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3 Best LED Landscaping Lighting Techniques

Sina Kamran

Sina Kamran

Founder and Owner of Design Scapes Inc.

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gazebo with string lights

With the proper lighting, your landscape can transform into an enchanting outdoor oasis after dark. The magic of light can transform ordinary features into dramatic works of art, highlighting the unique beauty of your outdoor space. Here, we explore three of the best LED landscaping lighting techniques that can enhance your property’s aesthetic appeal, improve safety, and increase the value of your property. Our insights will guide you in making the most of your outdoor spaces, illuminating your garden’s personality and charm to create a mesmerizing atmosphere every night.

gazebo with string lights

3 Best LED Landscaping Lighting Techniques

#1: Uplighting

Uplighting is one of the best LED landscaping lighting techniques. This method places lights at ground level with the beam directed upwards, casting an enchanting glow on prominent landscape features. LED lights make this technique energy-efficient, ensuring you can highlight towering trees, sculptures, or architectural structures without worrying about high electricity bills. It’s an ideal way to accentuate the beauty of your landscape while creating dramatic shadows and a captivating nighttime atmosphere.

#2: Path Lighting

Path lighting serves the dual purpose of safety and aesthetics. It’s a technique that provides uniform lighting along pathways, guiding visitors and preventing potential accidents. The best LED landscaping lighting for paths offers reliable, steady lighting, making the journey around your garden a pleasant experience. LED lights are perfect for this purpose due to their longevity and lower heat output. They’re long-lasting, meaning your paths will be well-lit for years, contributing to a secure and visually appealing environment.

#3: Silhouetting

Silhouetting is another of the best LED landscaping lighting techniques, showcasing an object’s outline against a lit backdrop. This method involves positioning an LED light behind the feature, aiming toward an adjacent wall. The light’s effect creates a fascinating silhouette that emphasizes the unique shapes in your landscape. Moreover, it adds an element of intrigue and mystery, highlighting the natural elegance of your greenery. The flexibility and brightness of LED lights make them perfect for creating stunning silhouettes, leaving a lasting impression on all who visit your garden.

What is the best brand for outdoor landscape lighting?

Several reputable brands provide high-quality outdoor landscape lighting, but one consistently leading the pack is Kichler Lighting. Kichler is well-known for its innovative designs, longevity, and range of solutions, including some of the best LED landscaping lighting options. Another high-quality option is FX Luminaire.

Best LED Landscaping Lighting strand

How many lumens is good for landscape lighting?

When it comes to landscape lighting, brightness is measured in lumens. The right about of lumens will vary based on the area’s size and the lighting technique used. Remember, the best LED landscaping lighting isn’t about the brightest light but creating the right ambiance and functionality. For example, Home Depot recommends the following LED lumens for these areas:

Below is a list of recommended LED lumens for specific outdoor lighting:

  • Step lights: 12-100 lumens
  • Hardscape lights (on walls): 50-185 lumens
  • Landscape lights: 50-300 lumens 
  • Path lights: 100-200 lumens
  • Landscape spotlights: 120 lumens
  • Lamp posts: 120-180 lumens
  • Pond/pool lights: 200-400 lumens
  • Motion sensor lights: 300-700 lumens
  • Flood lights: 700-1300 lumens

What color light is best for landscaping?

The choice of color greatly depends on your landscape’s aesthetic and personal preference. However, warm white (2700K – 3000K) is universally appealing and often used in the best LED landscaping lighting designs. It emits a soft, welcoming glow, perfect for creating a relaxing atmosphere.

How far will 3000 lumens shine?

When considering the measurement of lumens, it is important to remember that a single lumen is equivalent to the brightness of one candle. Therefore, 3000 lumens would be like having 3000 candles. A light source of 3000 lumens is quite bright and, but depending on other factors like the beam angle and fixture placement, can illuminate a large area effectively. For example, such a light could adequately illuminate a medium-sized backyard or garden.

What is the disadvantage of LED light?

While LED lights are widely recognized for their long life, energy efficiency, and robustness, they have certain disadvantages that need consideration. Here are a few:

  • Higher Initial Cost: The most apparent drawback of LED lights is their higher upfront cost compared to traditional lighting solutions.
  • Temperature Dependence: LED performance largely depends on the ambient temperature of the operating environment. Overheating can lead to diminished LED life, so they may not perform as well in high-temperature environments without proper heat sinks or cooling systems.
  • Light Color: While LED technology has advanced to offer a wide range of colors, some people feel the light emitted by LED bulbs is colder and less inviting than traditional incandescent or halogen light sources.
  • Dimming: Not all LED lights are dimmable, and those that are may require compatible dimmer switches. This can add extra cost and complexity to the lighting system.
  • Directionality of Light: LED lights are highly directional, emitting light in a specific direction. This can be an advantage in certain applications but can also make them less suitable for lighting large areas uniformly.

