How Much Does It Cost to Install Outdoor Lighting?

Average range: $2,000 - $4,000
Low
$300
Average Cost
$3,000
High
$5,500
( 8 LED step lights and 12 hardscape lights, installed around a pool area, wiring and transformer included)

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How Much Does It Cost to Install Outdoor Lighting?

Average range: $2,000 - $4,000
Low
$300
Average Cost
$3,000
High
$5,500
( 8 LED step lights and 12 hardscape lights, installed around a pool area, wiring and transformer included)

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Reviewed by Cristina Miguelez. Written by Fixr.com.

Outdoor lighting has several purposes. It is used to provide safety and a lighted way in the dark. Additionally, it enhances and creates an ambiance to the front of a house, the backyard, and around the pool and patio. Costs for outdoor lighting vary according to the home’s location, if new wiring is required, and the type of lighting you choose. This work is usually done by an electrician as it involves electrical work.

The average cost to install outdoor lighting is $2,000 to $4,000, with the average homeowner spending around $3,000 on eight LED step lights and 12 hardscape lighting installed around a pool area, including wiring and a new transformer. The cost to install a front or back porch light with materials and labor is on the low end, at around $300. On the high end, you could pay up to $5,500 for specialty lights such as designer, motion detectors, and solar lights around the entire house and pool area.

Pricing for Outdoor Landscape Lighting

Cost of Landscape Lighting Installation
National average cost$3,000
Average range$2,000-$4,000
Minimum cost$300
Maximum cost$5,500


Outdoor Lighting Cost by Project Range

Low
$300
Install a front or back porch light with materials and labor
Average Cost
$3,000
8 LED step lights and 12 hardscape lights, installed around a pool area, wiring and transformer included
High
$5,500
Specialty lights including designer, motion detectors, and solar lights around the entire house and pool area

Cost to Install Landscape Lighting by Location

Landscape lighting highlights your home, trees, bushes, flowers, pool, patio, driveway, and lawn statutes. This produces a subtle, warm feeling to all areas of the outdoors. Guests will feel welcome and be able to see your home in the dark for parties and get-togethers. There are many options for the location of lighting. Each one is aesthetically pleasing for homeowners and guests. These types of lighting range from $50 to $500.


Cost per Light to Install Outdoor Lighting by Location: Driveway, Patio, Pergola, Deck, Tree, Gazebo, Pool...

Cost per Light to Install Outdoor Lighting by Location: Driveway, Patio, Pergola, Deck, Tree, Gazebo, Pool...


LocationCost per Light (Installed)
Pathway$50 - $150
Outdoor Driveway$50 - $150
Patio$50 - $200
Pergola$50 - $400
Porch$65 - $250
Deck$75 - $150
Step$85 - $100
Tree$100 - $400
Gazebo$200 - $500
Pool$300 - $500


Pathway Lights Installation

Pathway lights, otherwise known as mushrooms, cost $50 to $150 each for a professionally installed light. Pathways get darker the further along them you walk away from the lighted area. Whether it is through a garden area, towards a pool, up the front walk, or to the patio area, pathway lights are vital to furnish a glow for you and your guests to move through the area without tripping or missing a step.

Outdoor Driveway Lighting

The cost for outdoor driveway lighting runs from $50 to $150 for each light to be installed, including materials. Driveway lighting is a great investment to ensure that no one trips and falls as they head up the driveway. In the dark, the sides of the driveway can be hazardous as a guest or family member could step off of the concrete into the lower, softer grass and sprain an ankle or fall.

Patio Lights Installation

The cost for patio lighting ranges from $50 to $200 for each light. Patio lighting is a vital part of your backyard and outside area. Homeowners often only have a light just outside the backdoor that shines only on the patio area. You may want lighting that shines out further, especially if you have a larger patio area. Patio lighting can be attached to the home or installed on railing posts or uplighting around the concrete pad 1.

