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Published on
May 24th, 2021

Landscape Lighting Trends for 2021

With summer nearly upon us, thoughts turn from cozy winter indoor lighting to landscape lighting for the outdoors. Whether you own a single-family home or manage a large New York City property, the following landscape lighting trends will inspire you to make your outside spaces safer, more inviting, and fashionable.

Linear LED Lighting

For clear directions and safety

Strings of LED lighting are popular right now because they’re so easy to apply and can be used on virtually any property. We like them for under stair steps, along stair rails, around deck edges, and on fences to provide a clear path and make the area safer. This lighting trend is similar to under-cabinet and toe kick lighting used in kitchen and bathroom interiors. It’s unobtrusive but improves the functionality of any space where it’s utilized.

Photocell Lights

Reduce energy waste

If remembering to turn your lights off to reduce energy use is a problem for you, photocell lights are a fantastic solution. They turn on and off automatically in response to changes in light, coming on at dusk and going off in the morning. This feature is one of the most in demand in landscape lighting today.

Never worry again about wasting electricity or irritating motion-sensor lights that go on and off all night. Also, you don’t have to reprogram your lights with the change in seasons when you use photocell fixtures. They’ll adapt without you doing anything, whether during short winter days or long summer ones.

Cosmopolitan and Historical Light Fixtures

Better curb appeal

Gone are the days of ugly utilitarian wall and post lamps. Properties today boast lights that look like they came from across the globe or another century to match building style and owner aesthetics. Examples include:

  • Moroccan- and Chinese-style wall sconces
  • East African inspired chandeliers
  • Turkish mosaic pendant lights
  • Industrial-style gate lamps
  • Door lamps mimicking old-fashioned ship and railroad lanterns

You can find lamps to go with any style you like, and many are now made to work with energy-efficient bulbs and smart technology (see below). You’ll get a boost of curb appeal, which is great for attracting new tenants or helping with the sale of your property.


Colored mood lighting

Mood lighting may have gone out with the 1970s, but it’s back with a new level of sophistication. Property owners are adding colored lights to pools, patios, fence tops, and roof decks as part of chromotherapy, or using color to influence wellbeing.

Colored lighting is ideal for apartment and condo buildings with shared-use outdoor spaces. Set the lighting to bright blue for a kids’ party, soft pink for after-hours relaxation, or rotating colors for a fun vintage feel at your adult mixer.

Twinkle and String Lights

Homey meets high tech

Twinkle lights aren’t just for holidays anymore. Many property owners are leaving theirs up all year for ambiance and improved outdoor visibility, taking a cue from resorts and spas in places like Southern California and the Caribbean.

String lighting can look cozier than formal lighting, and it’s easy to move around to get the look you like, no matter if you’re using it on a brownstone patio or an apartment complex courtyard. It’s less blinding than other types of lighting, which is useful if you want a softer feel for dining al fresco or sitting around the fire pit.

You can now find strings of twinkle or “fairy” lights equipped with modern technology. Look for outdoor string lights that are waterproof, weather-resistant, and solar-powered. Some of these lights contain photosensors to turn on and off at different times of the day.


Add landscape and architectural drama

Nothing beats uplighting when you want to add drama to a property and its landscaping. This type of lighting is installed in the ground or at a low level and focused upwards to highlight specific areas. You can use this to show off architectural adornments, entryways, trees, shrubbery, arbors, water features, and sculptures. It’s also perfect for making sure people don’t miss signage or building numbers in a dark spot.

Waterproof Free Standing Lights

Outdoor living rooms

Many property owners have embraced the recent trend of blurring the line between indoor and outdoor spaces. Outdoor living rooms are a way to do this, especially when French or accordion doors let you open up an entire wall to the exterior. These outdoor living areas are designed to imitate indoor ones, with plush furniture, occasional tables, and luxurious dining spaces.

You can even add free-standing lights outside, now that they’re available in water-resistant and waterproof models. Powered by batteries, solar cells, or even AC electricity, these lights can sit on a tabletop or stand in the corner just like in your living room.

Smart Lighting

Easy lighting management

Many of the features described above can be managed easily and remotely as part of a smart lighting system. Use your mobile device to turn on your lights before you come home, shut off the patio lamps while you’re on vacation, or integrate your lighting with your security system. Smart home hubs are definitely the wave of the future and on-trend with high-end properties seeking discerning buyers or tenants.

Let Bolt Electric Help Upgrade Your Landscape Lighting This Summer

Enjoy your property and improve security

Whether you have a tiny backyard that needs more appeal or a large property for which you’re concerned about safety, upgrading your lighting will make a huge difference. Bolt Electric, New York City’s hyper-local blue-chip lighting experts, are here to help you.

Don’t wait until summer is in full swing to get your lighting issues figured out. Now is the time to make changes, so you can enjoy the results all season long. Call us at 212-434-0098, or use our easy online form to schedule an appointment today.

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