Apron Lighting with Ground Polys

What method is recommended to light up the apron ground? Should the "light" be incorporated with the apron texture or should it be its own texture and polygon that is placed on top of the apron? I know method one requires extensive planning so if that's the viable option how would you figure out where there is lighting? Also wouldn't you need a separate texture for night then? And wouldn't the file be gigantic if the apron was huge? For the second version, wouldn't it bleach out the bottom layer? Hopefully this was not too confusing.