You want to enjoy your Greater Chicago area backyard for as long as you can when the summer months arrive. We all know how cold winters can get.

And a great way to play outside even after the sun sets and embrace that warm weather is with landscape lighting.

Proper landscape lighting adds some moonlighting to your patio, ensures your pathways are passable, and adds a twinkling ambiance to your outdoor entertaining.

But poorly installed landscape lighting can be quite different. The lights could be blinding with angles that are all wrong. Then it becomes more like outdoor light pollution you want to avoid instead of landscape lighting design that you want to embrace. You also don’t want to annoy the neighbors by blasting lighting into their windows in the evenings.

Lighting up your nights can be a good thing if it's professionally designed and installed, avoiding light trespass. Recognize these common mistakes in landscape lighting design to ensure peace on your block.

Stop Neighbor Light Pollution By Avoiding These Landscape Lighting Mistakes

When lighting your Chicagoland home landscape, you want to create soft, ambient light that is both enjoyable and functional.

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Lighting should be installed so it’s not committing some common lighting issues like neighbor light pollution to ensure you’re keeping solid relationships with those located nearby and getting the lighting you want.

Here are 5 things you should avoid when working landscape lighting into your design.

Blinding Lights

To prevent light trespass in landscape lighting, you have to start by not blinding your neighbors.

This is actually a common occurrence you want to try to avoid at all costs to keep neighborhood peace.

landscape lighting on stairs and around patio outdoor space

To avoid this, you don’t want to install or agree to a professional installing lights that point directly at eye level. Not only do they cause temporary discomfort, but they are a safety hazard. Blocking your vision while moving through a property can cause trips and falls or cause passers-by to see spots. Lights installed improperly can also point directly into your neighbor’s bedroom window, giving them a reason to complain about you to other neighbors.

These types of lights not only cause uncomfortable conflict, but they also don’t do their job lighting your pathways or patios as they were meant to do in the first place.

Avoid direct glare with spotlights and floodlights that have glare shields. Professionally designed landscape lighting can avoid any blinding impacts.

Runway Lights

Runways are for airports. Your neighbors certainly don’t need to see a runway while they are on their way home passing your house.

This is one outdoor light pollution error you want to avoid.

landscape lighting around front entrance to home

When lighting any paths outside, including your driveway, you should never have lights lined up in a symmetrical fashion that simulate this runway look. To truly light up a walkway or area, you want to alternate light in a natural pattern on the sides of the paths so that turns are illuminated and there is a natural flow of light pointing down onto the path.

You won’t see the lights first in a proper landscape lighting design. You’ll see the path, which is the whole purpose of the lights.

Incorrect Lighting

There are different types of landscape lights that perform different jobs.

Smaller fixtures are appropriate for smaller, narrow spaces that require less light, while larger fixtures are meant to illuminate bigger spaces. Mixing these up will just create neighbor light pollution, and no one wants that. And some types of lights are meant to do specific jobs. Spotlights highlight an individual spot, while floodlights bring a wider spread of light to a landscape bed.

landscape lighting around patio and firepit

You also want to think about the architecture of your house, so light fixtures blend into your design. You wouldn’t use modern fixtures on traditional architecture and vice-versa; that could add some light trespass that annoys the neighbors and doesn’t look right with your home.

Missing Lights

The overall landscape lighting scheme you have outside your home should have a professional, even glow around the entire space.

landscape lighting around patio and outdoor kitchen

Consistent light avoids light trespass, as well as pockets of darkness and spottiness. You shouldn’t have glaring lights on one side and no lights on the other.


You want just the right amount of light across your landscape to create a perfect light flow. Simulating moon lighting is more of the feel you want versus adding giant fluorescent lights like in a parking lot.

Any time you believe more is better, you risk outdoor light pollution.

landscape lighting near water feature and trees

A little light can go a long way, in addition to adding safety and beauty.

Prevent Light Trespass in Landscape Lighting With a Professional in Greater Chicago

The reason you embrace landscaping lighting for your suburban Chicago home is to add ambiance, security, and extend your enjoyable time outdoors.

Your purpose drives your end result. You never want to lead with the light and create a lot of chaos and outdoor light pollution. You want to create something beautiful you can enjoy outside, as well as from inside.

The professional you choose should be able to create a landscape lighting design that is creative, driven by experience, and is well-planned.

As you look at the possibilities, we know it can seem daunting. Give KD Landscape a call. We can talk you through some options and help you create landscape lighting you love that doesn’t intrude on your neighbor’s space and gives you extended evenings outdoors.

Ready to see how KD Landscape can help you enjoy your landscape beyond sunset? We’d love to share our design and installation expertise with you. Get started today with a free consultation. Together, we can prepare a plan that works best for you.

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