Up-lighting your home has many advantages over installing “pot lights”. Not only do you avoid having holes drilled into your house, but there are many aesthetic advantages too.

Soffit lights, usually called pot lights, were popularized back when homes had large, deep soffits. That let the light source be located far from the wall, for a wide “wash” of light. But modern homes usually have slender, narrow soffits, which means the pot light bulb is too close to the wall resulting in a “hot spot” high up.

LED Outdoor Up-LightingPot lights also draw attention to themselves. The bright dots of light say “look at me!” instead of “look at this lovely home.” In the industry, we call that “lighting with ego.” Outdoor lights are supposed to highlight something other than themselves. Up-lighting hides the source of the light, so all you see is beautiful architecture.

Up-lighting also lets you vary the distance of the fixture from the home. They can be placed close for tall dramatic shadows, or farther away for subtle textures, or a mix of distances to create texture and variety. They can be either evenly or organically spaced, depending on what suits the home. Up-lighting lets you have a true lighting design, not just evenly spaced dots of light.

Another huge advantage is bulb changes. All bulbs eventually fail, even long life LEDs. Would you rather change an easy to reach bulb on the ground, or one that is 20+ feet up? And what if the bulb fails in snowy February? It’s amazing how many homes with pot lights have one or two lights out, spoiling the design, all because it’s too hard to reach the bulbs.

Up-lighting lets your eye focus on unique details, such as this sloped roof and stone chimney.Sometimes pot lights are the only option, due to hardscaping or other factors that prohibit up-lighting. If so, you may have to settle for pot lights, in which case your front yard landscape lighting can mitigate some of the “big white dots” aspect of pot lights and draw the eye downward to interesting landscaping features.

But in most cases up-lighting is both more practical and preferred. I strongly recommend you consider up-lighting instead of pot lights for a more convenient, more versatile, and more lovely lighting design for your home.