You can use outdoor lighting in so many different ways to add beauty to your yard. It can also be used in a practical way to add some additional illumination to dark areas. If you have some pathways on your property, have a look at some of the best reasons why you should think about installing lighting on your exterior pathway.
They Add Extra Safety
One of the main reasons homeowners install pathway lighting is so they can safely see the steps in front of them in the dark. If you are regularly outside after sunset, adding some lights to a dark pathway is a good idea to avoid tripping or stubbing your toe.
One of the best lighting styles for safety would be some small in-ground lights. These are easy to install, and they usually sit flush with the ground, so you don’t have to worry about running into them. These can be found at most hardware stores and even some garden centers.
Another excellent option for pathway lighting that can help add some safety would be a short garden light. These are also commonly referred to as “stake lights” because they can be easily installed with a quick stab into the dirt. These are usually solar-powered, but you can also find lighting systems that are connected to a power supply so you can turn them on and off at will.
They Are Great For Decoration
Another reason many people install pathway lights is to highlight all of the hard work and effort they have put into their yards. Pathways can be done in so many fun and unique ways, so additional lights can be an excellent extension of the look.
One of the best lights to use to highlight the beautiful stonework on your pathway is downlights. These look similar to desk lamps, and they focus the lighting downwards, so you don’t have a large glow around the area. These can be found in many hardware stores or online, and they’re one of the classiest ways to light up your pathway.
If you want to make the lights one of the focal points, look into investing in decorative pathway lights or pathway landscape lighting. Many different and unique styles look amazing while providing adequate lighting to the area. From modern pathway lighting that looks like small bowling balls in your yard to small lanterns that add an old work charm, there are plenty of lights that are designed to add a bit of spice to your yard while still doing their job.
They Can Be Used As A Guide
Larger yards can benefit significantly from pathway lights as you can easily use them to guide the people in the yard from one place to another. You can use the lights as a pathway if you don’t already have one in place, and they can direct people to the pool, the gazebo or any other place in your yard where people will congregate.
Stake lights are perfect for these, and they can easily provide enough light to guide the way. You can also look into taller lights like solar tiki torches, taller lanterns, or bollard lights to make a path through your yard.
They Have More Than One Purpose
Lighting your pathway doesn’t always mean lighting directly beside it. Overhead lights are one of the best ways to light up a path that is closer to your home, and you can also use them to deter unwanted visitors. Flood lights are the best way to illuminate a large area of your backyard quickly, and it’s easy to find a motion sensor system that you can pair with it to give your yard some extra security.
Your floodlights will work perfectly to light up the path near your home at night, but they can also do double duty if you are inside by alerting you to the movement that’s happening outside. A large flood light that is triggered by movement can help you ward off animals who might be trying to dig around in your trash, and it could potentially ward off any human that wants to check out what your yard has to offer. This is commonly referred to as security lighting, and it’s a great way to light up your yard when you are in it and keep you aware of things in your yard when you’re not.
You Can Hide Them
If you don’t like the look of lights that are out and about, then have a look at some hidden lighting options. You can find lights that can easily be hung on the side of your home (which look similar to a simple lightbar decoration) or stored on the underside of steps so the light won’t be seen by the naked eye unless they are turned on.
Things to consider
One of the main concerns people have when it comes to lighting up their yard is the initial cost and the overall energy expenses that will come from keeping the lights on. There are a few ways you can work around this and a few things you should consider before you start adding lights to your yard.
Who will be outside?
If you have kids or pets, you might want to work your exterior pathway around them and avoid lights that someone can easily remove or knock over. There’s nothing like adding some great lighting only to turn your back and find your kids using them as swords against each other. Recessed lighting is the best option for a busy yard where people are always running around.
If you are looking for an eco-friendly option, then think about getting solar-powered light or investing in a timed lighting system. This is the best way to ensure that your lights are only using power when they need to be, and you won’t need to worry about turning them off and on if you have a programmable timer. If you choose solar-powered lights, make sure you put them in an area where they will get even sun coverage, so they stay charged all night.
You can also think about getting a nice set of wi-fi-enabled smart lights that can be controlled from your phone. You can usually control whether they are on or off, and sometimes you can even control the brightness or change the colour completely. Wi-fi-enabled lights are a fun way to add some party lighting to your outdoor area while keeping the path lit for safety.
How many do I need?
If you are buying the entire lighting system at once, then you need to make sure you are buying enough lights to illuminate the space you need. Many lights will give you an idea of how far they spread in the description. If you have a path you want the lights to follow, then make sure you measure how long it is before you start to buy in bulk.
The spread of light will be different based on the style of light you get, so if you can, buy two, so you can test out how far the spread goes before you buy more. Place the lights on either side of the path to make sure the illumination spreads all the way to the center; otherwise, you won’t even be able to see your feet.
Are there any lights I should avoid?
If you want to make sure you are staying on the safe side, then there are a few lights you should avoid.
- Steer clear of things with open flames. Tiki torches or tea light candles should only be used when they can be supervised.
- Use lights that are rated for outdoor use only.
- Avoid using extension cords but if you have to, use one specifically for outdoor use.
- Use an outlet cover for outdoor outlets that is suitable for damp locations. It will be labelled and sold as an outdoor outlet cover.
- Stay within the wattage that the light is designed for. Using the wrong bulb will likely damage the light and potentially cause a fire.
- Watch out for flammable materials. Don’t place lights around things like hay, burlap, or dry grass that can easily catch on fire if too much heat is applied.
There are so many ways you can light up a pathway in your yard, and it all depends on what works best for you. Make sure you use the correct lights for the correct area, and you will have no problem finding your way in the dark.
Pathway lights are the best way to make sure you can see where you are going, and it’s easy to find some that will add a bit of extra beauty to your garden. Talk to a landscaping expert today about installing some lights around your yard, and they can use their expert knowledge to help you find the best fit for your home.