Well planned outdoor lighting can give any house an upgrade, as well as making it safer and a more relaxing space. But it can be one of the costliest parts of your landscaping. Outdoor lighting doesn’t have to break your budget. Here is how to plan outdoor lighting for any price range.


What is Your Goal? What do you want to accentuate? Do you have any safety concerns to address first? Do you need light for security or ambiance? Understanding what you need will help you make a responsible plan and prevent you from overspending once you are at the store or with the landscaper and electrician.


Solar Powered or Wired? Look at your existing infrastructure. Would you need to install all solar powered lights? Do you need to bury wires? Or is there an existing outlet near where you need lights? Do you have the budget to hire an electrician to put in an outlet or wire your lights into your home? Is it cheaper to install exclusively solar or wireless? Answering these questions will give you a good idea of how much your project will cost or where you can trim expenses.


DIY or Hire A Professional? If you have a simple setup and know your needs, doing it yourself can be a cheap alternative. Floodlights start at about $10 per piece, deck lights can be had for around $10 a strand. Wireless and solar start around $20-30, depending on the size and wattage of the light you need. Basic single stick solar lights are sold in packs for $20-$60. If a decorative light effect is what you are after, those options begin at $80 a piece. If you have a large area to light, a complex concept, are working with a mature landscape, or are unsure of what you need, it can be a good idea to at least speak with a professional and find a way to work in your budget.


Don’t forget you can complete a plan in phases. Maybe right now you simply need a security light on your back deck and some solar lights leading to the front door, but you know later on you would like a complete lighting overhaul. Figuring out your goals now can help you budget and save for the eventual lighting you would like to install.


Photo by Cody Hughes @clhughes21