Night Lights

What’s better than a long, sultry evening outdoors, bathed in the glow of the moonlight? A long, sultry evening outdoors bathed in the glow of just-right lighting, that’s what. We’re talking about mood lighting, people; it takes a gentle touch and a soupçon of restraint. Done well, outdoor illumination enhances the landscape without overstepping its bounds. It’s a quiet presence, rather than a jarring intrusion. It’s created with the knowledge that an outdoor soirée is not an interrogation, nor is it a business meeting. Have a glimpse at some lights done right.

Photo above: Patricia Burke/Design NJ August/September 2009


  • A softly lit pool with glowing water jets—paradise!

    Photo: Tim Proctor/Design NJ April/May 2013 Photo Stylist: Michele Morris Pool: Liquid Design Architect: Bishop & Smith Architects Builder: Tri-County Development Group

  • Can’t see the forest for the trees? A little well-placed lighting will fix that!

    Photo: Sponzilli Landscaping Group

  • Concentrate the light where you want it. The rest becomes dreamy background scenery.

    Photo: John Martinelli/Design NJ April/May 2013 Architect: Thomas B. Wagner, AIA Pool: Swim-Mor

  • A roaring fire + a glass of wine + strategically-placed lighting = the height of romance!

    Photo: Lori Farber/Ultimate Expressions

  • A wall of flame is a real showstopper. Patio lights reflected in the pool mimic the fire’s flicker.

    Photo: John Martinelli/Design NJ August/September 2015 Landscape Architect: Steve Chepurney, ASLA

  • Lights in cozy clusters and a spa-side fire feature create a four-season outdoor space.

    Photo by homeowner/Design NJ June/July 2009 Hardscaping: Classico Landscape Construction Millwork and trusses: Lincoln Log Homes

  • Lighting under the pergola makes it a focal point in this outdoor “room.”

    Photo: John Martinelli/Design NJ June/July 2015 Landscape design: Mark Reynolds

  • Judicious use of lighting (and fire) focuses attention on the hardscaping.

    Photo: Rin Robyn Pools

  • You just can’t create this kind of drama in the daylight.

    Photo: John Martinelli/Design NJ April/May 2014 Architect: David Donachy Architects Builder: Hartman & Schiffer Custom Builders Pool: Waterscapes in Cinnaminson Engineer: PMH Associates in Moorestown