Pergola Outdoor Lighting

To add lighting to a pergola 2, expect to pay $50 to $400 per light. Pergolas have become very popular in the last several years. They are a great place to relax and enjoy the evening or have a party or barbeque. One of the most important parts of your pergola is the lighting. For a family meal or a fun get-together, you will want to make sure everyone can see well in the evening. Your professional installer will recommend the best type of lighting and make sure you have the correct electrical wiring to support your new outdoor lighting. String lights are a nice option and create an urban feel.

Porch Light Installation Cost

The cost to install a new porch light is $65 to $250, depending on your choice of fixture. A porch light makes your front door easier to spot and provides a grand entrance. It deters an intruder as they prefer to work in the dark. If your house numbers are above the door or beside it, a porch light illuminates them for visitors or in an emergency. Choosing a fixture that matches the style of your home and the finish of your doorknob brings everything together.

Deck Light Installation

Expect to pay about $75 to $150 for labor and materials for one deck light. There are many deck lighting choices, including deck stair lighting, recessed, under rail deck lighting, post cap 3 lighting, under deck lighting, landscape lighting, and solar lighting. All of these work well to light the way for you, your family, and guests. Solar lighting is nice because it doesn’t need electricity to work. There are many energy-efficient designs and styles that you can match with your particular decking.

Led Step Light Price

Each LED step will run $85 to $100 for the materials and labor. LED step lights are energy-efficient and supply a warm atmosphere for your front or back steps. These are generally installed above each step so that the step is visible in the dark. They can be purchased individually or as a strip. Strips are a great choice for areas where you need more illumination or for large areas.

Tree Outdoor Lighting

Uplights are a great way to go when lighting up trees in your yard. These cost $100 to $400 per light. Highlighting the trees in your front or backyard lends a magical, dramatic feeling. Choose large, grand trees to light up the night. For a fairy garden look, you can have tiny lights installed throughout the tree branches. It is the perfect way to bring life to bare branches during the winter or furnish a warm, inviting look among summertime foliage.

Gazebo Outdoor Lighting

Lighting for a gazebo will be a little more costly at $200 to $500 for each light. Gazebos are similar to a pergola, but most pergolas are just a slatted roof that allows the sunshine to enter. A gazebo contains a solid roof to protect from the weather. Gazebos need a little more lighting due to the roof that blocks out the moon and stars at night. It is a little more cozy feel and is often separate from the house. The pergola is attached or right outside the house.

Pool Outdoor Lighting

A pool needs lighting. The cost is around $300 to $500 for the materials and labor involved in installing a halogen pool light. It is important to remember that you get what you pay for. Since these types of lights are constantly exposed to water, it is best to choose a well-known brand and have it professionally installed. With lights installed at random points around the pool, your pool is safe for night-time swimming and provides a beautiful backdrop for parties and events.


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Cost to Install Outdoor Lighting by Type Of Fixture

There are several outdoor light fixtures available on the market today, including different styles and colors. Pricing for the light fixture and the installation varies according to the quality, brand, and type of light. Lighting styles should always match other exterior lighting to keep in harmony with the aesthetics. The pricing by type of fixture ranges from $100 to $1,000.


Cost per Light to Install Outdoor Lighting by Type of Fixture: Outdoor Wall Light, Flush Mount, String Lights, Uplighting, Floodlight, In-Ground Landscape Lights, Lamp Post...

Cost per Light to Install Outdoor Lighting by Type of Fixture: Outdoor Wall Light, Flush Mount, String Lights, Uplighting, Floodlight, In-Ground Landscape Lights, Lamp Post...


Type of FixtureCost per Light (Installed)
Outdoor Wall Light$100 - $250
Flush Mount$100 - $500
String Lights$100 - $200 (50 ft. strand)
Uplighting$100 - $400
Floodlight$125 - $250
In-Ground Landscape Lights$125 - $250
Downlights$225 - $500
Bollard Light$400 - $1,000
Lamp Post$400 - $1,000


Cost to Install Outdoor Wall Light

The cost to install an exterior light fixture is $100 to $250. These are usually lights mounted outside the front or back door or on the eaves area of the house. An outdoor wall light can be a dim or extremely bright light that covers a concentrated or a wide area. Additionally, for homeowners who have a stone or concrete wall around their property, an outdoor wall light could be mounted to create more lighting along the property line.

