The 3 Layers of Outdoor Lighting

Posted 30 November 2019 1:48 PM by Jase DeBoer

While it’s easy to see the benefits of outdoor lighting, choosing the right lighting for your backyard or front porch may pose more of a challenge. There are three basic layers of lighting - ambient, task, accent - each with a specific function.

We're shining some light on ways to incorporate each layer of lighting to enhance the functionality, safety and overall aesthetic of your deck into the evening hours.

1. Ambient Lighting, commonly known as “general lighting,” provides a comfortable level of luminance and is essential for outdoor recreation during the evening hours.
If you have a covered deck or porch, a great place to start is with a ceiling fixture. From there, focus on incorporating patio or porch wall lights or hanging string lights. Install outdoor lighting with ease with our ALX Post Extension. The goal of ambient lighting is to radiate an adequate amount of light evenly throughout your space.

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2. Task Lighting is not intended to illuminate an entire space; rather, the goal is to ensure well-lit areas for everyday outdoor tasks on your deck. This may include activities as simple as walking, cooking - if you have an outdoor kitchen - or entertaining guests. Step lights and security motion-sensor lights are common forms of task lighting ideal for providing safety and practicality on your deck.


3. Accent Lighting is the layer of lighting designed to set the mood. This is the area where homeowners can be the most creative and take their outdoor spaces beyond ordinary. Draw attention to the details of your home you want to stand out such as trees, distinct plants, or architectural details. Consider exactly how you want to showcase accent lighting. Candles, post caps, string lights and unique spotlights are all adequate options.

Lighting is meant to be experienced, not just seen. With this in mind, the fusion of the three layers of lighting - ambient, task and accent - will allow you to create an envy-worthy nightscape you and your guests will enjoy well into the evening hours while accommodating all outdoor lighting needs.