A laboratory experiment was conducted to understand the acceptability of different white light emitting diodes (LEDs) for outdoor landscape lighting. The study used a scaled model setup. The scene was designed to replicate the exterior of a typical upscale suburban restaurant including the exterior facade of the building, an approach with steps, and a garden. The lighting was designed to replicate light levels commonly found in nighttime outdoor conditions. The model had a central dividing partition with symmetrical scenes on both sides for side-by-side evaluations of the two scenes with different light sources. While maintaining equal luminance levels and distribution between the two scenes, four types of light sources were evaluated. These include, halogen, phosphor white LED, and two white light systems using RGB LEDs. These light sources were tested by comparing two sources at a time placed side-by-side and by individual assessment of each lighting condition. The results showed that the RGB LEDs performed equal or better than the most widely used halogen light source in this given setting. A majority of the subjects found slightly dimmer ambient lighting to be more typical for restaurants and therefore found RGB LED and halogen light sources to be more inviting. The phosphor white LEDs made the space look brighter, however a majority of the subjects disliked them.© (2002) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.