Exterior Flush Mount Light

Exterior flush mount lights cost about $100 to $500 for the materials and labor. These lights are great for porches or outside a front door. A flush mount light simply means there is no extension of the light, so it is installed directly against the ceiling. The lighting comes in various colors and styles to match any home’s exterior.

Outdoor String Lights Installation

The cost to have outdoor string lights installed is $100 to $200 for a 50-foot string. Also known as party lights, outdoor string lights are a quicker install than individual lights. This is because they are all connected to the same wire and can be strung across a pool, the top of a pergola, screen porch, or gazebo, in tree branches, on balconies or deck railings, or almost anywhere you want to create a sweet glow. For dinner parties or barbeques, your professionally installed string lights will last for years to come.

Exterior House Uplighting

The cost for exterior house uplighting is $100 to $400 for each light, including materials and installation. Uplighting is installed at the base of the home and highlights the walls. It makes your home look larger and gives more curb appeal. It deters intruders near windows as they prefer darkness to operate. Additionally, strategically placed uplighting provides a way to highlight special architectural features and gives a home a modern look.

Floodlight Installation Cost

The cost to install outdoor floodlights 4 is $125 to $250 per fixture. Some floodlights have more than one bulb but use the same base electrical unit. A floodlight is used for darker areas of the yard and light up back, front and side yards, patios, driveways, and garden areas. Floodlights are known for their wide beam that illuminates a large area at once, flooding the area with light as indicated by the light’s name.

In-Ground Landscape Lights

To install in-ground landscape lights, you should expect to pay $125 to $250 for each fixture. These lights, also known as well lights, are buried in the ground and highlight walls, trees, shrubs, and columns. They are usually made of brass with a sealed PVC lining to provide a waterproof light. Areas prone to flooding will want to use these fully submersible lights.

Downlights Outside House

Downlights cost $225 to $500 each, installed. Downlights are lights that are installed higher than the home to mimic the moonlight. They are usually installed on the trunk of a tree or edge of the home and directed downward to light the yard, pathway, or the tree itself. These are generally mounted with a shroud around the lightbulb to avoid harsh light.

Bollard Light Price

To install a bollard light, you can expect to pay $400 to $1,000 for one light. Bollard lights are tall, thin column lights. These are typically used for pathways, driveways, landscaping, or gardens but can also be mounted on the side of your home. They have a more modern look and are LED lights. This makes them great for outdoors and provides a long-lasting, weatherproof light.

Cost to Install Outdoor Lamp Post

Getting an outdoor lamp post installed costs between $400 to $1,000, including materials. An outdoor lamp post makes a quaint, welcoming light in the yard or near the street. It will light up the sidewalk and driveway area to make your home a well-lit, safe place to go. The cost range is high because it is necessary to run wiring from the home to the lamp post. Installing an outdoor lamp post can be quite expensive.

Cost of Landscape Lighting Installation by Source Of Power

Landscape lighting is a great way to light up your front or backyard space. Lighting is also priced according to the source of power used for the lights. The typical choices are battery-powered, hardwired, and solar. Each of these choices has its advantages and disadvantages so consider the nuances among the three before making a choice. The costs range from $50 to $200.


Average Cost to Install Solar, Battery, or Hardwired Outdoor Lighting

Average Cost to Install Solar, Battery, or Hardwired Outdoor Lighting


Source of PowerAverage Cost (Installed)
Solar$100 - $200
Battery$100 - $300
Hardwired$100 - $200


Solar Garden Lights Price

A solar light for the garden has a price of $100 to 200 for each light installed. Again, this is a situation where you will usually have several installed at once. Solar lights are a great choice as they don’t require you to run electricity. However, ensure you purchase quality lights for a long-lasting product. Solar lights are powered by light, so they are re-powered every day for nighttime use. They turn on and off automatically as they are sensitive to the dark and light.

