A Few Things To Keep In Mind When Planning Your Outdoor Lighting

If you use your backyard for more than just a playground for the children or a place for your pets to go outside, you are going to want to have some type of lighting out there besides a light over the back door. While this can be accomplished rather easily, there are a few things you should keep in mind when planning and shopping for the lights.

Why You Need the Lighting

There is more than one reason to have lights in the backyard. The common reasons include creating a specific atmosphere, for security, and for safety. You may want to have them for more than one reason. Each reason may require a different type of lighting. Some types may work for multiple reasons, but it is often best to have a light that was designed for a specific reason. This is especially true when the reason is security.


Motion detector lights are good for security purposes. They will automatically come on when someone or thing crosses in front of an invisible electric beam. Since they are not on constantly, they save energy and the bulbs will last longer. Floodlights should be used when the issue is safety. They are bright and light up a large area so if you are working or playing outside at night you will be able to see what you are doing. Outdoor decorative lighting helps to create a mood or add to the ambiance of the area.

Energy Source

No matter what type of lighting you use, it is going to need a power source. If the light will be close to the house or garage, you may be able to run an electric cord to the light. If the light is housed against the building, you can wire the light directly into an existing electric wire in the wall. However, if the fixture is going to be on the far side of the yard, or far from any electrical outlet, you will need to use either solar lights or battery-powered units. It is a good idea to have a second power source for security lights too. This way, if the power is off the lights will still work. If you will be using battery-operated lights for any reason, be sure to check and replace the batteries regularly.

If you already have security and safety lighting in place, go ahead and add some colorful, decorative lights to add to the ambiance of your yard. Wrap a few strands around some trees, put decorative solar lights along the front walk, or scatter a few themed lampposts throughout the yard. It will make a pretty sight to look out at before going to bed at night.