A Guide to LED Outdoor Landscape Lighting for Beginners Near The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe

A Guide to LED Outdoor Landscape Lighting for Beginners Near The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe

Looking to update your existing LED outdoor landscape lighting near The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe? Perhaps you have recently purchased a home and are feeling a little overwhelmed with where to begin.

We’re here to illuminate you about all the beautiful possibilities for creating the perfect landscape lighting design.

Lighting Distinctions offers professionals with over 25 years of experience designing and implementing LED landscape lighting systems that reflect the vision of our clients. Here is our short guide for tips on how to begin discovering your style and needs for outdoor lighting.


Discover Your Outdoor Lighting Style

When you think about how you want your The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe home to look in the evening, go beyond considering the style of fixtures. What is the mood you want to create?

The color, position, and type of lighting all work together to create an overall feeling to your landscape. Here, we look at three different styles of mood to consider before selecting outdoor lighting fixtures.


Examine the architectural features of your home. Do you have an estate that has prominent features that you want to highlight?

Illuminating the facade of your home may have the most importance to you if the structure is particularly elegant in its materials and design. Similarly, a stately feel would not apply if there were features of your home that you want to avoid notice.

A stately feel also works if you have formal landscaping that you want to give distinguished lighting. Prized plantings should be given strong lighting to illuminate their texture and unique shapes.


If a soft glow similar to moonlight is your desire, there are particular types of outdoor lighting designed for your mood.

Think of pathways bathed in soft lighting that hints at beautiful things to come as you wander. Opt for patio lighting that encourages intimate gatherings and relaxation rather than a bright party feel. 

A romantic style of landscape lighting should be gently welcoming. It adds a little bit of mystery that inspires visitors to linger and take a closer look at nooks of gardens and water features.

You may choose different levels of coolness or color in your lighting set to timers as your grounds are explored. Lighting from above in trees can be explored to recreate a magical moonlit night with interesting shadows.


Minimalism is a style that appeals to homeowners that loathe clutter and prefer minimal ornamentation. It focuses on function and clean lines that honor what is most important rather than adding decoration.

Task lighting is very important for this style. Well-lit entryways and strong lighting for areas such as grilling, swimming, and passages to outbuildings, are the primary focus.

Any additional lighting is limited in scope and is only used to highlight areas of importance to the homeowner, such as a particular sculpture or architectural feature.

Types of Landscape Lighting Near The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe and How to Use Them

Landscape lighting fixtures come in a variety of forms with specific functions. Here is an overview of the basics and some landscape lighting tips for how to use them.


This light offers a wider beam and is often used with timers. They are great for security purposes as they alert you to movement and are bright enough to deter potential criminals.

They are also useful for strong lighting on driveways and outbuildings when you want light only during usage.


This is precision lighting. It has a narrow beam and is used to spotlight specific features of the home or garden. 


These are buried to lie flat with the ground. They are often used to highlight the underside of shrubs and trees. Walking areas around swimming pools benefit from this type of lighting.

They come in a fixed position or with a swivel beam to change the direction of the light. The option to change lighting direction works well for special events in which areas of the grounds will need more light than usual.


This is a softer, diffused light that works well for illuminating shadowed areas of a home’s facade. It works well for highlighting areas of a garden that you want to have a softer touch. 


Light is aimed in a downward position. These lights work well above doorways and windows. They are also used in trees to illuminate pathways or show interesting bark.  


These tend to be more ornamental, depending on your taste. They are out in the open to highlight walk areas. For smaller shrubs and flowers, garden stake lights are perfect for adding a glow to pockets of landscaping.

Plan for Seasonal Changes to Your Landscape Lighting Design

Typically, homeowners do not plan for changes in the season when creating a landscape lighting design. They should. Here are some reasons for planning and thinking about flexibility.

If you have deciduous trees in your landscape, will you still want to highlight them in fall and winter? During times of snowfall, will the lighting you have selected be able to do its job? 

Are there holidays that you like to celebrate with festive lighting? Plan for wiring and fixtures that work with these celebrations. Having a plan can make holiday decorating so much easier and enjoyable.

Start Creating with a Landscape Lighting Professional Around The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe

When you start planning your landscape lighting, we know it can be a little intimidating. We encourage you to begin with some of the tips from this guide to understand your lighting needs and style preferences.

When you are ready, reach out for a free home consultation and demo. We can’t wait to hear your landscape lighting ideas and assist with creating the perfect lighting design for your The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe home.

Learn More About Our 3-Day Outdoor Lighting Trial