Illuminate The Night: 6 Unique Outdoor Lighting Techniques

Your home is your castle and you have worked hard to keep it looking beautiful both inside and out. Instead of just admiring your perfectly manicured lawn and neatly trimmed bushes, or the interesting architectural details of your house in the daylight, use outdoor lighting from Landscape Lighting Ottawa to accentuate these great features after the sun has gone down.

Outdoor home lighting has gone far beyond the automatic, glaringly bright security light or “old-fashioned” lamppost at the end of your driveway. Landscape lighting has become more artistic, with professional companies using different techniques to highlight the best features of your home and yard.  Here’s 6 unique outdoor lighting techniques that will show your property off!

Grazing & Washing

Grazing and washing are two techniques that can highlight the exterior walls of your home. If your home is covered in stone, grazing lights are set up at a narrow angle to create shadows which accentuate the stone’s texture. If your home has a smooth exterior, such as flat stucco, washing lights are set at a wide angle which washes out the surface.


The lighting technique of moonlighting is a way to achieve a natural look which, as the name dictates, imitates moonlight. This effect is achieved when lights are placed up inside the branches of a tree (tall trees with large canopies are the best candidates), with the lights facing downward, making it seem like moonlight is being filtered through the leave and branches. The higher the lights are placed in the tree the dimmer the light will be. The lights can also be angled to cover a wide distance or focus just on the tree’s trunk and base.

Silhouetting & Shadowing

Both silhouetting and shadowing are lighting techniques which accentuate a single feature, often a sculptured bush, topiary or pretty tree. With silhouette outdoor lighting, a light would be placed between a bush, for example, and a wall, with the light pointing at the wall. This creates a softly lit background so the bush has a black silhouette when looking at it from the front.

Shadowing is similar in that light is placed in front of the object you want to highlight, creating a shadow on a wall or fence behind. This technique is effective when highlighting a bush or tree with thin foliage and branches, especially when there is a light breeze.


Accentuate a fountain, pond or pool in a dramatic way with underwater lighting. A spotlight at the base of a waterfall lends makes it sparkle, and lights along the wall of a pool makes it easier to enjoy after the sun has set, and create a romantic environment. Underwater lighting can also be effective for safety purposes, highlighting ponds or water features when you’re having guests visit, or for your early morning paper delivery.

Contact Landscape Lighting Ottawa to discuss your lighting project.




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