Outdoor Recessed Lights: How And Where To Use Them

woensdag 13 maart 2024
It isn’t just the inside of a property that can be transformed by the right lighting. The exterior of a property can also benefit greatly from the addition of outdoor lights, and there is a wide range of external lighting options available.

In this blog, we’re looking at outdoor recessed lights, including how and where to use them, and the factors you’ll need to consider when choosing outdoor recessed lights for your property.

What Are Outdoor Recessed Lights?

Recessed lights are a type of lighting that is installed into an existing structure or fixture in order to provide light while being unobtrusive. The point of a recessed light is the light it offers, rather than the fitting itself, so this kind of lighting is designed to seamlessly blend in with its surroundings.

Outdoor recessed lights are available in several different options to suit your external lighting needs.
Recessed ground lights are also known as inground lights or walkover lights and as the name suggests, these are installed directly into the ground, providing upward light.

Recessed ankle lights can be installed at ankle level, in external walls or in outdoor features such as decking.
Overhead recessed lights are frequently found inside properties in areas such as kitchens, for example, but they can also be used outdoors in overhead external structures such as shelters, porches or eaves.

Though recessed lights are typically small and subtle, they can have a significant impact on their surroundings.

The Benefits of Outdoor Recessed Lights

There are many benefits to using outdoor recessed lights.


Recessed lighting is a great way to illuminate a particular area without having lighting fixtures take up space. This makes recessed lighting an ideal option for external areas where space may be limited, such as a small garden or patio.


You can choose whether to add one, two or several lights to a space and how to place them for maximum effect. As mentioned, there are also several different options available, whether you’re looking for up or downlighting or ankle lights. Recessed lighting is also available in different sizes, shapes and finishes, meaning you can tailor it to your exact requirements.

Safety & Security

Outdoor recessed lights can also help to improve safety and security around a property. By illuminating your home’s exterior, you can discourage theft or trespassers while at the same time, making your outdoor areas safer and more comfortable for you and your guests.

Whether you install recessed lighting along your driveway to aid safe parking or use ankle lights to illuminate outdoor steps to prevent trips and falls, this type of lighting is a simple and discreet way to provide an extra layer of home security and give you peace of mind.

Aesthetic Appeal

Recessed lights have the power to transform your outdoor space. They can be carefully placed to draw attention to the unique features of a property or used to add ambient light to outdoor areas without detracting from the overall look or design. For example, if you want to illuminate an al fresco dining area, pool or decking.

Efficient & Economical

Outdoor recessed lights are also efficient, easy to maintain and an economical way to light up outdoor spaces.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Recessed Lights For Your Outdoor Area

When it comes to choosing recessed lights for your outdoor area, there are a few things to bear in mind.

You’ll want to ensure that your outdoor recessed lights use LED bulbs, as these are the most energy-efficient option, which will help to lower your energy costs and you won’t need to replace the bulbs as frequently. LED lights also give off less heat during use, making them a safer option for areas where people may come into contact with the light fitting.
Problems with recessed lighting typically occur due to incorrect installation.

For example, while recessed ground lights are designed to withstand the elements, such as rain and snow, if a ground light is placed in soil with poor drainage the light fitting may become damaged due to flooding.

Similarly, choosing the wrong lighting for your needs or buying poor-quality products can lead to issues such as condensation build-up on the inside of the light cover due to extreme temperatures, hot glass covers that pose a safety hazard or cracked or broken light covers if a recessed light is unable to withstand being walked or accidentally driven over.

Where to Place Outdoor Recessed Lights

Outdoor recessed lights are a great choice for any external space, whether that’s a private garden, commercial property or public space.
Here are just some of the areas they can enhance:

Garden Paths

Recessed lights can be used to line garden paths and walkways, making them easier to follow at night, and enhancing the overall look of your outdoor space.


Outdoor recessed lights can be used to make driveways more visible at night or in bad weather, making it safe and easier to park outside your property.

External Steps

Recessed lights can be used to improve safety around outdoor steps and staircases to help prevent accidents. Improved lighting is one of the key recommendations for improving safety in and around the home and reducing the likelihood of falls.

Patios or Decking

Using outdoor recessed lights can provide much-needed ambience for al fresco dining and allow you to use external spaces all year round.

Over the Garage Door

If a property has eaves above the garage door, recessed spotlights can help you navigate parking at night.

Porch or Entryways

Outdoor recessed lights can be used in porches or around doorways to enhance safety. Having lights around your door makes it clearer who’s calling, makes it easier to find your keys and highlights steps or obstructions, making trips or falls less likely.


The addition of recessed outdoor lights to external eaves allows you to highlight your property’s best architectural features.


Outdoor lighting can be used to highlight landscaping features such as flower beds, trees and fountains, and because recessed lights are so subtle, they’re able to draw the eye to the landscape without detracting from it.

Outdoor Recessed Lights at Searchlight Electric

We hope this has helped to explain what outdoor recessed lights are, and how and where to use them. As you’ve seen, outdoor recessed lights are a great way to increase safety and security whilst improving the aesthetic of an outdoor space.

With more than 75 years of experience in the industry, Searchlight Electric offers a wide range of wholesale outdoor recessed lights in a selection of styles and finishes. You can check out our range of wholesale outdoor recessed lights or browse our other external lighting options.

If you have any queries about our outdoor recessed lights or any of our other lighting products, don’t hesitate to get in touch and one of our team will be happy to help.
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