Outdoor Lighting Terminology Guide

August 14, 2019
Landscape, Year - Round

New to outdoor landscape lighting? Here are some key terms you’ll read about and hear from our landscape lighting experts. While you don’t need to be an expert yourself, understanding these buzzwords will help you discuss what your lighting goals are and understand what our lighting experts will be doing for you.


Watts tell you how much energy your lighting will use. (Not to be confused with lumens, discussed below.) The higher the wattage, the higher your electricity bill will be. Lighting such as LEDs and fiber optics are more economical, meaning they do not use as much power as standard lighting.


Lumens are a measure of a light’s brightness. While this metric seems important as you skim through lighting fixtures and talk to design experts, it’s also important to focus on the next term – spread. 


Spread is the amount of degrees your lights cover. A more diffuse, gentle light would have more spread. A narrow, brighter beam of light that lights up just one key element means less spread. Our lighting experts work with you and your space to design the lighting you’re looking for. For instance, while you may think a 100W light is necessary to light up your yard, due to spread, your lighting expert may recommend 50W, for instance.


LED lights use a lot less electricity as standard lighting and therefore reduce your electricity costs. They are also incredibly durable and have a longer lifetime of use than traditional bulbs. And, they can be programmed via Bluetooth and WiFi. 

Flood Lighting

Flood lights accentuate large landscape and architectural features, like trees and walls.

Accent Lighting

Accent lights add interest to any space, while highlighting trees, foliage, columns, and walls.

Pathway Lighting

Pathway lighting provides a charming warmth to your property with lighting that frames walkways.

Fiber Optics

Fiber optics are long, thin strands of acrylic fiber that carry light to the end of the fiber and are called end-emitting fibers. They are flexible and come in varying sizes to mimic the differing sizes of stars in the night sky. They are bundled in sets of 50 to 75 strands and can transmit light over long distances without a drop in brightness. They are safe and economical.

Hopefully this quick guide has given you a better understanding of some of the terms you’ll come across when making landscape lighting design decisions. If you’d like to term more, reach out to our lighting experts at 1-800-840-1777, or click below to get in touch!

Have Any More Questions?

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