Types of Outdoor LED Lighting

Types of Outdoor LED Lighting

Outdoor LED Lighting For Any Application

Outdoor LED lighting is quickly replacing legacy lighting technologies in a variety of exterior applications.

The reason for this is that modern LED lighting products lead the way in energy efficiency, but they offer much more, including:

  • Extended reliability and durability
  • Longevity
  • High quality performance
  • Reduced maintenance
  • Advanced controllability

These benefits are especially valuable in outdoor applications, where lamp replacement and maintenance can be a challenge.

Another advantage of LED lighting technology is versatility. Current generation LED lamps can be integrated into any type of landscape or exterior fixture. That means property owners can transition to LED lighting without overhauling their existing system.

Ten Types of Outdoor LED Lighting

The following outdoor LED fixtures can provide an ideal lighting solution for any outdoor application:

Bullet lights

Bullet lights are used in landscape lighting applications where directionality is necessary. They are ideal for exterior signage, facades and interesting landscape features, as they can be aimed with precision. Bullet fixtures are weather-resistant and dust-sealed for maximum durability and reliability.


Bollard lights are installed inside bollard posts (which stand 3-8 feet high) and are often found in parking lots, parks, playgrounds and walkways. LED bollards are designed for an aesthetic fit in any setting, including contemporary, modern and geometric options.

Flood and spot lights

LED flood lights are also used in landscape applications, where they are most effective for illuminating facades, hedges and large trees. LED flood lights are a top choice for security applications and crime deterrence.

Pendant (hanging) lights

Pendant lights are suspended from ceilings and are therefore a good option for porches, balconies and aesthetically-focused settings. They’re also available in a large variety of styles to ensure a perfect fit.

In-ground lights

In-ground fixtures emphasize discreteness, as these fixtures are invisible once installed. They are typically used in uplighting applications, where they are effective for illuminating trees, greenery scenes and exterior facades. Like all exterior LED lights, in-ground LEDs are sealed against water and weather for maximum durability.

Path lights

Path lights sit low to the ground – most are less than two feet tall – and are used to illuminate paths, walkways and gardens. Path lights are often used in both commercial and residential applications, as they improve curb appeal and safety simultaneously. Like with bollards, there are many path fixture styles to choose from to ensure an ideal aesthetic fit.

Rope lights

Rope lights are a durable form of indirect outdoor lighting, so the fixtures remain hidden during operation. They are typically found on residential properties where they are installed around patios, along walkways and in architectural coves. Rope lights are available in several colors and are protected with a PVC housing that keeps the bulbs safe from water.

Step and deck lights

LED step and deck lights are mounted to and integrated into exterior steps and decks. They can be affixed to wood, brick or metal and blend in, with a variety of faceplates and color temperatures to choose from. They also reduce tripping hazards and improve pedestrian safety, so they are also useful in commercial applications.

Underwater lights

LED underwater lights can be installed in ponds and fountains, so they work equally well in residential gardens and commercial water features. Underwater LED fixtures are cast from brass, with high impact acrylic optics and a watertight bushing for excellent protection from water intrusion.

BBQ lights

BBQ lights are gooseneck fixtures that hang over a grilling area and provide precise, high quality LED illumination during night-time barbecuing. BBQ lights are built with stainless steel, so they’re resistant to weather and corrosion, and they can be wired directly into a transformer or breaker box.

Four Advantages of Outdoor LED Lighting

LED lights are well-suited for outdoor applications for the following reasons:

  1. LEDs last much longer than other types of lighting – LED lighting has a longer lifespan than any other lighting technology on the market. LEDs are improving in this area all the time, but the typical diode fixture already provides at least 50,000 hours of reliable illumination before replacement is recommended. Lighting manufacturers use the concept of lumen maintenance to determine when a lamp has reached the end of its useful life. Specifically, when a light has lost about 30 percent of its overall lumen output, it is no longer considered viable. As mentioned, LED lighting reaches this point around the 50,000 hour mark. Fluorescent fixtures reach their end of life around 20,000 hours, and metal halides may not make it to 10,000 hours. It is also important to note that both of these lighting technologies are being discontinued. This extended lifespan factors into LED’s overall cost efficiency, but it’s also a major convenience advantage for outdoor applications. The longer the light lasts, the less often it will need to be replaced.
  2. Outdoor LED lights provide high-output, high quality illumination – The initial concerns with LED lighting were performance related, but these concerns have disappeared with improving diode engineering. Today’s LED lights are capable of extremely high lumen counts, excellent color rendering and reliable light metering within tight tolerances. These are major advantages for security-focused and safety-focused lighting applications, such as parking lot, street and walkway settings. LED’s excellent lighting quality is also important for sports fields, courts and arenas, where the light needs to be sharp enough to track high-speed objects.
  3. Outdoor LED lights can be paired with advanced lighting controls – LED lighting systems are compatible with all widely used lighting controls, including photocells, timers, occupancy controls and dimmers. This controllability advantage can enhance energy efficiency or safety further, as your LED lights will only be on when they are needed. This has obvious security applications, but it can also improve an outdoor space’s utility, as the system won’t need to be powered around the clock to ensure adequate lighting levels. For example, LED lighting used for walkways can be configured to brighten up when people are nearby, and dim down when no one is present. The same approach can be used with all types of landscape lighting, as well as street lighting, canopy fixtures and parking garages.
  4. Outdoor LED lighting consumes less energy – LED lighting is the most energy efficient option on the market – an advantage that’s been apparent since the technology’s introduction. This advantage has widened with time, as improved optics and photometric analysis can fully leverage LED’s directional nature. Now, LED lighting systems can be precisely designed to maximize the amount of usable illumination with as few fixtures as possible. The result is greatly reduced energy consumption and lower maintenance/replacement costs – a one-two cost-saving punch that accelerates the system’s return on investment (ROI).

Trust Outdoor LED Lighting Professionals for Design and Installation

LEDs provide the long-lasting durability, reliability, performance and efficiency that is expected from outdoor lighting systems. However, there are still questions to answer before installing your LED lights.

Do you have the right fixtures selected for your project? Do you know where they will be placed? Do you know how to safely install your lighting fixtures?

Lighting professionals are experts in outdoor LED lighting, from planning to installation. If your exterior lighting project is overseen by an expert lighting team, they will be able to:

  • Optimize your lighting system’s energy efficiency
  • Select and source the best fixtures for your project
  • Select and source the best lighting controls and components for your project
  • Identify optimal fixture placement to enhance efficiency and performance
  • Install all fixtures, lamps and lighting system components
  • Configure the system to meet your lighting needs
  • Provide ongoing maintenance and lamp replacement

In short, by working with a reputable lighting expert, you will accelerate the ROI on your outdoor LED lighting and ensure a clean, professional look.

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