Have you ever replaced a light bulb only to realize it was the wrong shade of white? Outside lighting actually comes in a range of color temperatures that change the shade of white from a golden color to a more natural, daylight white, to a bluish tint. Most homeowners choose either warm white or cool white lights for their outdoor lighting needs. How do you know what’s best for your home? It depends on what you’re lighting and why.

Best uses for warm lighting

As the name suggests, warm outdoor lighting creates a welcoming and inviting atmosphere. If you have a more traditional style, you might choose this type of lighting to softly highlight the architectural features of your home or your landscaping. 

The golden glow of warm lighting works best in outside dining or seating areas where you want to spend an intimate evening talking with friends or relaxing around a firepit. 

Areas you might consider warm lights include:

  • Outdoor living and dining spaces
  • Front entryways
  • Patio or deck

When to use cool lighting

Cool lighting tends to be closer to daylight than warm lighting. If you are looking for a sleeker, more modern style, you will likely appreciate the sharper lines and bluish tint you can achieve with cool white lights. When you uplight your trees, bushes, or flowers with cool light, you can achieve interesting shadows and shapes that make them stand out beautifully.

Since cool lights tend to be brighter than warm lights, many homeowners use them in areas that might need a little extra security such as near windows, back doors, or garages. Other places like pathways, driveways, steps, or pool areas benefit from the extra light given off by cool lights to help safely navigate your property at night.


One specific type of cool lighting mimics the natural look of moonlight washing over your property. Known as moonlighting, lighting experts achieve this look by placing lights high up in your trees to shine down over a wide area. Many homeowners love the look of moonlighting, especially in the pool area because it adds a little bit of whimsy and can make your outdoor space feel magical. 

You can have it all with Haven Lighting!

Want to add a little extra color and personality to your property? Tired of spending hours setting up colored lights for the holidays? Haven Lighting might be the perfect solution. Combining innovative, cloud-based technology with efficient, low-voltage LED lights, Haven Lighting offers highly customizable lighting designs you can change with the touch of a button on your smartphone. Choose from 20 vibrant colors perfect for any holiday, special occasion, or game day. Eight different temperatures of white lights are also at your fingertips, giving you endless design possibilities.

Set up your free consultation today

Not sure where to start? The lighting experts at Houston Lightscapes have years of experience helping homeowners like you transform their homes with stunning outdoor lighting designs. It starts with your free consultation where our designers walk your property with you and discuss your vision. Installation is quick, efficient, and non-invasive. We install Haven Lighting too! You’ll never have to worry about maintenance either. We take care of everything. Give us a call today at (713) 461-3600 to schedule your free consultation today!

The team at Houston Lightscapes takes pride in their many years of experience in the landscape lighting industry. They've been serving the greater Houston area for over 30 years bringing innovation and elegance to their designs. Learn more about Houston Lightscapes here.