How to Design Landscape Lighting Plan

How to Design Landscape Lighting Plan

Lighting is a critical part of any landscape design. It illuminates crucial features at night and accents plants in the best ways. However, it’s vital to know how to design landscape lighting. What is the best landscape lighting? How can you install it yourself? Should you have a plan?

Read on to learn more about how to create an ideal plan for your landscape lighting. We’ll discuss why a strategy is critical, who should install the lights, and anything else you should know. If you’re on the hunt for a quality group to install lighting, Michelangelo’s is the ideal choice for Alpharetta landscaping.

What is Landscape Lighting?

Landscape lighting is a critical part of landscape design. It involves using illumination sources on public and private landscaping. Businesses and homes take advantage of landscape lighting, using it to make their landscapes safer, more accessible, and aesthetically pleasing in the evening.

A landscape lighting plan is critical to keep in mind when considering illumination. Let’s talk about why.

The Importance of Your Landscape Lighting Plan

Whether you work with drought-tolerant landscapes or backyards filled with evergreens, quality lighting can make the space look better. When designing landscape lighting, a plan will ensure you have everything you need to succeed. 

Landscape lighting plans force you to map out the design of the features, where everything goes, who will complete the process, and the necessary electrical components for all items to work. It will ensure you have everything in line and prevent trouble.

Installing lighting in a landscape can be tricky. Should you complete it yourself or hire someone with experience to get the job done?

Should You Learn How to Design Landscape Lighting Design or Leave it to the Professionals?

When considering how to design landscape lighting plan, it’s crucial to decide if you’re going to do it yourself or if you’ll hire a professional. Although it’s possible to do the job yourself, it’s easy for things to go wrong. If you have no experience, your lights may not have power. You could put them in locations that don’t complement the current landscape.

Our team at Michaelangelo’s knows how to work with the electrical components of a lighting system. We will also work with the nuances and intricacies most people don’t know, ensuring everything goes right. Our professionals of landscape design in Alpharetta, GA will work with the basic elements of landscape design to ensure your lighting fits in.

Lighting comes in all shapes and sizes. There are several ways professionals can install lighting to accent your outdoor space.

The Different Ways to Go About Designing Landscape Lighting

When determining how to landscape lighting design, it’s critical to consider the various lighting methods. What is the best landscape lighting for your current outdoor design? A professional can help determine the best complements.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting provides a strong, focused beam on an object or area. They create interest points in your yard on items that stand out - shrubs, statues, fountains, and more. Accent lights make your prized landscaping additions stand out in the darkest hours of the day.


Grazing involves putting a light next to a unique surface, one with a quality texture. It will bring out the unique shapes and indentations, helping them stand out in the dark. Don’t use grazing lights for a flat look - it won’t make much difference. 


Shadowing means lighting the object from the front and below. This action casts unusual shadows on the surfaces behind the illuminated item, creating new depths and things to look at in a landscape.


Silhouetting is hiding lights behind or beneath something like a bush. The light will shine through the object, illuminating the unique shape in the dark. It’s similar to the sun setting at dusk.


Moonlighting means placing soft sources of light up high in your landscape. It creates an effect similar to natural moonlight, casting gentle additions to the elements of your landscape.


Uplighting is the act of shining light upwards in a dramatic manner. It’s best for highlighting wall textures, displaying a statue, or showing off your best trees. Uplighting screams to the world that you have one-of-a-kind items in your yard.

Area Lighting

Area lighting means putting light systems high in trees, permitting them to put light over a larger space in a landscape. It’s an excellent choice for safety and security, removing places a person could hide.

Pool & Fountain Lighting

Every modern swimming pool landscape has quality pool and fountain lighting. When placed underwater, these lights will make a liquid area dramatic and even provide the ability to shift colors in the water.

How to Design Landscape Lighting Plan: Tips for Perfecting Your Layout

When determining the best ways to design a backyard landscape, it’s crucial to have a plan. You cannot understand how to landscape lighting design if you don’t have a course of action set in front of you. Here are a few tips for your lighting plan.

