You’ve worked hard to make sure your landscaping looks like a million bucks. You’ve hand-picked beautiful edging and driveway pavers, you’ve watered your plants and trees, you’ve mowed the lawn to perfection. Wouldn’t it be great, then, if you were able to enjoy the fruits of your labor even after the sun goes down?
Installing hardscape lighting is the simplest way to showcase your home after dark. From lanterns to luminaries, this elegant design concept cannot only accent the most gorgeous details of your home and garden, but also increase safety by illuminating steps and walkways.
Looking for inspiration? Here are some of our favorite picks for hardscape lighting ideas.
True to its name, uplighting is characterized by skyward-facing lights that illuminate your home and garden from below. This is one of the most common hardscape lighting approaches, since it is so customizable and, of course, downright beautiful.
Uplighting can be installed to showcase statement greenery like accent shrubs or small trees, to add dimension to your landscaping by creating shadows, or to create ambient light that will make your yard feel like a romantic, intimate venue. Models like bullet or spotlights shine a direct beam onto the desired focal point, while well lights are used to cast a softer glow, and are often installed flush with the ground to remain out of sight.
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Glam up your journey from front yard to backyard, or sidewalk to the front door. Lining a pathway with lanterns checks the “safety first” box, but even more importantly, lanterns create an incredibly dreamy atmosphere as they guide you to your destination.
Many outdoor lantern models are actually solar lights, making them exceptionally easy to install and maintain. They are truly a one-and-done solution: choose from the incredible variety of styles available (from sleek and ultra-modern to vintage and sconce-style), fasten them securely in the ground beside your pathway, and let the sun’s rays do the rest.
Using luminaries for path lighting creates a similar effect – the only difference is that luminaries are not typically planted in the ground, but instead sit above ground.
Integrated step lights
Light the way with subtle, elegant in-stair lighting. Under the lip of each step or on the outward-facing portion of the step, you can place a single light to illuminate your path in a whole new way. Most models are solar-powered, and many are also motion-activated for enhanced efficiency!
Alternatively, if your stairs have a wall on either side (as opposed to railings), you can also integrate well lights into the brick or concrete to create a similar effect.
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Dainty string lights
Move over, Christmas trees: string lights – or “fairy lights” – are a beloved touch for both interior and exterior design. These days, you can find them twinkling behind people’s beds, framing archways and doorways, and adding a sweet touch to outdoor living spaces.
When it comes to hardscape lighting ideas, string lights are best used for elevated applications. You can use them to line the top of a fence, run them between two posts or trees, or thread them through the ceiling of a canopy or gazebo.
While you can easily use the same types of bulbs that are typically designed for outdoor Christmas decorations, there are tons of different designs available for these uber-popular decor accents. “Bistro lights” feature larger bulbs that are particularly useful for lighting up outdoor spaces.
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Recessed wall and pool lighting
Similar to integrated stair lights, you can jazz up any brick wall in your backyard or beside your walkway with elegant recessed lighting. It’s common to place well lights under retaining wall caps, creating a dreamy glow while concealing the underlying hardware.
The same goes for pool coping: you can integrate recessed lights into the pool coping stones to extend the life of your pool and enjoy an illuminated evening dip.
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Transform your landscape into a museum with light-up planters! This approach plays with light in a completely different way, illuminating your outdoor space while providing a home for your plants, shrubs, and trees.
Given their stature, these kinds of planters bathe their immediate environment in light, creating an incredible glow that looks almost other-worldly when multiple planters are clustered together. There is truly no limit to where you can put these statement pieces: you can arrange two on either side of your front door, place them beside the pool for an “urban jungle” feel, or simply scatter them around your garden or yard as you see fit.
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Outdoor kitchen lights
There’s nothing like hosting under the stars! Make sure you can grill past sundown and add a little pizzazz to your stone outdoor kitchen by integrating recessed lighting and uplighting into its stone components: beneath the countertops and along the bar are two popular hardscape lighting ideas for the open-air chef.
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While uplighting can be used to illuminate your trees, you can take things one step further by placing lights inside of the foliage itself. String lights are perfect for this application, as they can easily be wound around branches.
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Beautiful hardscapes deserve to be celebrated
At Techo-Bloc, we’re all about designing incredible hardscapes that are worthy of their very own spotlight. If you’re looking to upgrade your exterior design, you can start by flipping through our Inspiration Landscaping Lookbook or browse our products based on your own personal style.