Updated: Oct 24, 2017

Ornamental or accent lighting will show off special landscape features and add mood. Both can be acheived with dim and even colored lights. The point is to be subtle and gentle here and really use your creativity. Thankfully there are lots of lighting fixtures, especially easy to install and maintain solar lights, that will do the job perfectly.

Functional, sometimes referred to as amenity, provides light for a patio or to define the boundaries of a driveway, front porch or deck stairs. It’s your practical outdoor lighting. For your entryways, I recommend dark sky lighting fixtures not only because they reduce light pollution, but also because there are so many styles and sets to choose from, you will have no problem finding something to match the style and pattern of your home. And you’ll have great fun picking it out!

Task lighting is defined as lighting to help you carry out a task such as a light over your barbecue. This is a light that you’ll normally use for the task and turn off when finished.

Access lighting is lighting for help in guiding people along pathways and stairways. Access lighting is similar to amenity lighting in many ways. Low voltage path lighting works well for pathways, as well as a bountiful choice of solar stake lights that would suit this purpose more easily and less expensively.

Finally, the most misunderstood of all outdoor lighting, and the cause of way too much and too bright light is security lighting. Done incorrectly, it can make your property much less secure because intruders can hide in dark shadows created by visual blindness as a result of too much glare. I think that if you have all of the above lighting done right, you’ve got your security lighting covered. Motion detectors work well for security as they offer an element of surprise to would be intruders.

Naturally, there is plenty of overlap between these various lighting styles but I hope this short introduction gives you some ideas about the types of lighting fixtures that will be suit your highly individual needs to express yourself creatively and functionally.