Despite these drawbacks, the benefits of LED lights often outweigh the disadvantages, particularly in the long run. The energy efficiency, low maintenance requirements, and long lifespan make them a smart choice for most applications, including the best LED landscaping lighting.

Are LED landscape lights worth it?

LED landscape lights are undoubtedly worth the investment for several compelling reasons:

  • Longevity: LED lights last up to 50,000 hours or even longer – that’s over 40 times the lifespan of traditional incandescent bulbs. This means less frequent replacement, saving you time and hassle.
  • Energy Efficiency: LED lights consume far less energy than traditional lighting. They can use up to 80% less power, leading to significant savings on your energy bills. So, while the initial cost may be higher, the long-term savings are substantial.
  • Quality of Light: LED lights offer excellent color rendering and a wide range of color temperatures. This means you can create the exact ambiance you want in your landscape.
  • Durability: LED lights are highly resistant to shocks, vibrations, and external impacts. They’re ideal for outdoor lighting as they can withstand rough conditions like adverse weather, making them the best LED landscaping lighting option.
  • Flexibility: LED lights come in various styles, sizes, and features. This diversity allows for incredible customization, enabling you to achieve the desired lighting effect for your landscape.
  • Environmental Impact: LED lights are more eco-friendly. They contain no toxic elements, and their long lifespan means less waste. Additionally, their energy efficiency reduces overall greenhouse gas emissions.

Design a Beautifully Lighted Outdoor Space with Design Scapes

Are you ready to illuminate your landscape with the best LED landscaping lighting techniques? At Design Scapes Inc, we’re experts in landscape lighting, ready to help you create a mesmerizing outdoor space. Contact us today for a landscape lighting consultation. Let us light the way to your dream landscape.

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Reviews

Andrew H.
Los Angeles, CA
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Sina and his team worked with us to design and build both our front and backyard. The results exceeded our expectations and the team worked patiently during COVID and through a challenging permitting process with LA City. The team was professional and always prompt. The pricing was fair and transparent, and communication was great. The project was large overall so we worked together with Design Scapes for almost one year. I have recommended the team to many people already and think they do great work.
Ben L.
Los Angeles, CA
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We hired Design Scapes to turn our backyard into a hostable space that would feel welcoming to guests, but more importantly, utilize what we felt was completely wasted space. It's hard to put words to just how incredible of an experience we had with Sina and his team. From the get-go, they were efficient, communicative, and dedicated to making us feel content. Sina, Aaron and everyone they work with truly understand design - the technical, architectural, and aesthetic elements that are needed in order to create the best results. We never had any doubt that we went with the right company. The results were ten times better than we ever could have imagined. Our backyard is a total haven, we feel like we're on vacation at our own home! We would give ten stars if we could!
May M.
North Hollywood, CA
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I worked with Sima at Design Scapes on a recent backyard renovation. He was extremely patient as we began from concept to finished project! His crew was very professional and it turned out exactly how I envisioned. The reno included building a pergula with a cover, hardscaping with pavers and adding lighting and ficus trees. We were so happy with the finished product!
Jeff R.
Santa Monica, CA
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Design Scapes constructed a composite wood deck and two planters in my back yard and I couldn't be happier with the result. Very professional, terrific work, really nice people (especially Heli, who worked with me throughout), and they got it done when they said they would, completely satisfied with the whole experience!
Charles M.
Santa Monica, CA
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Sina and his team are your go-to for innovative and beautiful outdoor construction. They installed a gigantic, closeable pergola over our wrap around deck. They handled the entire process from plans to permits to installation and did a tremendous job. We feel like we've added a room to our home. They did an amazing job. Five stars!
Laurene F.
Manhattan Beach, CA
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Design Scapes is very highly recommended! Very professional, creative and reliable. They were very timely and reasonable with their estimated budget and time line to complete the project. Also, they were very responsive with additional requests after the initial project. I will refer them to my friends.
Mersedeh M.
Los Angeles, CA
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I can not say enough how great working with Design Sacpes was. My husband and I met with several landscaping companies and Design Scapes seemed to be the most honest and professional one. Sina is an awesome person, he guided us in choosing the best design for our backyard while he was considering what we want in all the steps. We ended up planting some great fruit trees in addition to a cute fountain and some design with beautiful rocks. The crew was very clean and professional. We did not feel we have workers in our background the whole time. The final invoice reflected exactly what we had spoken of, although we made some changes and ended up choosing better material and plants in some occasions. I highly recommend Design Sacpes if you are looking for the best landscaping company.
Bob K.
West Hills, CA
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Sina and his crew are great. We started off with replacing a block wall we shared with our neighbor with a wood fence. Once we saw the excellent quality of the work we had him transform our backyard which was basically a dirt lot into a backyard oasis with pavers, a grassy area, a new tree and a section of plants. His crew is unbelievable. Vert talented and hard working. On time every day. Courteous and friendly. Always kept the work area clean. Sina when not on site was always available by phone or text. His estimates were clear, and his on line billing system was easy to use.
Charity B.
Thousand Oaks, CA
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We did 2 projects with Sina at the same time. One was done on time and was exactly to our specification (even though we changed our minds once the project started as is sometimes the case when you start to see it come together). Sina was always available with ideas, feedback and keeping us up to date. The other project was delayed through no fault of Sina's. The material he ordered came in damaged. He took care of it completely and rescheduled his crew to come back once the material was received. I didn't have to fight with anyone over damaged materials and he didn't even ask me to accept sub-quality. He just rejected it immediately and took care of the problem. Both projects were beautiful when finished. I am very happy with the quality of work. I have worked with many contractors. I can easily say that Sina is one of the best. He is amazing because he does exactly what he says he will do... follow up calls, shows up on time, sends detailed work plans, etc. Seems like a little thing but if you've worked with contractors, you know that's rare! I have already referred him to friends and will definitely use him again in the future.
Bill O.
New York, NY
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When my wife and I moved into our new home at the beginning of 2020, we loved the potential of our new backyard. It has a pool with lots of room for gatherings and two healthy fruit trees that provide good shade. Unfortunately the existing planters were overrun with tall unorganized grasses and the "grass" area was nothing but dirt. As soon as I called Sina at Design Scapes, he scheduled a quick visit to view the property and get an understanding of my design intent. He listened closely to what I wanted, offered his expertise and suggestions when appropriate, and created a plan that met all expectations. When I explained that the plan was slightly above my cost limit, he offered adjustments that kept the design incredible while aligning with my target budget. All work was performed professionally and on schedule and he has consistently followed up to ensure satisfaction. I would absolutely work with Sina on all future exterior projects! (Before and after photos attached)
Keithh N.
San Francisco, CA
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I can't express how happy we are with Sina's work. He is extremely professional and reliable. He was always at the job site when needed. And he clearly went the extra length to get our work done. One of the things we needed done was adding mesh to a quarter acre property around the Fenceline. Sina's team made sure to dig down over a foot under the dirt to make sure our animals couldn't get underneath it. He made sure The mesh was tied tightly to the fence around the entire property line. His work was very clean and he did not disrupt any of the plant life. He is extremely knowledgeable about landscaping and plant life. I would definitely recommend using him again and sure we will in the future! Thank you for everything Sina

