The stone face of a 2-story home illuminated by outdoor lighting

Bold, minimalist, refined, and striking—these are all terms you could use to describe contemporary outdoor lighting. In this blog post, Creative Nightscapes will take you on a tour of contemporary outdoor lighting and how it can be used to bring a fresh look to your home and yard. Contemporary lighting can also serve as a great conversation piece for guests and add a trendy vibe to your home. 

Uses for Contemporary Lighting Fixtures

Like most outdoor lighting in general, contemporary lighting fixtures fit a range of purposes. Often, they are used for outdoor patios or living rooms. Uses for and forms of contemporary light fixtures include:

  • Wall sconces
  • Chandeliers over a table
  • Task lighting
  • Floodlighting
  • Spotlighting
  • Wall lighting
  • Garage lighting

Characteristics of Contemporary Lighting

Contemporary outdoor lighting is not flashy, but it is memorable, bringing a distinctive touch to your property. It does not draw attention to itself but stands out all the same. Some of its most noticeable characteristics include its frequent use of the color black and straight lines and angles. Sometimes cylindrical shapes are also used.

Contemporary lighting design typically has a distinct style, but there are variations. Below are several examples of contemporary lighting and their looks.

Outdoor Wall Lighting 

outdoor lighting on a beautiful white house

Wall lights are a beautiful example of contemporary lighting that can be used to highlight the entrance to your home or other features of it. They come in a variety of shapes, with cylindrical being the most common. Contemporary wall lights are often black, but other colors, such as bronze, are available. 

Outdoor Wall Sconces

While similar to a wall light, a wall sconce’s light source is uncovered, making them brighter. Contemporary wall sconces come in an array of looks and sometimes feature directed light. Styles include more traditional “lanterns” to lights that appear to be leading edge. Some contemporary sconces may not even resemble lights at all. Many come in black, but other colors can be found.

Flood Lighting

Like other types of contemporary outdoor lighting, contemporary flood lighting tends to be minimalistic. Often, this kind of lighting utilizes a cylindrical shape and restrained hues. 


While contemporary spotlights are usually round, they also come in more angular shapes. Many are finished in black, but you’ll also find other colors, such as white and bronze. 

Outdoor Chandelier 

While chandeliers in general tend to be ornate, contemporary outdoor chandeliers are often more restrained in design. As with other outdoor contemporary lights, contemporary outdoor chandeliers frequently use the color black. You’ll also find they feature right angles.

Path Lighting

path lighting to light up concrete side walk

Many contemporary path light designs are so unique they almost look like they belong in science fiction. For example, they may feature an “L” shape and be unrecognizable as lighting fixtures when unlit. Contemporary outdoor path lighting can add drama and intrigue to your pathways while keeping them well-lit at night. 

LED Contemporary Lighting

LED lighting is an excellent choice for outdoor lighting and offers numerous benefits to homeowners and the environment. There are a lot of contemporary lighting fixtures that feature LED lighting, so you won’t have to trade style for efficiency.

Some of the benefits of going with LED outdoor lighting include:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Cooler temperature
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Better functionality in cooler temperatures
  • Durability
  • Long Lasting

Creative Nightscapes specializes in LED outdoor lighting. 

Outdoor Lighting Design

Coming up with an outdoor lighting design that compliments your home can be a challenge. That’s where we come in. If you’re in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Creative Nightscapes can help you create a striking contemporary outdoor lighting setup. Founded in 2004, our award-winning company will work wonders for your outdoor lighting. Not only can we help with designing your outdoor lighting layout, but we can also perform installation and maintenance services to ensure that your lights continue working as they should.

Give us a call for a free consultation and quote.

Contemporary Outdoor Lighting Design FAQs

Is Contemporary Lighting The Same as Modern Lighting?

While contemporary style and modern style might sound similar, they are, in fact, two distinct styles. 

Contemporary Style
Common characteristics of contemporary style include:
1. Use of glass and metal materials
2. Use of patterns and shapes
3. Distinctive Forms
4. Curvy Lines

Modern Style
Some common features of the modern style include:
1. Use of solid and neutral colors
2. Symmetrical design
3. Use of sharp angles

Traits of Both Styles
While both design styles are unique, they also share several common characteristics.

Some of these shared traits include:
1. Minimalism
2. Clean design
3. Simple lines

What Is the Difference Between Wall Lights and a Wall Sconce?

Wall lights have glass over their light source. Wall sconces have a non-covered light source, making them the brighter of the two.

What Is the Difference Between Spotlights and Floodlights?

While both are used in outdoor lighting, they have different uses and project lighting differently.

A spotlight projects a narrow light beam that is generally not wider than 45 degrees. Spotlights can be used to highlight things like landscaping or architectural features. They are also commonly used as security lighting. 

A floodlight’s beam can spread out as wide as 120 degrees. Flood lighting can illuminate a large area and can help prevent shadows. They are also often used in security lighting.

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