Modern Outdoor Lighting Trends — Boxhill & Co., LLC
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An outdoor lounge area beside a pool is illuminated with outdoor candles and a woven table lamp.

Modern Outdoor Lighting Trends

In the evolving landscape of outdoor design, the significance of lighting goes beyond functionality, creating an ambiance that seamlessly intertwines style and purpose. Elizabeth Przygoda, the visionary founder of Boxhill and a distinguished landscape architect, shares her profound insights into the latest trends and nuances in outdoor lighting.

“Outdoor lighting is having its moment! Companies are stepping up with new options, not just for landscape lighting but also by designing stylish sconces and pendant lights specifically for outdoor spaces. Plus, portable lighting is really taking off, bringing a whole new level of style and flexibility to our outdoor spaces.”

– Elizabeth Przygoda, Founder of Boxhill


Featuring the Illusion Lamp with Handle from Boxhill

Trendsetting Designs

Outdoor lighting is experiencing a renaissance, with companies elevating their offerings to encompass not only landscape lighting but also tailored fixtures for homes. From stylish sconces and pendant lighting crafted specifically for the outdoors to the emergence of portable lighting options, the market is witnessing a wave of innovation. Elizabeth suggests the availability of lantern designs reminiscent of living room aesthetics, bringing a touch of chic elegance to outdoor spaces.

Top Trends in Outdoor Lighting

  1. Portable Chic: Explore the surge in portable outdoor lighting options, including lantern designs that rival indoor counterparts, providing both style and functionality.
  2. Sculptural Sconces: Embrace the trend of sculptural sconces and pendant lighting specifically crafted for outdoor spaces, adding a touch of modern design to exterior aesthetics.
  3. Quality Pendant Lighting: Experience the evolution of pendant lighting that now matches the quality of indoor fixtures, offering a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor spaces.
  4. Landscape Mood Lighting: Create enchanting outdoor atmospheres by adopting the trend of mood lighting – hanging lights above tree branches to cast captivating shadows on the ground.

Featuring the ELO Outdoor Table Lamp from Boxhill. Rechargeable, dimmable, and weatherproof the ELO will illuminate your outdoor spaces for up to 10 hours on a single charge.

Technological Advancements

Gone are the days of peculiar glows and bug-zapping attractors. Recent technological advancements have transformed outdoor lighting, shifting the focus towards sophisticated solutions that not only provide effective illumination but also contribute to the overall aesthetic appeal of outdoor environments.

Common DIY Mistakes

As an advocate for harmonious outdoor spaces, Elizabeth warns against a common mistake in DIY landscape lighting – the symmetrical placement of lights along driveways or walkways, which results in an artificial and less inviting atmosphere. She encourages homeowners to stagger lighting placements for a more natural and visually appealing effect.

Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Outdoor Lighting:

  1. Symmetrical Overkill: Steer clear of transforming driveways or walkways into symmetrical spaces, as it can create an artificial and less inviting atmosphere. No airport runways!

  2. Ignoring Purpose: Avoid overlooking the intended purpose of outdoor lighting fixtures – whether for task lighting, ambient illumination, or highlighting specific features.

  3. Neglecting Technological Advancements: Embrace modern technological advancements that enhance both the functionality and aesthetic appeal of outdoor lighting.

  4. Overlooking Comprehensive Design: Ensure a comprehensive approach to outdoor lighting design, incorporating various types such as spotlights, path lights, and wall wash lights to create a harmonious and visually engaging outdoor space.

“When choosing outdoor lighting, always consider the purpose. Different areas require different types of illumination, from task lighting for functional spaces to ambient lighting for relaxation.”

– Elizabeth Przygoda, Founder of Boxhill


Featuring the Rock LED Lamp from Boxhill. Bluetooth, cordless, rechargeable, durable, and waterproof, the Rock LED light is suitable for all your outdoor areas, including the pool!

Lighting Techniques for Every Purpose

Elizabeth's lighting techniques emphasize each light's distinct purpose in outdoor design. Task lighting, like BBQ gooseneck lights, creates mood and ambiance with basket pendant lighting. Uplights for trees and bushes, spotlights for specific features, path lights for walkways, and wall wash lights for architectural highlights showcase the versatility needed to craft a harmonious outdoor space.

Outdoor Lighting Best Practices:

  • Staggered Placement: Avoid the runway effect by staggering outdoor lights along driveways and walkways for a more natural and visually appealing look.
  • Purposeful Illumination: Understand the purpose of different lighting types, such as task lighting for specific areas like BBQ zones, ambient pendant lighting for mood, and uplights for broader coverage on trees and bushes.
  • Comprehensive Approach: Utilize a variety of lighting techniques, including spotlights for specific features, path lights for walkways, wall wash lights to highlight architectural walls, and mood lighting for a dramatic play of shadows on the ground.
  • Tech-Savvy Choices: Embrace technological advancements to enjoy sophisticated outdoor lighting that combines effective illumination with aesthetic appeal, steering clear of outdated glows and bug-zapping attractors.

“Outdoor lighting should be an extension of your home's interior style. It's about creating a seamless transition that enhances both spaces.”

– Elizabeth Przygoda, Founder of Boxhill


Featuring the Otto Floor Lamp from Boxhill. A soft path light with a cylindrical stem and an adjustable sem-sphere shade housing LED lights.

The Evolution of Lampposts

In the ever-changing landscape of outdoor design, the role of lampposts has shifted. Elizabeth notes a decline in their use in new constructions, except for historic properties or specific design considerations. The advent of spotlights and floodlights has redirected attention, though lampposts continue to hold a timeless charm in certain contexts.

Mindful Lighting Choices

When it comes to outdoor bulbs, Elizabeth advocates for a mindful approach. Implementing dimmer switches and changing sconce bulb colors with the seasons, she avoids harsh bright white lights. This approach aligns with the dark sky laws in desert areas, preventing aggressive night lighting that could obscure the natural beauty of starry skies.

Outdoor Lighting Must-Haves:

  • Lantern Designs: Invest in lantern designs that serve both functional and decorative purposes, bringing a touch of elegance to outdoor living spaces.
  • Durable Outdoor Sconces: Opt for outdoor sconces that combine durability with modern design, standing up to the tests of time, weather, and use.
  • Versatile Uplights: Include versatile uplights in your outdoor lighting repertoire for broader coverage on trees and bushes, adding depth and dimension to landscaping.
  • Smart Lighting Solutions: Consider smart lighting solutions that offer convenience and customization, allowing you to control and adjust outdoor lighting settings with ease.

Featuring the ANI Rechargeable 3-in-1 LED Outdoor Table Lamp. Flexible, adaptive, and stunningly brilliant, this portable lamp can be used in 3 different style optiosn and light can be adjusted with a single light touch.

Tailored Recommendations

Elizabeth’s approach remains nuanced when offering recommendations for wattage and color. Steering clear of bright and obnoxious lighting, her designs prioritize a moody yet effective ambiance, ensuring outdoor spaces don't mimic theme parks or urban extravagance.

Elizabeth Przygoda's insights transcend traditional lighting discussions, weaving together elements of design, technology, and practical considerations. Her expertise serves as a guiding light for those seeking to transform their outdoor spaces into havens of style, comfort, and enduring beauty.

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