Light Up The Grill with These Backyard Lighting Tips

The Gardena Wall Mounted Gooseneck Lighting by Steel Lighting Co.

Lighting for the outdoors is a surprisingly tricky task because it’s often a question of balancing security with utility. Not to mention the fact that most outdoor lighting has to brave a whole slew of different conditions. 

Unlike indoor lights, outdoor lighting has to cover a lot more ground and doesn’t benefit from walls to bounce off of. Instead, outdoor lighting is about illuminating the things that matter while acknowledging that it’s almost always going to be a little dimmer than you’d like. 

Or does it? Maybe the question of getting more out of your outdoor lighting isn’t so much about lowering your standards but about tweaking your lighting setup to make the most of what your lights. 

The following blog is going to help you make the most of your backyard lighting with a few helpful tips and tricks, so read on and see for yourself!

The Basics: 

Barn Style Wall Mounted Lights in White by Steel Lighting Co.

With the proper lighting setup, your outdoor lighting can look amazing, but having the know-how to make that happen can be tricky. 

You’re going to want to achieve two primary objectives: illuminate your space so that it’s usable during times without daylight and maintain the space’s mood with good ambiance. As a side benefit, you can also make sure your outdoor area benefits from some added security as well. 

Fundamentally, the above two objectives can be achieved by following the distinct styles of lighting and how they work together: 

Ambient Lighting

The first of these styles is ambient lighting. Ambient lighting is essentially the piece of lighting that will provide the most usable light in a space. Ambient lighting is essential because it’s the base layer of your lighting setup. It covers the most ground and does the most work when it comes to the general lighting. 

As a result, ambient lighting fits into a catch-all space and is not necessarily the brightest light or most personality-driven lighting style. Ambient lighting is designed for the hard work of lighting and is mean to fill the gaps where other forms of lighting fail. 

In most cases, a single prominent lighting fixture, such as Steel Lighting Co.’s Manhattan Ceiling Light, or Carson ceiling light, is a perfect addition to an ambient lighting setup. 

Task Lighting

As you’d imagine, task lighting is more focused on individual tasks that center around the purpose of illumination. As any grill enthusiast will tell you, having the best lighting for your barbeque is critical to making the perfect backyard meal. 

Task lighting is often the brightest form of lighting in a room or outdoor space. This comes down to the simple fact that intensive tasks are usually done best when you can see what you’re doing as best as you can, so having the brightest available source of light is crucial. 

Wall-mounted fixtures, such as the Westchester and Topanga light, give the best lighting when fitted around a specific task. These can also be equipped with accurate dawn-to-dusk sensors, allowing you to remain energy efficient at the same time. 

Accent Lighting

Finally, the last piece of any lighting puzzle is Accent Lighting. Accent lighting is based on style and mood and tries to maximize that above all else. Think of this as the final touch on your lighting setup. Accent lighting draws attention to a specific area or object in the space. 

Accent lighting is arguably the least bright of the three styles and is mainly designed to make a specific landmark object visible rather than making the space itself visible. For a good accent light, a spotlight or a floodlight is often used. However, accent lighting is also accomplished by a sufficiently artistic overhead light or mood piece. 

The wall-mounted Highland Park or Redondo light is our choice for accent lighting as both accomplish the goal of light a specific object with ease. These lights can make any wall piece or garden piece look fantastic during the later hours and can do so with a subtle style of their own. 


It’s not just about using the three styles detailed above, though. The trick to good lighting is using each of these styles and layering them together to create the best setup. Use your ambient lights as a “base” of light that can then be complemented by solid task lighting and finished off with accent lighting to finish it off. 

For example, say you have a reasonably standard backyard with a pool, a veranda, and a spot where your treasured barbeque proudly stands. In this case, ambient lighting, like a ceiling-mounted light, can be used for the patio, providing ample light where most people are bound to be. This can be enhanced with a wall-mounted task light above the barbeque and around the entrance/exit of the yard. Finally, accent lighting in or around the pool and on critical features of the garden complete the experience. 

Measure Twice, Light Once

The Hawthorne Wall Mounted Gooseneck Light Fixtures by Steel Lighting Co.

A lot of what makes good outdoor lighting is done in the planning phase. Thinking about exactly where you’re going to place your lights is hugely important. Doing this as early as possible will only increase the options available and allow you to make the best decisions. 

Planning your lighting early also affords you the ability to put light sources in the right spots to maximize your lights as much as possible. In the case of more complicated lighting arrangements, like pathway lights and lighting for specific garden features, planning the infrastructure of your backyard as early as possible allows you to make considerations for these types of lighting more easily. 

This is especially true for features like pools and entertainment areas, where good lighting can make or break a feature, making planning beforehand all the more critical. 

If you’d like to know more about how steel lighting can improve your backyard design, then contact our team at Steel Lighting Co.,  our friendly group of experts would be more than happy to give some advice and recommendations on what kind of steel barn light can best suit your needs.