4 Tips For Contemporary Outdoor Lighting

There are generally a lot of design and décor options if your home has a historic look or you’re looking for traditional charm in your lighting fixtures, but we asked our experts to share some tips on choosing modern or contemporary outdoor lighting.


Homes with modern designs often feature clean lines and unique angles, but have different kinds of decorative details present on more historic homes, so choosing which features to highlight is important because what suits one home’s design won’t necessarily work for another.

The driveway, front door, garage entrance, side entrance, and pathways are a great place to start. Lighting these areas creates great curb appeal, provides security not only for friends and family but is a deterrent to thieves. Some modern or contemporary designs to look for include lighting options that are submerged or flush with the ground or surface you’re wanting to light. These low profile lights provide a clean modern look, and you don’t have to worry about guests or family tripping over them.

Adding lights to the underside or lip of a bench, railing, or the underside of step treads is also a modern look that’s very popular. This type of lighting can provide low level accent lighting for ambiance or safety, but also provide task lighting if necessary depending on placement.


Look for fixtures that have the same clean lines and angles as your home. When considering wall mounted options, rectangles and clean minimalist designs are popular as they align with many modern home designs. The growing trend in modern and contemporary outdoor lighting is to have fixtures that closely resemble or match interior fixtures. The finish on these fixtures can vary from a polished steel to a gunmetal black or gray, in cast aluminum, and painted metal. Newer design options include fixtures that point light up and down which can help give height to a front entryway for great effect.

When considering a focal point, using light to highlight a unique architectural feature is growing in popularity as home owners seek to make an outdoor space an extension of their home’s interior. Lights to mimic candlelight or uplight eye-catching outdoor decorative pieces are great options.

Efficiency and Dark-Sky Friendly

Increasingly, outdoor lighting is available in a variety of options in terms of wattage (outdoor lighting doesn’t need to be as bright as interior lighting), and energy efficiency. LED is the first choice for many homeowners updating or installing outdoor lighting. With the growing awareness of light pollution, many homeowners are asking for shielding and other features that obscure the night sky or may annoy neighbours. Many fixtures come with shielded options to keep light pointed down cut down on “sky-ward” light.

Don’t forget, many modern and contemporary home designs incorporate a lot of glass and open spaces, so there may be places where the interior lights sufficiently light the outdoor space through the windows. Taking a walk around your home at night can give valuable insight into potential outdoor lighting design options.

Illuminate your property's potential with a beautiful landscape lighting system. Designed with precision and detail, landscape lighting systems are functional, affordable, and will leave a lasting impression. Contact Landscape Lighting Ottawa today to request a free quote.

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