Our Favorite Landscape Lighting Styles

A landscape can be everything you’ve dreamed during the daytime – you chose the perfect shrubs, trees, and brick pavers to match your personal tastes and your home. But what about after dark? Is your landscape still usable?

Installing lighting isn’t always the first thing our clients think about when they’re looking for a backyard remodel, but we recommend it because of the dramatic difference it can make in your landscape! Not only can you stay outdoors longer, but walkways are much safer when lit, the lights can be set on a timer so you don’t have to worry about turning them on and off, and your home will look beautiful at night.

There’s more to landscape lighting than meets the eye, however. There are different types of lights based on what your purpose and aesthetic preferences are. Read on for a highlight (pun intended) on a few of the different types of lighting we like to use in our custom landscape designs across northern Colorado.


‘Moonlighting’ is the light style achieved by placing lights high in trees. This is often used when shorter or smaller plants and shrubs make it difficult to do uplighting, as well as highlighting dark areas of the landscape on stairs or walkways. This lighting technique is very natural, and the shadows created on the ground from the tree branches can create beautiful patterns.


If you have paths through your landscape (and more importantly, paths with steps), we highly recommend installing some type of lighting system to make them safer. There are hundreds of lamps that you can choose from to line a pathway. They can be as subtle or dramatic as you’d like, solar powered or electric!

Wall Wash Lighting

Use lights to draw the eye to the textures and shapes of walls; whether that be retaining walls or the sides of your home, it should be seen! This technique will highlight a wide area. We often use wall washing behind certain types of plant material to create a striking shadowing effect.


As the name implies, ‘uplighting’ is aiming the light upwards. This technique emphasizes trees, statues, fountains, or other items in your landscape that you want to shine after dark.

Hardscape Lighting

Hardscape lighting encompasses any lighting on the hardscape aspects of your landscape – as opposed to highlighting plants or trees. These lights can be placed on boulders, outdoor kitchens, water features, sitting areas, and more. We especially encourage lighting hardscape areas that will be utilized after dark and serve a functional purpose.

Mirror Lighting

This works well for clients that have bodies of water on their property. With mirror lighting, various lights will be placed around a pond or lake that will then be reflected in the water. This creates a stunning effect after dark.

If you have questions about landscape lighting or would like to get started on designing your own custom landscape with our team at Alpine Gardens, give us a call today! It’s never too late to start designing. Call us at 970-226-2296.