Our Certifications

We hold the following ICPI certifications:

Concrete Pavers

ICPI—Concrete Paver Installer Course

  • Introduction to the construction of interlocking concrete pavement systems using concrete pavers and slabs

 ICPI—Certified Concrete Paver Installer

  • Job planning and layout
  • Safety
  • Soil classification and compaction
  • Bedding and joint sand
  • Paver selection and installation
  • Use of labor-saving specialty tools
  • Edge restraints
  • Base material selection and compaction

ICPI—Residential Specialist Course

  • Creating an outdoor living area.
  • Bringing the indoor comforts outside.
  • Locations
  • Heat Materials
  • Utility Hookups
  • Appliances
  • Building Codes
  • Overlaying pavers on existing asphalt or concrete, and best installation methods. 
  • Includes paver overlay application around the perimeter of a pool, and general construction of a paver pool deck around most common types of pools (linear pool, fiberglass shell, or concrete shell.
  • Existing Site Conditions
  • Existing Pavement Preparation
  • Installation Details
  • Paver Overlays with Mortar or Adhesives
  • Types of Pools
  • Construction Details
  • Drainage
  • Paver Selection
  • Building Codes
  • Seat Walls
  • Lighting
  • Decorative Borders and Edges
  • Utilities under the Pavement
  • Once course is completed, requires documentation of 50,000 square feet of concrete paver installation experience in residential projects to receive Residential Paver Specialist credential.

ICPI—Certified Concrete Paver Installer—Residential Specialist

                        • The Residential Professional Course is the highest level designation for ICPI certified installers.
                        • Base and Subbase
                        • Edge Restraint
                        • Bedding Sand
                        • Concrete Pavers
                        • Joint Sand
                          • Supervisor’s role in finding and fixing workplace hazards.
                          • Jobsite Planning and Logistics
                            • Site Management
                            • Equipment
                            • Common conversions and equations needed when estimating materials, including perimeter, area and volume. Converting between different dimensions such as cubic feet to cubic yards.
                            • The three basic components of a functional and attractive raised patio: walls, flatwork, and steps. Visualizing the levels and steps and then developing solutions for the site. 
                            • Considerations
                            • Steps
                            • Railings
                            • On-Site
                            • Building Codes
                            • Once course is completed, installer must document 25,000 square feet of concrete paver installation experience and 20 residential projects to receive Residential Paver Specialist credential.

