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Brighten Your Autumn with These Fall Lighting Ideas

Nov 15, 2021

Fall is finally here! Along with the stunning colors and cooler temperatures, autumn also brings shorter days and longer nights. However, those cooler temperatures are still comfortable enough for spending time outdoors, even after the sun sets for the evening. It is no wonder so many people devote autumn evenings to time outside.

Autumn presents the perfect opportunity to brighten the nights with outdoor fall lights. Whether you add exterior landscape lights for fall or string lights trailing through the air, fall lighting does wonders for keeping the blues away, even as the sun goes down earlier and earlier each evening. 

You can choose bright LED lights along your porch to cut through the darkness of night or dim and delicate outdoor lights to add charm to a garden. Some of the very best fall lighting ideas this season include:

Path Lights and Stairway Lighting

Earlier sunsets mean that more activities and gatherings occur during dark hours, so it is always a good idea to keep your paths and walkways well-lit. Keep guests out of your flower beds by having a Safe and Sound Electric technician install beautiful fall lighting along the edges of your paths. 

You will have several options to choose from, including lights powered by solar panels or mains electricity, bright twinkling LED lights or dimmer soft lights, and recessed lights or lights raised on small posts above the ground, among others. 

Path lights should be close enough to each other to provide a minimum of one foot-candle of light on each part of your path.

Stairways should also be well-lit, especially since stairs carry an increased risk of falling. Options for stairway lighting are endless and include path lighting, overhead pole lighting, accent lights, and more. 

Many people enjoy having under-step lighting installed; whatever you choose, a professional electrician can make sure it’s done right and that every stair tread is sufficiently lit.

Dark Lighting

Dark lighting provides an incredible effect when properly installed by an outdoor lighting expert. With this type of lighting, it’s not the actual lights that are the show’s stars, but rather the shadows. 

Placing lights so that the most important elements become your dark areas is the key; the best effects are created with definitive divisions between light and dark.

Some of the best places for this type of outdoor lighting include near architectural features on your property or near trees to highlight the shadows of branches on the ground or walls. Even porch railings can create fantastic dark lighting. This trend has become increasingly popular in recent years, and it is easy to see why.

Fall Lighting for Dining Outdoors

Every gathering space becomes better with two things: food and lights! Outdoor dining lighting can be as simple as hanging string lights or as advanced as having an expert electrician add outlets and electricity to run a fabulous outdoor chandelier. 

Overhead lighting isn’t just reserved for the indoors, and if you dismiss that idea prematurely, you would be missing out. 

Step up your overhead outdoor lighting, and do not be afraid to light up the night. You do not need to have thousands of bulbs shining for a great effect, either. 

Decorating experts suggest that clever placement is far more important than quantity for outdoor fall lighting. Why not mix well-placed lanterns with overhead globe lights throughout your space for an enveloping, warm glow?

If lighting quantity is what you prefer, create a mesmerizing canopy of brilliance with string lights. These are most popular as small bulb lights, almost like Christmas bulbs, but they are also available in larger vintage bulbs and every size between. 

Soft yellow lights are inviting, cozy, and warm. It can be tricky to get the installation right, so make sure to have an electrician do it for you.

Garden Fall Lighting

The number of types of lighting for gardens has blossomed over the past few years or so, and we are happy they have! 

Illuminating a garden with fall lighting means the beauty of that garden does not have to only be enjoyed during the daylight hours. Many gardens that are well lit are at their most beautiful at night.

Flower-Shaped String Lights

Try decorating big-leafed shrubs with pretty strings of small flower-shaped LED lights; the shrubs will look like they have grown lighted flowers, creating a magical effect for your garden. 

Alternatively, you might consider adding large glowing orbs throughout your garden. These look like colorful balls, are available in various sizes, and are both weather-resistant and durable. 

Choose traditional fall lighting colors like amber or other warm tones, create interest with orbs in different colors, or spring for light globes with color-changing features. 

Some of these orbs are solar-powered, and others require mains electrical power.

Rope Lighting

Running rope lights along your garden borders is a great fall lighting idea that will not only draw attention to your garden but will also mark boundaries so wandering feet do not accidentally cross the line. 

These strings of delicate lights are available in all kinds of colors, lengths, and brightness levels. 

They are weather resistant and are available with solar panels or equipped for mains power. It is recommended that they are professionally installed for the best appearance and longevity.

Illuminated Water Features

Gardens are the perfect locations for adding a little bit of “magic” — especially in autumn with Halloween and Christmas coming up. Illuminated water features can turn any garden into a place for the imagination to run wild, and the water features don’t need to be extravagant or overdone to make a statement, either. 

One popular feature is a well-lit “floating water tap” with water that trails from a faux faucet down to a bucket. The bucket contains pretty fall lighting, and it is enough to make a great ambient light source. 

If you already have a water feature in your garden that you would like to install lighting for, let Safe and Sound Electric know, and we can create the ideal solution.

The Rules of Fall Lighting

There are some “rules of thumb” you should follow to get the most out of your autumn outdoor lighting, including:

Make Sure Your Lights Don’t Get in the Way

Having fall lights will not do much for your property if they are constantly underfoot. You do not want people tripping over them or having to step over them. 

You do not want people having to duck and swerve to avoid overhead lights, either.

Keep Fall Lights Out of People’s Eyes

Whether you, your neighbor, your family, or passersby, make sure no one will suffer being blinded by your lights. 

Not only is this a safety hazard for those on your property, but it can also be dangerous for those driving by — not to mention annoying.

Always Hide Your Light Sources

While there are exceptions to this rule (like rope lighting, overhead, and string lighting), for the most part, you should keep the actual lights incognito. 

This optical trickery adds to the ambiance and “magic” of your space and ensures that you will not end up with a cluttered, tacky scene that is noticeable during the day.

Need Help Adding Fall Lighting to Your Home?

With so many options, choices, and rules of thumb to consider, it is no wonder that so many people count on us to install their outdoor lighting. 

The best exterior landscape lights for fall are properly installed and do not have visible wires and cords. Turn to Safe and Sound Electric’s technicians for help hiding or disguising those cords and wires safely.


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