Light up pathways and highlight outdoor features with these options for low-voltage, solar-powered, and LED landscape lights.

By Jessica Bennett
April 14, 2020
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The right outdoor lighting can boost home security, increase safety when walking around at night, and allow you to enjoy your outdoor spaces long after the sun sets. For the best landscape lighting, plan to incorporate a variety of fixtures and lighting types. Different exterior features, such as trees or shrubs, pathways, and architectural details, are best suited for certain outdoor light fixtures. Consider using a combination of spotlights, underground well lights, wide-angled floodlights, and pathway lighting to illuminate your home and landscaping at night. When choosing outdoor light fixtures, consider the power source and bulb type that best fits your lighting needs.

Credit: Marty Baldwin

For long-lasting, energy-efficient landscape lights, first look for fixtures that use LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs, which are both long-lasting and consume less energy than CFL bulbs. Another option is solar landscape lights that use the sun's rays and a rechargeable battery for power, which makes for easy setup and eco-friendly energy use. However, note that these fixtures require direct sunlight during the day to recharge and don't offer as much illumination as wired landscape lighting. For increased brightness (or areas where the sun doesn't shine directly), low-voltage landscape lighting provides another energy-efficient option with DIY installation. This type of outdoor lighting connects to a transformer through wires, which can be buried underground or sit on top of the soil. Because of the low voltage (12 volts compared to your home's usual 120-volt system), these lights have a low risk of electrical shock and require less energy to run.

Create the ultimate outdoor lighting system with these picks for the best landscape lights, including solar-powered and low-voltage options. These sleek, energy-efficient fixtures will keep your home illuminated from dusk to dawn.

Credit: Courtesy of The Home Depot

Illuminate large areas of your yard and help increase home security with this set of wide-angled floodlights, which mount in the ground and connect to a transformer. The small (about 3-inch-wide) color-changing bulbs offer three levels of light, including warm white, soft white, and daylight. The LED landscape lighting system is hard-wired and maintenance-free, so you can enjoy up to 50,000 hours of light without changing any bulbs.

Buy It: Hampton Bay 4.5-Watt Millennium Black Adjustable Light Color Outdoor Integrated LED Landscape Flood Light (4-Pack), $89.97, The Home Depot

Credit: Courtesy of Wayfair

Combining pathway lights and spotlights, this landscape lighting kit helps illuminate your entire yard. The low-voltage fixtures, which must be hardwired to a transformer, are made of cast aluminum and feature a textured brass finish. They're safe to use in wet locations, so rain or snow shouldn't be an issue. As one reviewer writes, "I have these lights in my front and back following my sidewalk and walkway. They provide a very elegant fixture, quite a bit of light, and very sturdy for winter weather." The path lights measure 23 inches tall and the spotlights are 5 inches in length.

Buy It: Kichler Architectural Bronze Low Voltage Hardwired Configurable Landscape Lighting Kit, $260, Wayfair

Credit: Courtesy of The Home Depot

Place one of these 13-inch-tall spotlights in your yard to highlight garden beds, trees or shrubs, and other exterior features. The solar-powered LED landscape lights can be easily installed wherever the sun shines: Simply stake in the ground in a spot where direct light can hit the solar panel and recharge the included battery. The automatic system turns on when the sun sets and shuts off at sunrise.

Buy It: Hampton Bay 45 Lumens Solar Black Outdoor LED Landscape Spotlight, $7.88, The Home Depot

Credit: Courtesy of The Home Depot

This low-profile hard-wired landscape lighting, which measures 6 inches across, sits mostly underground, so it blends seamlessly into your outdoor setting. The LED well light uses low-voltage power to project soft white light upward, highlighting trees or your home's architectural features (the power pack and low-voltage cable are sold separately). The aluminum and glass design is waterproof and stands up to most weather conditions.

Buy It: Hampton Bay Low-Voltage Black Outdoor Integrated LED Landscape Well Light, $44.97, The Home Depot

Credit: Courtesy of Target

Line the pathway to your front door with these landscape lights to increase nighttime safety and curb appeal. The solar-powered LED lights, which feature a simple contemporary design, provide long-lasting, energy-efficient lighting. Measuring nearly 17 inches tall, they're held in place with ground stakes.

Buy It: 6pk Drop Lens LED Outdoor Pathway Lights Black - Project 62, $18.75, Target

Credit: Courtesy of The Home Depot

This landscape lighting kit includes a transformer with a timer and 50 feet of cable, so you have everything you need to outfit your outdoor spaces with low-voltage path lights. The durable aluminum design, which is just under 20 inches tall and 5 inches wide, is suited for all weather conditions, and the LED lights have an estimated lifespan of 50,000 hours (more than 5 years if run continuously). The DIY installation should take about two hours with just one person needed.

Buy It: Hampton Bay Low-Voltage 30-Watt Integrated LED Outdoor Black Landscape Path Light Kit (6-Pack), $129, The Home Depot

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