First, Figure Out Where to Place Landscape Lighting & What You Want to Illuminate

First, it’s critical to determine where to place landscape lighting. What do you want to illuminate? What are the best locations to make your private or public lawn stand out? Make a preliminary map of where you think everything should go.

What is the Best Landscape Lighting Type? Consider Voltage & Brightness When Choosing Specific Lights

What is the best landscape lighting? That’s up to you to decide. Examine lighting and look at its shape, voltage, and brightness to determine the proper lighting sources for your landscape needs. Our professionals will help you pick the ideal lighting for your yard.

Determine the Ideal Design for Your Lighting and Proper Fixtures

Once you have your lights, pick the ideal design for the best-looking landscape. Play around with fixtures to determine which are the best for your landscape.

Build Your Budget

A budget will keep you on track when selecting your lights for your landscape. Pick the money you want to spend and determine how much of what you can buy. Consider additions and decide what you can fit within your limits.

Locate Power Supplies and Final Layout

Finally, you must determine your power supplies to provide a way for the lights to turn on. From there, you can decide on the final layout before installation begins.

Get Help Designing Landscape Lighting - We’ll Create a Stunning, Cost-Effective Layout You’re Proud to Show Off 

If you want to know how to landscape lighting design, hire a landscape designer. Michelangelo’s is the best. Our professionals have twenty years of experience and are ready to get your lawn in the best possible lighting shape. Our landscape design cost depends on size, state, and lawn needs.

We offer full-service landscape maintenance, ensuring your well-designed outdoor areas stay in top-quality shape with items like pruning and spraying. We also provide commercial landscape maintenance for businesses who seek a quality outdoor area, keeping it professional. Finally, we provide residential landscaping maintenance for homes with a desire to stay beautiful for as long as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions About Designing Landscape Lighting Plans

That’s basically all you need to know about how to design a landscape lighting plan. There’s quite a bit that goes into this, which is why we encourage you to leverage the help of professionals. 

And, if you still have questions about designing landscape lighting plans, keep reading below - we’ll cover a few of the most common questions we get asked here at Michaelangelo’s.

How Far Apart Should Pathway Lights Be?

One critical aspect when determining where to place landscape lighting is to consider how far apart the lights should be surrounding a path. It’s best to put them no less than five feet apart and no more than fifteen for the best illumination. 

What Gauge Wire for Landscape Lighting

The most common wire choice for landscape lighting is 12/2. You can also use 10/2 or 14/2 for your outdoor wiring system.

How Much Does Landscape Lighting Cost?

The national average for landscape lighting falls at $3,500. Some people spend closer to $2,000, while others press the price up to $5,000. Materials, labor, and installation influence the cost, as do the number and type of lights you select for your outdoor area. It isn’t a cheap endeavor for most.

Why is Landscape Lighting so Expensive?

Landscape lighting is expensive because it requires quality fixtures created from materials that can withstand the weather. If they can’t survive harsh rain and freezing temperatures, many replacements will be necessary. Spending more improves longevity for landscape lighting.

How to Set Landscape Lighting Timer

Most outdoor landscape lighting operates with a dial. Turn the dial until it points at the proper time and allow the system to do what it needs. Some others may have slight variations.

How Deep to Bury Landscape Lighting Wire

The ideal depth for landscape lighting wire is six inches. You must dig this into the ground before laying it down, ensuring it’s sealed tightly before proceeding.

Final Thoughts on How to Design Landscape Lighting Plan

Whether you're trying to capitalize on the benefits of commercial landscaping or attempting to create the dream backyard, landscape lighting is a game-changer. Having a proper design plan in place for your lighting will make it much easier when the time comes to install everything.

Although it’s possible to install the lighting yourself, it’s easy for things to go wrong. Michelangelo’s is an excellent choice for the job, filled with professionals with many years of experience. We will ensure your lighting complements what you have for safe, practical, and beautiful results.