The exterior of your Fairfield County, CT home and its gardens transform through twilight, dusk and dark. Exterior lighting can work magic for showcasing your property and making your outdoor space more livable in the evening. It can highlight certain features of the home, make walkways safer, and create intimate areas for entertaining and enjoying the evening air.


Building a new home or addition or undergoing a new landscaping project is a perfect time to upgrade the outdoor lighting on your property. The exciting thing is that your options are almost limitless. This can also be a bit daunting. The right homebuilder, however, can walk you through the options and help you develop a well-thought-out plan that takes into account your specific needs and wants.

Use Layering for Different Effects
Dramatic, whole-property illumination can create a real wow factor for luxury homes with a variety of interesting outdoor elements. For those looking for something more subdued, you might prefer softer illumination around spaces that get used the most and/or special features such as the pergola, patio, or deck. Layers give you choices that help set a mood — one of the fundamental lessons of lighting.

The three primary layers are ambient, task, and accent lighting. These designations aren’t describing the type of light so much as the job they perform. Incorporating these three elements into your scheme will make the property more versatile.

Ambient Lighting Does the Largest Job
The ambient layer in your lighting design consists of all the primary lights. They brighten up a broad area, such as the entire front of the house or your deck, without introducing uncomfortable glare. The effect of ambient lighting can be compared to that of turning on a light switch for a chandelier in your home.

A combination of ambient lights throughout the property gives you the freedom to create a vivid, bright look, or one that’s much softer. Some lights may recess into a deck railing, and some may work as tall torches that brighten up a patio or part of the grounds.

Task Lighting Enhances Safety
True to its name, the task lighting layer focuses on one job. Inside many custom homes, these elements include vanity lights, reading lamps, and pendants over a sink. Outdoors, they also illuminate a specific area and are often used to enhance safety.

Task lighting could outline your driveway, and make deck steps and swimming pool edges safer to see and navigate. If you have an outdoor kitchen, this layer helps make food preparation easier. Task lighting is appropriate anywhere you need to dramatically improve visibility but don’t want to use an enormous amount of ambient light.

Accent Lighting Brings Features to Life
Do you have a stately tree or other outdoor features that you want to appreciate at night? Accent lighting makes any element stand proud, but it never shows itself. This layer stays hidden, with the exception of the light that it produces. You’ll never see accent lights peppered through a rose garden. All that you’ll see is the light itself.

Outdoor lighting can transform the look of a high-end custom home at night. Just as with any other aspect of home building, choosing the right contractor and planning the space ahead of time will yield the most impressive and satisfying results. When the job is done right, you’ll have an outdoor oasis that you can enjoy even after the sun goes down.