Looking for some creative solutions for your pathway lighting this season? Don’t settle for the ho-hum out-of-the-box look most of your neighbours are using. Outdoor lighting is a great way to highlight the character and design of your home, but don’t forget the pathways. Whether it’s your front walk, the path to the pool, or the sidewalk to the back deck, all of these areas can come alive at night with effective use of pathway lighting.
1. Glow Not Glare
You want to highlight the unique details of a stone path or the walkway garden you’ve spent so much time on, not blind your guests. Pathway lighting should provide subtle light to help people navigate the walkway easily but still make it attractive – the walk to your back deck is not a crime scene so don’t light it like one.
Tip: Select fixtures that direct light at your feet not in your eyes. This might mean a cover, shield, or other decorative device that directs the light to the ground.
Tip: There are a wide variety of lights available on the market from whimsical to minimal to historic. Whatever you prefer, try to keep the same theme with style and materials throughout.
2. Avoid Row Upon Row
You don’t need to direct guests down a runway, so don’t light your pathways like one. Instead of placing your lighting row on row making sure each fixture is precisely the same distance from all the others in a straight line, why not mix it up? By alternating sides, you can guide guests down the path in a subtle way that lets you highlight the landscape elements you’re proud of. Use natural curves or angles as a guide of where to place pathway lighting instead a rigid design.
Tip: If straight lines fit the style of your home go with that, but don’t be afraid to hide a light in a bush or ornamental grass next to the path. Light the path from the side here and there. Mix it up.
Tip: Space fixtures as much as 10 to 15 ft apart, depending on the length of your pathway, to guide people instead of direct. Place a bollard, pillard or other type of light that’s brighter than the pathway lighting to provide a focal point.
3. Mix It Up
Mixing up the styles of lighting, three kinds of stake lights on a single pathway, is not wise, however mixing up the height of the pathway lighting is a great way to highlight details. There are three main types of pathway lighting: downlighting (stake lights are an example – the light is pointed down), recessed or paver lights (the light is mounted in the walkway or recessed on the edge of a pathway or other fixture), and pillars, bollards, or something similar.
Tip: Set lights slightly back from the edge to highlight plants along the walkway.
Tip: Adjust the height of the light in relation to the plants surrounding them. The light should be slightly taller than the plant. And use a low light to highlight your favourite ground cover plants.
We’d love to answer your outdoor lighting questions or help you design a truly unique lighting plan form you home or business. Contact our lighting experts to learn more about our lighting services or view our gallery of one-of-a-kind designs.