You really can’t beat the look outdoor recessed lighting adds to a landscape lighting design. This distinct and lovely form of outdoor lighting is best implemented as a form of supplemental lighting.

Typically, it is used in one of three ways:

(1) accent lighting – used to spotlight a particular object, tree or other outdoor feature;

(2) wall washing – used to light multiple objects simultaneously;

(3) grazing – used to shadow objects and give texture to vertical surfaces.

Now, before you install exterior recessed lighting, you should be aware of the pros and cons of this type of landscape lighting.


(a) Outdoor recessed lights are more environmentally-friendly than traditional outdoor flood lights.

Outdoor recessed lighting, because of the way they are neatly and unobtrusively situated, are generally much less disruptive to people, animals and plants. They won’t get in your way when doing landscaping chores and also cannot be tripped over because of the way they are installed.

(b) Outside recessed lighting creates an incredibly beautiful form of ambient light.

(c) Exterior recessed lights can be used in a seemingly endless number landscape lighting ideas.

With that said, there are a few potential disadvantages you should be aware before taking the plunge.

Here they are:


(a) Unless you are a whiz at electrical work, installing outdoor recessed lighting can be more of a job than you bargained for. You will need to draw up a carefully laid-out plan and make sure it’s followed accordingly. Unless you really know what you are doing, the installation process is not going to be a DIY project – you’ll more than likely need to bring in a professional service to do the job right.

(b) Outside recessed lighting, once installed, is NOT easily moveable. This means you’ll have to carefully consider where you want to place your recessed lights – because once they are installed, it is much more more trouble than it’s worth to move them … and that is if such a thing is even possible with the type of outside recessed light you may want to move.

(c) Recessed lighting fixtures, because of the way many of them are installed flush with ground, are prone to being covered by dirt, leaves, snow, and miscellaneous other outdoor debris. In addition to this, condensation is much more apt to accumulate with these light fixtures than other forms or landscape lighting. So, before installing, you will need to carefully situate in them places that are safely away from areas where water accumulates.

(d) Light bulbs have a limited range of lighting angles.

So, as long as you know beforehand the limitations of outdoor recessed lighting, I think you’ll find that this type of outdoor landscape lighting is a beautiful way to complete your overall outdoor lighting design. Sure, it’s more difficult and time-consuming to install, but the unique quality of light it conveys is more than worth the effort – in my view!

Outdoor Recessed Lighting Ideas

If you are wondering how best to implement exterior recessed lighting, here are just a few ideas that will hopefully get your creative juices flowing:

(1) Covered patios and porches seem ideally suited for this form of outside lighting if your goal is to have lighting fixtures that don’t protrude from overhangs or ceilings. This will relieve any concerns of light fixtures being knocked or damaged by toys, kids, tall objects or miscellaneous other objects such as couches when moving them in or out of the house.

(2) Steps and stairs are other areas of a home’s property that seem naturally suited to benefiting from outside recessed lights. Think about the steps of your deck, patio or even the front porch.

Why not install recessed lighting here?

Not only will this serve as a welcome courtesy to visitors, but also will make these steps appear so much more appealing!

(3) If you have garden paths or other walkways on your property, these areas also naturally lend themselves to benefiting from the addition of outdoor recessed lighting – in the form of well lights. Well lights are installed in the ground within the path or walkway or can be placed in stands constructed specifically to hold well lights.

(4) Fountains and ponds can be spectacularly highlighted through the installation of waterproof exterior recessed lighting fixtures.

(5) For areas of your property where the only option is to install outdoor lights along vertical surfaces (e.g. tool shed or garage) wall-mounted outside recessed lighting fixtures are a nice option.

Another way to use this type of outside lighting is to install recessed lighting fixtures in areas where overhead lighting is not an option (decks and/or patios) or as a substitute or compliment to overhead lighting fixtures.

These are a just a few options for implementing outdoor recessed lighting, but, obviously, there are many more options from which you can choose. If you are having trouble coming up with a suitable outdoor lighting idea to incorporate this fabulous form of outside lighting, just start searching on the Internet or take a drive down to your local home-improvement store.

Related Articles

Related Articles

Backyard Lighting Types and Advantages

Outdoor Accent Lighting – Benefits and Uses

How to Install Low-Voltage Outside Lights

Solar Powered Outdoor Lights – Tips on Choosing the Best Types

Outside Chandelier – Picking the Right One

Solar LED Garden Lights – Maximizing Their Potential

How to Install LED Garden Lights

LED Landscape Lighting – The Benefits of Installing Outdoor Solar Lights

Outdoor Flood Lights – Choosing the Best Type

Outside Garden Lights – How to Take Care of Them

Outside Lighting Kits – Advantages & Disadvantages

Outdoor Path Lighting – Which Type is Right For You?

Why Choose Solar Landscape Lighting?