                                                  Permeable Pavers


                                                  ICPI—Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavement (PICP) Specialist Course

                                                  • Use of permeable pavers can reduce the quantity of runoff and maximize irrigation of your property.
                                                  • Benefits
                                                  • System Components
                                                  • Types of Systems
                                                  • Precautions

                                                        National Concrete Masonry Association Certifications


                                                        Certified Segmental Retaining Wall Installer (CSRWI)


                                                        • Advanced topics include: 
                                                        • Wall layout and planning
                                                        • Water and drainage
                                                        • Cut and fill walls
                                                        • Tiered walls
                                                        • Corners and curves
                                                        • Stairs and patios

                                                                  Pricing

                                                                  • Our pricing is completely transparent. 
                                                                  • Estimates, quotes, and invoices are always line-itemized for different trades or sections of scope of work. No big mystery numbers where you don’t know what you’re paying for.
                                                                  • We quote the installation based on existing site conditions, local codes, bespoke materials or layout, and/or pattern picked.
                                                                  • If there are any change orders, they are quoted and approved by the client first. They are fully documented, leaving a complete paper trail. 
                                                                  • Labor cost is based on what it takes to do the job right, and do right by a professional crew.
                                                                  • Expect to invest up to 7% of your property’s value for a completely new outdoor space. 
                                                                  • The design phase cost is approximately 3% – 7% of the total installation cost.
                                                                  • Each project is custom designed, and cost depends on design.
                                                                  • When needed, we work with you to accomplish your project in stages—rather than diminish your vision.
                                                                  • You know what your costs are upfront before any work starts.

                                                                  Payments

                                                                  • We accept Visa, Master Card, Amex, Discover, check, cash, wire transfer, Venmo and Zelle.
                                                                  • You get a payment schedule with your project schedule. 
                                                                  • You only pay for labor, and materials delivered up to payment date. You’re not paying in advance so we can buy materials.
                                                                  • When implementing your project in stages, the Design Phase is completed and paid for in advance of implementing the first stage.

                                                                  Return on Investment

                                                                  • You expect a return on investment when improving your property. 
                                                                  • Studies show that a beautifully landscaped yard can increase your property’s value by up to 20%. 
                                                                  • Money magazine estimates that you can recover up to 120% of your project’s cost when you sell your property.

                                                                  Implementation Phase

                                                                  • We provide you a detailed project and work schedule that shows orders, deliveries, installation dates, and payment due dates.
                                                                  • You know exactly how many days your project takes, and what to expect each day.
                                                                  • Your designer / estimator is present on-site every day of installation, supervising the project from start to finish. Eagle-eyed supervision prevents aesthetic or functional mistakes.
                                                                  • Our team includes only trusted workers who have been with us for years. All workers are bonded.
                                                                  • Design Scapes Inc is fully licensed under both C27 Landscaping and General B licenses.
                                                                  • We never sub-contract our work to others, or hire from the parking lot of the local building supply superstore.
                                                                  • Every installation team member has decades of experience and expertise in their area of specialty.
                                                                  • All work is insured, and supervised. 
                                                                  • We carry all required insurance policies like workers’ compensation, liability, and vehicle coverage.
                                                                  • Our efficient process controls the chaos of construction. Only the tools, equipment, and materials that are needed for the work week get delivered and stored for that week. 
                                                                  • Site, tools, and materials tidied up and secured at the end of every work day.
                                                                  • We need no interior access and bring our own toilets and power generator.
                                                                  • We leave your work site spotless and hazard-free.

                                                                  Design Phase

                                                                  • You get one-on-one consultation from an award-winning landscape designer, Sina Kamran.
                                                                  • I will generate picture designs for your new outdoor space, and present them to you.
                                                                  • Design goes through an extensive revision stage. Together, we go through all different layouts, patterns, material types and colors, or different functions to consider. 
                                                                  • The revision stage eliminates problematic surprise change orders and project delays. It also enables us to deliver your project per schedule.
                                                                  • Your project installation is scheduled as soon as you approve the final project plans.
                                                                  • Lead time is usually three to five weeks from approval.

                                                                  Complimentary Estimate

                                                                  • We get a copy of your plot plan and general yard measurements in preparation for the initial consultation.
                                                                  • We draw inspiration from your property and listen to your dreams for your outdoor space. The meeting focuses on your vision and how we could help you realize it. 
                                                                  • We survey the area and point out possibilities and discuss potential issues. 
                                                                  • We make a point of providing an accurate bid rather than bidding low to get the work. You have our promise on this.
                                                                  • We want you to have the peace of mind of knowing exactly what your project will cost from the very start. No surprises.
                                                                  • Once you approve the initial estimate, we move on to the Design Phase.
                                                                  • You receive a final and firm quote once the Design Phase is completed and all work has been identified.