The Do’s and Don’ts of Outdoor Lighting in Orange County

Outdoor lighting holds the key to transforming your Orange County home into a captivating retreat, showcasing its architecture, landscaping, and creating a welcoming atmosphere for guests. Achieving the perfect outdoor lighting scheme requires more than just bulbs and fixtures; it demands a blend of industry expertise and creative design. Even lighting professionals adhere to a set of do’s and don’ts to ensure their plans succeed.

In this article, we unveil essential tips to guide you in achieving the ideal outdoor lighting for your Orange County residence.

Outdoor Lighting’s Impact

Outdoor lighting for your home adds dramatic highlights, enhances the architecture and landscaping, and sets a tone for welcoming guests. Beyond aesthetics, proper lighting ensures safety, security, and a harmonious connection between your indoor and outdoor spaces.

The Do’s

1. Engage a Professional Lighting Designer

Seek a professional lighting designer rather than just an electrician. An experienced designer will create a well-thought-out plan that maximizes lighting’s potential and complements your property’s features.

2. Embrace LED Lights

LED lights are an industry standard for their energy efficiency, longevity, and safety due to their minimal heat emission. Opt for warm-toned LEDs to enhance the vibrancy of your landscaping.

3. Layer Lights Strategically

Create depth and visual interest by combining path lights, sconces, and well lights. Use three-watt bulbs for distinct features, and prioritize down lighting for clear pathways.

4. Invest in Quality Fixtures

Choose high-quality fixtures made from durable materials to withstand outdoor elements. Stick to a single line of fixtures for consistency, recommended by your lighting designer.

5. Match Fixtures to Your Style

Select fixtures that complement your architectural style. Different finishes, such as black for drama, white for contrast, and bronze for earth tones, can enhance your home’s appeal.

6. Size Matters

Ensure your front door fixtures are proportionate to your home’s scale. For single lights, aim for one-third of the door’s height, and for pairs, opt for one-quarter.

The Don’ts

1. Avoid Over-Lighting

Less is more. Opt for smaller fixtures with lower wattage rather than an excess of bright lights. Avoid replicating a theater stage effect.

2. Eliminate Direct Illumination

Instead of shining lights directly on your house, use landscaping to filter light and create captivating shadows for a dramatic touch.

3. Steer Clear of Daisy Chaining

Avoid stringing lights in a “daisy chain” as this results in uneven brightness. Aim for consistent illumination throughout your outdoor space.

4. Conceal Wires Properly

Bury wires and cords underground to prevent accidents and maintain a clean look. Refrain from covering them with mulch.

5. Skip Solar Lighting

For now, hold off on solar lighting due to its ongoing technological development. Opt for reliable options to ensure consistent performance.

6. Proper Upper-Story Lighting

Avoid overly bright upper-story lighting by using low voltage lights in the eaves and surrounding trees. Achieve a gentle, ambient glow for a charming effect.

7. Enhance Contractor-Installed Lighting

Contractor-installed lighting, such as garage lights, should be controlled with dimmers to prevent overwhelming brightness and to complement other lighting elements.

Choosing Expertise

At Lightscapes, professionals work closely with you to develop a customized outdoor lighting design that enhances your home’s beauty and value. Collaborating with an expert ensures your investment yields a captivating and functional lighting scheme that transforms your outdoor space into a true haven.


Mastering outdoor lighting for your Orange County property requires a blend of creativity, expertise, and adherence to do’s and don’ts. By embracing these principles, you can create a captivating and inviting ambiance that showcases your home’s architecture, enhances its landscaping, and sets the stage for warm welcomes. Remember, when it comes to outdoor lighting, a well-planned design is an investment that pays off in aesthetic appeal and functional value.

Check out 10 Outdoor Lighting Ideas for a Cozy Ambiance in Orange County for more ideas.