Battery Powered Outdoor Lights

For a battery-powered outdoor light, you can expect to pay $100 to $300 for one light installed. While battery-powered lights are nice, the downside is that you may constantly be replacing the batteries. These are an easier choice for areas where electricity is not readily available or where it is wet or moist. You can purchase battery-powered outdoor lights that are waterproof, but they may not last as long as hardwired or solar lights. Many of the battery-powered lights come with a remote for ease and convenience of turning on and off.

Hardwired Landscape Lights

Hardwired landscape lights will range from $100 to $200 to install one light. However, if you need to get the electrical lines and a transformer installed, that will add $300 to $500. Landscape lights generally mean a sequence of several lights, anywhere from 8 to 12 along the flower beds, the driveway, garden, or any other area of the yard.


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Pricing for Outdoor Landscape Lighting by Material

As with indoor lighting, there are various materials that outdoor lights can be made from. Many homeowners purchase lights on the look without thinking about the material. This is a particularly important feature when comparing fixtures that will be used outdoors. The elements can wreak havoc on certain products and affect the longevity of your outdoor lighting. The prices range from $75 to $500 to have one light installed, including the fixture.


Cost to Install Plastic, Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Copper, or Brass Outdoor Lighting

Cost to Install Plastic, Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Copper, or Brass Outdoor Lighting


MaterialAverage Cost (Installed)
Plastic$75 - $300
Aluminum$100 - $300
Stainless Steel$100 - $300
Copper$100 - $500
Brass$125 - $500


Plastic Outdoor Light

To have a plastic outdoor light installed, a homeowner will pay $75 to $300. There are two types of plastic outdoor lights. They are acrylic and polycarbonate 5. Acrylic is less durable than polycarbonate and is prone to breakage, chipping, or cracking. However, acrylic won’t yellow over time, while polycarbonate will. Acrylic has the best light clarity, but polycarbonate is stronger and lasts longer.

Aluminum Outdoor Light

The cost for one aluminum outdoor light with installation is $100 to $300. While an aluminum outdoor light may sound like a cheap way to go, that isn’t necessarily true. These are lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and durable. You may think that your choices would be limited, but many aluminum lights are made to look less industrial than you think and come in many styles and finishes to light up your outdoor space.

Stainless Steel Outdoor Light

For the installation and materials for a stainless steel outdoor light, you will pay $100 to $300. Stainless steel outdoor fixtures are modern and sleek. The main problem with stainless steel is that it is not a good choice in areas with sand, dirt, or salt. Even though the metal is usually covered in a non-corrosive chemical called chromium oxide, the sand, dirt, or salt cause this product to peel or flake. Without protection, the stainless steel corrodes easily. Keeping the fixtures clean alleviates this problem but may become cumbersome.

Copper Outdoor Light

The next most expensive metal, a copper light, will cost you $100 to $500, including labor and materials for one light. Although not quite as durable as brass, copper is a close second. Copper is also known for the darkening that happens as the exposure to the elements takes place but remains strong and aesthetically pleasing for many years.

Brass Outdoor Light

The most expensive outdoor lights are brass products at $125 to $500 for one light. Brass is the best material for outdoor lighting. It is made of a mixture of zinc and copper and holds up under any environment, even coastal areas. Although it will darken (patina 6) over time, brass lasts for many years and still looks beautiful.

Cost to Install Exterior Light by Type Of Bulb

Bulbs are gauged by a myriad of features, including brightness (measured in lumens), energy efficiency, heat emission, lifespan, the level of mercury inside the bulb, and if the product is recyclable. Here we will compare the different types of bulbs based on these facts and the pricing for each type of bulb. The prices range from $0.70 to $11.00 each.


