Landscape Lighting in Vancouver, WA & Portland, OR

The beauty of good landscape lighting is that it extends the enjoyment of your landscaping into the night.

Lighting

The beauty of good landscape lighting is that it extends the enjoyment of your landscaping into the night. Not only this, but landscape lighting also deters unwanted pests that could harm your plants and even pets. In this blog we will go over the different styles of lighting and their roles in enhancing your landscaping. 

 

Path Lightings and stone steps in backyard landscape in Vancouver, WA

Path Lighting

Landscape path lighting is perhaps the most common form of landscape lighting and for good reason. It helps guide us through our outdoor spaces while adding ambient lighting to our landscapes. Most path lighting fixtures are made with a 2 watt LED bulb and measure 18 to 24 inches tall. The biggest decision when it comes to path lighting is whether or not to buy solar powered units or wired units. In the northwest, we believe it is best to install wired units as the majority of the year does not provide enough sunlight to truly maximize use of the solar panels. This leads to dim lighting and within a couple hours, no lighting.

We also recommend ensuring the fixture uses LED lights. LED lighting is more energy efficient and has vastly greater longevity. This means less maintenance and less electricity, both positives worth utilizing. The fixtures we prefer to use are made by FX Luminaire. We use them for these reasons: their LED’s longevity is ~50,000 hours of run time (~50x longer than incandescents), they are dimmable, and the lighting color is warm and simulates that of a traditional incandescent. We recommend staggering path lights about 10 feet apart with consistent spacing, avoiding any plantings so your landscape maintenance doesn’t harm the fixtures. 

 

Japanese maple up lighting landscaping in Vancouver, WA

Up Lighting

Up Lighting, also known as wash lighting or bullet lighting, is another common form of landscape lighting. This style of light fixture is great for illuminating specimen trees, water features, rock features, and walls. The best specimen trees and plants for up lighting typically have exposed branches on the lower half (i.e. the table top pine). The exposed branches mean there is no foliage blocking the light from entering the tree and lighting up the foliage from the inside. This creates a beautiful display of color and contrast that is only possible at night. We also recommend FX Luminaire for up lighting for the same reasons as listed above. It is imperative that the actual fixture is not facing (and ideally not visible to) viewers because a direct view of the light source will wash out the viewer’s ability to see the ambient light. 

 

Down lighting on retaining wall in Vancouver, WA

Down Lighting

Opposite of up lighting, down lighting provides light from above. Down lighting is more commonly attached to buildings than actual landscape features (such as trees and stones). Down lighting is a great way to light up a large outdoor area and is often tweaked to emulate moonlight for a more natural feeling.  

 

Pond Lighting with waterfall in Vancouver, WA

Aquatic Lights

Aquatic lights are waterproof and used to illuminate ponds, fountains, and water features. Pond lighting can actually protect koi and other inhabitants from the likes of racoons and other nocturnal critters because it emulates daylight. 

Spotlights

Spotlights are similar to downlighting and a great safety accessory to any property. Their main use is lighting up large areas quickly in order to ward off intruders and provide high visibility to homeowners. Spotlights are not typically considered landscape lighting but should always be considered for your outdoor space and property. 

Well Lighting

Well lights are flush with the pavement, ground, or turf that they are installed in and provide up lighting to your space. Being buried makes them more incognito and more protected from potential hazards (falling branches, mowers, etc…). They are a great solution for up lighting because the source of light cannot easily enter our field of view.


Landscape lighting not only adds value to your property but also deters unwanted visitors and extends the enjoyable hours of your landscape into the night. For more information on landscape lighting solutions please do not hesitate to call us at (360) 727-5975 or fill out our “Get Started” form.