The Different Lighting Techniques

We are The Lighting Experts

There are many different ways to illuminate something, but when do you use a specific technique? There are 7 different basic lighting techniques, and a trained lighting professional will know which one is the best to be used for a given scenario.

We are going to cover the most common lighting techniques that we at Light It Right use, however all the techniques are:

Down Lighting, Up Lighting, Silhouette Lighting, Cross Lighting, Mirror Lighting, Grazing, and Path Lighting.

Down Lighting

Fountain w Logo                                                                      Down Lighting used to Accent Fountain                                                                       

Down lighting is a popular design technique when looking to illuminate a large open space or highlight a unique feature, such as a fountain or statue. Down lighting is typically installed in trees and angled downward to accent the intended space or item. Depending on the design ability and knowledge of your lighting professional, down lighting may also be achieved from the homes gutters or eves.

Up Lighting

Avalon Entry w logo

                                                                  Up Lighting to Accent Monument Sign

Up lighting is the most common style of lighting we at Light It Right employ. The fixture is installed directly in the ground and angled up, highlighting the intended space or structure from the bottom. This application is great for accenting trees and illuminating houses.

Cross Lighting

Cross Lighting is when two fixtures, or light sources, are used on either side of the subject matter, then aimed to cross each other, thus creating depth and visual interest points. Light It Right uses this technique when there may be a structure or landscape item creating harsh shadows that we need to eliminate. Cross Lighting also creates an increased depth and dimension.


Dugas stonework logo                                                                           Grazing of Stucco and Stone Work

With increased use of masonry, stone, and stucco grazing has become an important addition to our lighting design. Grazing will enhance the facade and create different textures depending on how the house or wall was completed. If brick/stone are used then a fantastic shadow effect will be created. If stucco is used a very deep texture and new depth will be created. Lighting position is key to a successful graze; the angle of the fixture determines how the light hits the surface, which in turn will decide the effect created.

Path Lighting

                                                                       dugas pot w logo-1

                                                                     Path Lighting Surrounding Walkway

Path Lighting is used on almost every lighting system Light It Right designs. These fixtures are great to illuminate pathways, flower beds, steps, or any area that a decorative light would be wanted. Unlike some of the other options, path lights are visible and meant to stand around 18″ tall to allow the light output. They come in hundreds of different designs so you can find just the right path light that fits your taste.


Lighting design is an art, and knowing which technique to apply when and where is key. Balance is always the goal when having a lighting professional design your new system. Direction and the above lighting techniques can change the overall design significantly with just the placement of the fixtures, so it is key to use a lighting professional with the experience and credentials to manipulate the fixtures and placement to achieve the intended results.

Learn more about the Landscape Lighting Installation Process from Light It Right.

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