Cost of a LED, Halogen, or Fluorescent Bulb

Cost of a LED, Halogen, or Fluorescent Bulb


Type of BulbCost per Bulb (Material Only)
LED$0.70 - $8
Halogen$2 - $5
Fluorescent$2 - $11


LED Landscape Bulbs

To purchase LED bulbs, expect to pay between $0.70 and $8.00 each, depending on the size of the bulb. LED landscape bulbs are the best choice for outdoor use. These bulbs stay cool, last as much as 20 years, and are very energy-efficient. LED bulbs use less energy to produce the same amount of light as other bulbs. They can be used in landscape lights, uplighting, porch and patio lighting, and more. LED light bulbs do not contain mercury. They are eligible for recycling but only professionally as they contain certain chemicals that harm.

Outdoor Halogen Bulb

Halogen bulbs cost between $2 and $5 each. Halogen bulbs are not the brightest bulbs at 25 lumens, but they last an average of four years or 3,000 hours. These bulbs produce a bright white light, so they are great for floodlights. Although the glass is hardy in a halogen bulb, they get warm compared to fluorescent and LED bulbs. They are not recyclable and do not contain mercury.

Outdoor Fluorescent Light Bulb

Outdoor fluorescent light bulbs run $2 to $11 each. These bulbs last for as long as 14 years or 10,000 hours, although not the longest lasting of the bulbs. At 60 lumens per watt, fluorescent bulbs are 75% more energy-efficient than incandescent lighting. They contain mercury but can also be recycled. Fluorescent bulbs don’t get hot, so they are safe to touch immediately after use. Because these bulbs range from warm white to daytime white to cool white, they are very versatile. However, make sure your light bulbs are ranked for outdoor use.

Labor Cost to Install Landscape Lighting

A professional electrician should always do any type of install to your home that involves electricity. There are many intricate details and construction codes that are vital to the safety of the occupants. Additionally, an expert will do the job quicker and easier than someone less familiar with lighting. This is particularly true if wiring is needed. For an area where lights have never been installed, wiring will be required unless you are using battery-powered or solar lights.

Installing the wiring and a single light will take an electrician three to five hours. Electricians charge $40 to $100 an hour but may have a set price for wiring and installing a light. Hourly rates vary according to the area in which you are located. This could put an electrician's cost to install an outdoor light with wiring around $350 to $600. Typically, an inspection won’t be required beforehand unless there are extenuating circumstances such as extreme moisture or damage to existing wiring.


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Cost to Replace Outdoor Light Fixture

Installing a replacement light fixture is less complicated than installing an outdoor landscape system or wiring for new lighting. Therefore, it may be cheaper since less labor is required. For a simple light replacement, instead of calling an electrician, you could hire a handyman who has some electrical install experience. This should always be someone who comes with recommendations. However, the cost is often similar at $50 to $100 an hour. If you are located close to the handyman, he may charge a little less or may have a set price for this task at $40 to $50. An electrician may be able to do the job quicker due to his knowledge and expertise. So, it may cost less to hire an electrician to do the job. The costs may be affected by the area in which you live, the level of expertise of the handyman, and the cost of your fixture, which is separate from the install price. A new outdoor fixture runs $30 to $500, depending on the type of light and quality/brand.


Modern Wooden Pergola with Downlights in Ceiling


How Many Landscape Lights Do I Need?

When it comes to landscape lighting, you can overestimate or underestimate. This mistake takes away from the overall look and feel of your new landscape lighting. A professional can help you by making suggestions on the type of lighting or how many lights to use. However, there are some basic ideas on how to estimate what you will need.

Most experts advise allowing around 10 feet of distance between landscape lighting located on pathways or driveways. Highlighting for smaller trees can be one to two fixtures, while large trees may need three or four for the best effects. Wall lights should be 1 to 2 feet from the wall and space about 8 to 10 feet apart for maximum aesthetics. The number of lights also depends on the size of your yard and how much landscaping you have that you want to show off.

