make the mistake of lining up well lights for the walkway to their front door instead of path lights. Save the well lights for shining a bright light on your trees and bushes. You need path lights to show yourself and your guests the safest path to the deck, patio, entrance, backyard, etc.

To start out, try researching the different types of outdoor lights and what purpose they serve. From there, you can consider which fixtures are necessary for the outdoor space you're going for.

3. Overdoing It

Some of you reading this tend to go overboard with any home decor project that you perform... you know who you are!

Make sure you don't overstuff your outdoor space with too many light fixtures. It's one thing to be diligent, but it's an entirely different problem to have more than plenty.

First off, the additional lights will tack on unwanted and unnecessary dollars to your energy bill each month. Secondly, the overkill will lead to unwanted light glares that will make it difficult for you and your guests to see. Imagine getting the last seat at the table on your deck and having to stare right into the face of accent light.

Try to measure out all of the places that you want lights to be installed. Whatever distance you decide on, count out how many fixtures you will need of each. Waste not, want not!

4. Not Switching It Up

When it comes to your outdoor lighting needs, there is a fine line between organized and repetitive. Unfortunately, that line isn't too difficult to cross over into the latter. The good news is that there are several different types of lighting fixtures to fit your every need. Even better? Those lighting fixtures come in many different styles, often by the same brand.

For example, a subtle difference between the Tru-Scapes TS-B301 path light and TS-B302 path light can help you achieve an organized, yet sophisticated look. You can use the B302 path lights alongside a pathway and then install the path lights around the outside of the porch that the path leads to.

Mixing up your different light fixtures can help you boost the uniqueness of your outdoor lighting. If anyone else in your family decides to do that for their house, then they are the copycat.

5. Not Having Enough Lighting

Simply put: if you don't have enough outdoor lighting for your front yard and backyard, then what's the point of buying any lights at all? Not having the proper amount of outdoor lights can make your space look uninviting or even intimidating to your guests. 

For example, would you really want to swim in a pool that didn't have lighting in it or along the sides of it at night? Of course not! Not only is it dangerous, but there could be frogs swimming in there with you for all that you know. As previously mentioned, measuring out the distance between each light before buying them can help eradicate this problem.

However, if you go to put the lights in and it seems insufficient, then you can always install more. 

Avoid These Outdoor Lighting Mistakes for Your Set-Up

Now that you know of the biggest outdoor lighting mistakes, you should try to avoid making them at all costs.

It all starts with buying lighting fixtures from a trusted company. Learn why The Hardscape Exchange could be a good choice for your outdoor lighting needs.

For any other inquiries, don't hesitate to contact us by phone at 703-314-5493 or by email at

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With over 25 years’ experience designing and installing hardscapes in the field, our team has the expertise to address nearly any hardscape question you might have.

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