How Much Does It Cost to Install Outdoor and Landscape Lighting?

Typical Range:

$2,000 - $6,000

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated August 22, 2022

Reviewed by Tara Dudley, Landscape Designer, Landscape Project Coordinator and Owner of Plant Life Designs.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The national average cost of installing outdoor lighting is $4,000. At the low end, a project that only includes incandescent path and deck lights costs $2,000 to $3,000. A high-end installation that also includes designer, motion, and solar-power lights costs between $5,000 and $6,000.

Outdoor lighting allows you to improve your home’s security while also adding style to its exterior. It’s particularly important when you have well-defined outdoor spaces like a patio or deck that serve as a natural gathering place for a large number of visitors. This guide shows you how to estimate the cost of your outdoor lighting project.

 8 outdoor lighting types compared by cost per fixture, with porch lights ranging from $65 to $250
Photo: Grigory Bruev/Adobe Stock

Average Outdoor Light Installation Cost

Average Cost $4,000
High Cost $6,000
Low Cost $2,000

Landscape Lighting Installation Cost Factors

Several factors influence the cost of installing outdoor lighting, from retrofitting to trenching to power sources. Each choice you make influences how much the project will cost.

Existing Landscaping

Retrofitting outdoor lighting in an existing mature landscape is more challenging and takes longer, costing more for labor. Contractors have to go around existing features, such as large bushes, between rows of plants, and under or around mature features and hardscaping. Additionally, any damage they do to the current design then has to be repaired once the installation is complete, further increasing costs.

Wiring

How much wiring you need depends on how far the lights are from your home. The greater the distance, the more wire you'll need. Installing new electrical wiring typically costs $3 to $5 per linear foot.

Digging and Trenching

Trenching costs $4 to $12 per linear foot. You'll need to dig trenches if you need to run new electrical cable and you don't want it just laying on your grass in plain view. Burying the wires gives a better finish, and it's much safer. It also means your wiring will last longer as it won't be exposed to storms and rapidly fluctuating temperatures.

Type of Lights and Fixtures

The types of lights you choose are one of the biggest cost factors. Simple pathway lighting can cost as little as $50 per light, installed, while gazebo and pool lighting can cost $500 or more.

Solar vs. Hardwired

Solar and hardwired lights generally cost similarly per unit. The differences are in the installation and the running costs. Solar lights don't need wire running from your home to the lights, and they don't consume household electricity; they rely on the sun's energy. Therefore, solar lights are more cost- and energy-efficient than hardwired lights.

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Outdoor Lighting Costs by Type of Fixture

There are many different types of landscape lighting features, and they each carry different installation costs and needs.

Type of Fixture Range of Price (Installed) Average Cost (Installed)
Pathway Lights $50 – $150 $100
Low Voltage Landscape Lighting $90 – $150 $120
Porch Lights $65 – $250 $160
Floodlights $75 – $250 $160
Downlights $100 – $400 $250
Uplights $100 – $400 $250
Outdoor Security Light $350 – $500 $425
Lamp Post $400 – $1,000 $700

Pathway Lights

Pathway lights cost an average of $100, or between $50 and $150 per fixture, installed. Sometimes known as mushroom lights, these soft lights provide a much-needed gentle glow to help you find your way along a pathway after dark.

Low-Voltage Landscape Lighting

Low-voltage landscape lighting costs around $120. You can pay between $90 and $150 per fixture, professionally installed. These lights use less voltage than the standard household 120-volt supply, so they require the installation of a 12-volt transformer. This reduces the load on your household's electricity supply and running costs.

Porch Lights

Professionals charge an average of $160 to install porch lights, with most people paying between $65 and $250 per fixture. Installation takes no more than an hour, so most of this cost is the lamp itself. These estimates don’t include the cost of installing an exterior power source. Solar-power lights don't require an external power source. A 16-watt model costs about $30 and takes eight hours to fully charge.