Backyard sizes vary greatly according to the location, such as in the city or rural, or even by state and age of the home. Some examples are:


Cost of Lights Needed for 500, 825, 1,200, 1,500, or 2,000 Sq.Ft. of Landscaped Area

Cost of Lights Needed for 500, 825, 1,200, 1,500, or 2,000 Sq.Ft. of Landscaped Area


Size of the Landscaped AreaNumber of LightsAverage Price
500 sq.ft.10$400 - 1,000
825 sq.ft.15$600 - $1,500
1,200 sq.ft.20$800 - $2,000
1,500 sq.ft.25$1,000 - $2,500
2,000 sq.ft.30$1,200 - $3,000


How Much Do Outdoor Lights Cost to Run?

The more lights you have, the more electricity you use for your outdoor lights. Understanding how much it costs to run your lights helps you decide the best way to light up your space. The type of bulb you use greatly determines the amount each light will use. We have already discussed the types of bulbs, but the cost to run each one is different. Halogen lights are last in line for energy efficiency at $5.05 annually. Fluorescent and LEDs are the least expensive to run at $1.75 and $1.19, respectively.

Cost to Install Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

Low voltage landscape lighting is a great way to save money on your outdoor lighting costs, but it isn’t a requirement. Most home transformers are 120 volts, but landscape lights do not need that much voltage. Your electrician can install a 12-volt transformer that will lighten the load and save you some money at the same time. Your transformer needs to be the correct wattage to fulfill the needs of your landscape lighting and not be too much higher. This change allows for savings on your utility bill and makes the wiring safer if it is above ground because there is no risk of electric shock with this type of wiring. You can then have energy-efficient outdoor lights that are still attractive and safe. Homeowners can choose Energy Star exterior lighting to keep costs lower.

Cost to Install Security Lights

Security lights are a great addition to any home to deter intruders and provide light when arriving home. Many security lights are motion-sensitive, so they only come on at the first sign of movement. This makes them more energy-efficient and ensures you have a light when you need it. These can help with nuisance animals like raccoons, rats, rabbits, or deer who may eat your plants and flowers and destroy your yard. Traditionally, security lights were somewhat boring, but today’s motion lights come in various colors, styles, and sizes, so you can pick what goes with your decor. The cost to install outdoor motion sensor lights is $220 to $550, including materials and labor.


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Outdoor Lighting Effects

Outdoor lighting lends drama, grandeur, and safety to any home. There are several lighting effects that a professional can help you achieve with your outdoor landscape lighting. Color temperature is part of the process of making these effects work to make your space beautiful and well-lit. Temperatures range from warm to daytime to cool, and each one creates a special look.


Comparison of Shadow, Silhouetting, Moonlighting, Grazing, Washing, or Path Lighting Effect

Comparison of Shadow, Silhouetting, Moonlighting, Grazing, Washing, or Path Lighting Effect


Shadow Lighting Effect

Spotlights, flood lights, or wall lights are usually used to achieve shadow lighting. The fixture is pointed upwards towards an object or space in front of a wall, tree, or other object. This creates a shadow of the object and results in a soft and moody feel. When you use a tree as the object, this effect is especially interesting on windy evenings when the tree is blowing around.

Silhouetting Lighting Effect

Spotlights or well lights are used for a silhouette feature. The main object, a tree or statue, has a light below it that shines behind it and upwards. This creates a silhouette of the object while the light isn’t really ever seen. This method is used to highlight sharp edges or details that are hard to see otherwise.

Moonlighting Effect

Downlights or spotlights are the light source for the moonlighting effect. A downlight will use a shroud around the bulb to direct the lighting on the tree. Moonlighting is obtained by installing a light high above a tree and directing it downward. The light is filtered through the branches of the tree and results in a moonlight effect.

Grazing Light Effect

The grazing light effect is done by lighting up certain dramatic points in the texture of a surface. Wall lights are the best way to create this phenomenon. The lights are directed up or down towards an object. The light ‘grazes’ the surface, resulting in the illumination of something you wouldn’t otherwise see.

