Accent lighting is a subtle business. Illumination levels should usually be low. Light placement and fixture types are important considerations as well. These guidelines will help you create the effect you desire.
Different types of accent lighting
- Back lighting
This type of accent lighting is most effective with trees, trellises, and large multi-textured objects. Back lighting is used to create shadows and silhouettes.
- Flood lighting
Flood lights often serve more of a functional purpose, but as accent lighting, their broad beams are excellent for emphasizing trees, rock formations, or architectural features.
- Path lighting
Path lighting is primarily for safety, but in cases of stone or brick walkways it can also become accent lighting. Lining walkways with interesting stones or plants can give path lighting a dual purpose.
- Pond lighting
Pond lighting refers to submersible accent lights that give your garden pond a radiant glow.
- Spot lighting
This type of accent lighting is ideal for emphasizing individual landscape features or statuary.
- Well lighting
Well lights aren't used for water wells. They're accent lights concealed in the ground that cast light upwards for dramatic effect. A well accent light can be used for archways, facades, walls, and other landscape features.
Accent light positioning and fixture tips
Most of the accent lighting types listed above share a name with a particular type of landscape lighting fixture, i.e. pond lights, flood lights, spotlights. But there are a few other accent lights you should know about.
Tulip lights, for example, make lovely garden lights. Tier lights are often used as path lights because they direct light downward. Stagger tier lights to avoid turning your walkway into a runway. To create vertical accent lighting for shrubs or hedges, try using tier lights with their tops removed.