Common Landscape Bulb Options for the Modern Home

One of the fastest ways to add more curb appeal to residential or commercial properties is to install outdoor lighting. When you understand the fixture types that are suitable for this investment, you can choose the safest choices for decks, posts, and accents that work with high-quality LED lamps.


Why choose LEDs for your landscaping enhancements? The lifespan rating for this technology is its primary advantage. With some products rated to last 50,000 hours, you can enjoy your investment for years to come.


Additional choices include halogen and compact fluorescent bulbs. Both of these can get hot, and there could be other hazards if the glass should break.


A final option is to consider installing high-intensity discharge bulbs. They're primarily used for larger spaces.


What Are the Best Bulbs to Use for Landscaping?


If you love to garden, the best bulbs to use for your landscaping might be flowers instead of lights. For this content, we're talking about illumination.


Several lamp types are rated for landscape lighting. To have a positive outcome, you'll want to match the fixture base requirements to your selected bulb.


Here are the bulb types available to consider. Each comes as an LED option or with its original design.


  1. PAR36 Bulbs. This type was first used in the 1950s. It is durable, watertight, and ideal for a below-ground fixture.
  2. MR11 Bulbs. They're small bulbs with some thoughtful designs that create evenly dispersed beams to use.
  3. MR16 Bulbs. This style is the most common lamp used for landscape lighting today. You'll find several designs available to consider.
  4. SCB Bulbs. Although less common, these lights get pushed into their sockets and turned to lock in place.


Your selection is dictated by the fixtures you install.


FAQ About What Bulbs to Use for Landscape Lighting


If you're wondering about the investment return you'll receive with landscape lighting, here are the questions that home and business owners ask while reviewing this option.


How Much Does Curb Appeal Add to a Home's Value?

When you incorporate landscape lighting as part of your property, it can add up to 10% to the final sale value. That means you receive an equity boost until that time, especially when using long-lasting LED bulbs for this upgrade.


What Lumens Should I Use for Landscape Lighting?

The number of lumens needed for your outdoor lighting requirements depends on the space you wish to illuminate. Security lights usually need at least 700 lumens to be effective, with some products reaching up to 1,300 lumens. In comparison, a standard 100w incandescent light bulb produces about 1,600 lumens.


If your goal is to provide accent lighting, you can have something in the 300 to 500 lumens category.


Where Should I Install Outdoor Lights?

The best places for landscape lighting involve walkways, paths, and other pedestrian areas. Once you've highlighted these spots, consider adding accent lights around your home or commercial building to create a dramatic effect.


LED flood lights deliver illumination over a broader area if you need security features. You can use motion sensor switches or darkness readers to have this option light up automatically each evening.


Can I Mount Outdoor Lights?

Most homes have mounted outdoor fixtures. These items are typically by the front and back door to deliver adequate illumination in these areas where safety is a primary concern.


You can also mount outdoor lights on ceilings, walls, or floors based on what is needed for each situation. It helps to choose fixtures that can handle precipitation or other potential conditions to maximize each investment.


Even flush-mount LED outdoor lighting is suitable for stairs, paths, and other spaces where trip hazards might occur.


Does Landscape Lighting Come with a Solar Option?

Many of today's best landscape lighting options use small LED bulbs with a solar panel that charges a battery during the day. At night, you'll receive the light you need for several hours – or all night.


You can install these lights virtually anywhere because they are wireless. As long as the product receives full sunlight at some point during the day (six to eight exposure hours), you'll receive the results you need.


Do I Need Good Neighbor Outdoor Fixtures?

Some communities consider excessive lighting as “pollution." That means if your bright bulbs shine into a neighbor's yard, you could be held responsible for that result.


Choosing a directed LED bulb or a similar option that shines to a specific area minimizes any potential problems. Look for fixtures that come with different association seals if this issue applies to your neighborhood. ​


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