Washing Lighting Effect

The only fixture that works with this effect is a floodlight. This is because the method requires a very wide light that washes over a particular area. This is generally best used in an area where entertaining is done to help light up the whole area. The light source is directed between a focal point and a wall, thus creating an entire area of light.

Path Lighting Effect

Path lights or bollards are used to create a quaint, warming walkway. The fixtures should be staggered rather than directly across from each other and placed far enough apart to keep from overcrowding. The lights will be directed downward to illuminate the pathway. The goal is to move pedestrians safely through the path and keep the ambiance balanced.

Benefits of Outdoor Lighting

Adding outdoor lighting has a plethora of benefits. The right landscape lighting adds style and drama to your yard and provides light to walk in and out of the yard. Intruders will be deterred with outdoor lighting. Even the most subtle lights are helpful. Your home’s outdoor lighting will add curb appeal and provide value should you decide to sell your home in the future. Outdoor porch lighting is imperative to light up your home’s front door for a welcoming feeling. Pool and pathway lighting is imperative for safety and makes the area feel more hospitable for guests and family.

Where to Put Outdoor Lighting

We all know the neighbor who goes overboard with the outdoor lighting. Some people have little to no outdoor lighting, and you don’t even know if they are home. There is a happy medium when it comes to outdoor lighting.

The first place you should always have lighting is right outside your front door. This ensures that not only will guests feel welcome, but you can see the keyhole to put your keys in and unlock the door on a dark night. Having driveway and pathway lights serves the same purpose and helps you see if you drop something on your way inside.

To make good use of your backyard area, outdoor lighting is imperative. Patio, deck, and pool lighting make your space enjoyable for your family and guests. Increasingly, our backyards are becoming a meeting place, so make your yard party ready.

Don’t forget the sides of your home. Although most of us have a front and backyard light outside the door, our side yard may be so dark you can’t see anything. Side lighting should include motion sensors to detect intruders. You may also want to add some uplighting on the side of the house to create interest and provide safety.


Modern Wooden Deck with In-Ground Lighting


Convert Outdoor Light to Motion Sensor

If you really like your existing outdoor light but want a motion sensor 7, there are a couple of ways to do this. The first one is fairly easy, which is to change out the light bulb for one that is heat sensitive. These bulbs turn on when heat enters its realm of reach. Since humans emit heat, it will turn on. These can detect heat about 15 to 100 feet away. The cost for the light bulb is $10 to $25. The next way is by purchasing a motion sensor kit to be installed near the light. The kit comes with a power adapter that allows the lightbulb to be screwed into it. Then, the adapter is attached to the fixture. Many of these kits come with a camera and the ability to use your smartphone to monitor your home from anywhere. These kits start at $25 to $200.

Convert Outdoor Light to Outlet

If you have an outdoor light that you would prefer as an outlet, an electrician can do that for you. It is important to note that an outdoor light may have been installed in that particular location due to building codes, so you will want to verify that is not the case. An outdoor light conversion to an outlet should be made into a GFCI outlet with a weatherproof receptacle box, as this is a safe outdoor use outlet. The cost would be around $250 to $400 for labor and materials.


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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Landscape Lighting Designer

You may have some ideas rolling around in your head but just aren’t sure how to make it all come together the way it should. That is where a landscape lighting designer can help. You will want to find someone who has experience and references in this area to ensure you are getting exactly what you want. Landscape lighting designers draw up plans for your outdoor lighting and advise you on the style and type of lighting you need. This person works closely with your electrical contractor to make certain your install is done according to plan. The cost would be around $200 to 500 or $50 to $150 an hour.

