A great way to make your outdoor living space more aesthetic and outshine is to add lighting. Whether you commute a long way to work or just work down the road, coming home to a beautiful lit up house can be peaceful and calming.

Landscape Lighting

Just like most people, your home is one of the largest investments you will ever make. Adding landscape lighting helps extend the time you spend outside into the evening hours, enjoying your home’s exterior spaces.

Landscape lighting also improves curb appeal, expands living space and increases the safety and security of your home. When you have the right lighting, it helps create a warm, welcoming atmosphere for the exterior of your home and yard.

The landscape lighting system that you choose should easily adapt to any changes. For instance, if you have new landscape, then it is usually decorated with young plants, bushes, and trees that will eventually grow. Therefore, your lighting system needs to be flexible and easy to reposition as they grow. Keeping this in mind is important so you don’t have to reinstall part of the system later on down the road.

One simple way to create that peaceful feeling is by adding spot lighting to your landscape. This is one way of lighting that can make a big impact on your new or existing outdoor space.

What are Spotlights?

Spotlights originated in the world of theatre that showcased the main actors. By using spotlights in your yard, you are showcasing specific architectural or landscape features. Spotlights create narrow beams of light so they can focus on one thing at a time, such as your house, trees, or landscape features.

Spotlighting Your House

When lighting your house, you do not want to flood it with light. Instead, you want to choose specific areas to create visual accents on the siding.

  • Spacing and positioning: If the siding has no windows, then you want to position the spotlights so the beams overlap about halfway up the house. If your house does have windows on the siding, then you want to position the spotlights halfway between each window along with one light to the right and left of the outermost windows. You want to place the fixtures about 1 foot from the wall and angle it upward until the hotspot in the center of the beam is spread out towards the top of the siding.
  • Columns: If you have columns you should consider lighting them. Place one fixture 6 inches from the base of each column. Columns look better when the light starts at the bottom of the column.

Spotlighting Your Trees

Trees make an impression on your landscape and define the extent of your property; therefore, spotlighting your trees is a must.

  • Small and Medium Sized Trees: Trees that are young or ornamental usually only need one spotlight. If a tree is short and narrow, then one spotlight is needed. However, if the tree is short and wide, you may want to use two spotlights. The spotlights can be placed under the canopy a few feet from the trunk. Or, one spotlight can be placed near the trunk while the other one sits outside the tree.
  • Large Narrow Trees: You many only need one spotlight for tall trees. The spotlight would need to be positioned near the base with a beam wide enough to include the whole canopy. Two spotlights would make for better coverage.
  • Large Wide Trees: Tall trees that are wide and spread-out require more than one spotlight. You will need to position one light about 1 foot from the base to light up the trunk and the other spotlights out toward the outer edge of the canopy. You want your lighting to show the entire shape of the tree, a task that isn’t always easy.

Spotlighting Other Landscape Features

  • Gazebos: These structures are normally lit from within and/or from outside. The light inside the gazebo is very small that is attached to the center of the roof pointing straight down. The lights outside should be placed about 1 foot from outside columns aiming up at the eaves.
  • Patios and Decks: Although there may already be deck and patio lights, spotlights from the limbs of trees can provide a beautiful lighting experience. Downlights are placed on trees so the light shines through the leaves and limbs to create a moonlit dappled light affect.
  • Pools, Ponds, and Waterfalls: Light from above creates a more natural look, but if that is not possible, then place the underwater lights from angles that highlight the feature without shining light into someone’s eyes.


Adding spotlights to your landscape can add drama, be welcoming, and provide a sense of peace. However, figuring out all of the logistics of spotlighting can be overwhelming. The staff at St. Louis Select Landscaping want to help make this process as smooth and as easy as possible. Call us today at (314) 568-6550 so we can discuss which landscape features to spotlight that will bring out the best qualities of your home.