Floodlights

Expect to pay around $160 to have a floodlight installed. Some cost as little as $75, while others cost $400 or more. While this price usually includes pole installation, that's not always the case. If not, floodlight poles cost between $100 and $200

The cost of hiring outdoor lighting contractors to install floodlights for a football stadium is between $18,000 and $25,000. For a recreational tennis court, you'll pay around $13,000, while to light a full-size tournament court, expect to pay roughly $17,000

Downlights

With most people paying around $250 for downlights, the typical price range is $100 to $400 per fixture, installed. Downlights mimic moonlight. They're mounted high above the yard and have a shrouded bulb to provide a soft, moon-like illumination. 

Uplights

As with downlights, uplights cost between $100 and $400, with an average cost of $250. Uplights go at the base of the home's walls, a retaining wall, tree, or other landscape feature. Uplighting can deter intruders, but are more commonly used to enhance the appearance of your home or other property feature.

Outdoor Security Light

It costs an average of $425 to install an outdoor security light, or between $350 and $500. Outdoor motion sensor lights, or outdoor security lights help to deter intruders by turning on a harsh bright light when they detect motion within their field. 

Lamp Post

Lamp posts cost an average of $700 to install, but you can pay anywhere from $400 to $1,000. Because homeowners usually have lamp posts installed a fair distance from their property—often close to the sidewalk—they cost more to install; the pro has to run electricity from your home to the lamp post. 

Outdoor Lighting Costs by Type of Bulb

While the bulb type won't change the cost of the installation too much, the cost of replacement bulbs do differ significantly. Additionally, the running cost is substantially different. For example, metal halide bulbs cost three times more to run than LED bulbs of the same lumen output. 

  • LED: $0.70–$8.00

  • CFL: $12–$40

  • Halogen: $2–$5

  • HID: $10–$35

  • Incandescent: $0.50–$5.00

Cost to Replace Exterior Light Fixtures

The cost of replacing outdoor lighting ranges from $65 to $175 for labor, depending mostly on location. The cost of the fixture itself starts at $20. Other factors that can affect replacement cost include features of the fixture and wiring complexity.

DIY vs. Hire an Electrician for Outdoor Lighting

Electrical wiring is the most important consideration when deciding whether to hire an electrician for outdoor lighting repair and installation. A bulb replacement shouldn’t require an electrician, but even simple repair jobs often require replacing and rerouting electrical cables. A local landscape lighting contractor should always perform these tasks since building codes often require it.

Tara Dudley, Landscape Designer, Landscape Project Coordinator and Owner of Plant Life Designs, notes, “Your local landscape contractor can also handle installing an outdoor lighting system as long as there is an exterior outlet to connect to, done by a licensed electrician.”

FAQs

Why is landscape lighting so expensive?

Landscape lighting is so expensive it’s subject to weather effects. “Still, landscape lighting systems usually come with a lifetime warranty, which can bump up your initial investment,” says Dudley. Temperature extremes, rain, and snow require exterior lighting to have much sturdier materials such as cast brass. The wiring on exterior lights must also be highly water-resistant to last for years with little maintenance.

Are LED landscape lights worth it?

LED lights are more economical than incandescent bulbs and sodium lamps in the long run. Most LED landscape bulbs are between 6 and 15 watts, making them an economical choice. However, the initial cost will be higher, especially for high-intensity lighting applications. The challenge in deciding to use these lights for landscaping is to calculate the point in time at which they pay for themselves.

How many low-voltage LED lights can a transformer handle?

The number of low-voltage LED lights that a transformer can handle depends on the total wattage of the lights. For example, eight 12-watt bulbs require a total of 96 watts, so you would need a 100-watt transformer for this application.

Do outdoor lights use a lot of electricity?

The electricity that outdoor lights use depends on their purpose. Holiday lights typically use only five watts each, but some holiday displays use thousands of these lights.

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