Christmas and Holiday Lighting

Christmas and holiday lighting is a nice way to show your holiday spirit and add a festive touch to the outside of your home. Assuming you are looking to install holiday lights to the exterior of your home, you will spend around $800 to $1500 for the first year, including the entire home and at least two trees in the yard. If you are looking to spend the minimum amount, it would cost from $200 to $500 for lights around the windows and doors only. Professional installation ensures that there are no safety hazards. They can also help with additional tasks such as adding other holiday decorations or helping you to determine where to put your lights. The labor costs run about $100 to $200 of the total price.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Permits. Some lighting installations require a permit. It depends on the local requirements and the job itself. If a lighting fixture is being replaced and the wiring is in place, there is generally no permit required. If wiring is necessary, a permit will most likely be required. Electrical work requires a licensed contractor.
  • Color lighting. It is possible to install a rainbow of colors in your outdoor lighting. However, most designers prefer to stick with warm white light as it adds an elegant look to the landscaping rather than a light show.
  • DIY. Anything electrical shouldn’t be done as DIY. Electrical work is detailed. One little mistake could cause a fire or electrocution. A licensed contractor is the best route.
  • Electrical costs. Adding outdoor lighting increases your utility bills. However, the amount of the increase depends on the type of bulbs you use. LED bulbs will save you a considerable amount, as much as 83%. Halogen and fluorescent save 28% and 75%, respectively.
  • GFCI outlet. These outlets are used in areas where moisture or water is present. All outdoor outlets should be GFCI to prevent electrocution. The cost to have a GFCI installed is $350 to $400. For older homes where wiring needs replacing or a change to the electrical panel is required, the cost could be $1,000 to $1,400.

FAQs

  • How many lumens do I need for outdoor lighting?

String lights create a cool, urban feel for any party or get-together. Make sure your choice is waterproof and weatherproof for long-lasting, safe lights.

  • How much does an electrician charge to change a light fixture?

If string lights are hung from a structure such as a pergola, fence, or railing, you don’t need a guide wire. If the lights are being hung over an open area, using a suspension kit with metal wire ensures that the lights don’t sag.

  • What are the best outdoor patio lights?

A security light is a good idea as it will keep away unwanted nuisance animals and human intruders. The cost to install a security light is $220 to $550.

  • Do you need a guide wire to hang string lights?

Landscape lighting adds value to your home. Many home buyers want a completed yard they can enjoy immediately. Landscape lighting in the front yard adds curb appeal.

  • How much does it cost to install a security light?

Changing a light fixture is much easier than installing a fixture that has to be wired. However, most electricians charge a minimum or trip charge if you only want one light fixture changed. This could amount to $75 to $150.

  • Does landscape lighting add value?

Lumens determine the amount of brightness that a bulb contains. Several factors affect the lumens you need, including personal preference, the space between lights, and the area being lit. In general, you will need 700 lumens for a flood light, 100 to 200 lumens for pathway, driveway, or stair lights, and 300 to 700 lumens for motion sensor lights. Uplighting for small areas or trees, lumens should be 50 to 100, while a larger area could be as much as 300 lumens. Lumens in pools or ponds are usually best at 200 to 400.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Concrete Pad 1 Concrete pad: A flat area of concrete that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as a patio or a driveway
glossary term picture Pergola 2 Pergola: An arched structure with an open roof and cross rafters, supported by posts or columns, typically installed in a garden, park, or backyard and usually covered with climbing plants or vines.
glossary term picture Post Cap 3 Post cap: An optional fence design detail, positioned on top of each fence post, used to give the fence a "finished" look and to prevent water from entering the posts
glossary term picture Floodlight 4 Floodlights: A large, artificial light used to provide broad, uniform light to outdoor areas
5 Polycarbonate: Thermoplastic polymer with high impact strength used in a variety of applications such as compact disks and bulletproof windows
glossary term picture Patina 6 Patina: A thin film, usually green or blue in color, that forms over time on certain metals (such as copper, brass, bronze, and aluminum) or wood and stone surfaces due to natural oxidation
glossary term picture Sensor 7 Sensor: Device that responds to a physical event or change in the environment by emitting an output signal

Cost to install outdoor lighting varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources
Terrace at Night with a Wooden Table, Chairs, Candles, and String Lights
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Cost to install outdoor lighting varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources