When it comes to creating your landscape lighting plan, it’s always important for homeowners to consider the safety of their family and guests. Adding pathway lighting will ensure everyone can safely navigate your yard, but that doesn’t mean compromising on style.
A top-notch pathway lighting plan keeps your landscaping safe from unintentional trampling, deters any unwanted visitors, and offers safety to those navigating your property at night. It also highlights and illuminates the beautiful yard you’ve worked so hard to create.
Not sure where to start? Here are our top 5 tips for lighting the pathways in your dream yard:
1. Consider Placement: You can place lights in pathway foliage, in steps, alongside steps, in trees (called “moonlighting,” which will shine light on nearby pathways), on lampposts, on post rails, beside pathways, and in nearby hardscapes, to name a few. The key is to make sure you’ll have light right where you need it and not where you don’t. Since placement will make or break your pathway lighting plan, here are a couple of additional tips:
- Stagger lights on both sides of pathways and steps to create balance and to make sure you have adequate lighting for safety but not too much lighting.
- When possible, set lighting slightly back from pathways to illuminate those pathways and shed light on the accompanying landscaping.
2. Properly Space: We recommend placing lights anywhere from 5-15 feet apart, depending on where the lights will be placed and where lighting is needed. One thing to keep in mind: When spacing lights, you’re going for pools of light, not a constant stream, which can take away from the night time atmosphere you’re wanting.
3. Height is Important: It’s important to pay attention to the height of your lights so you can get the effects you want without casting unwanted (and potentially hazardous) shadows on your pathways. When possible, point lights downward to direct the lighting to where people will walk, which will also avoid any annoying glare. And when placing lighting in landscaping, make it slightly taller than any nearby plants so the foliage doesn’t detract from or cover up your lights.
4. Use the right type of lighting: For landscaping lighting, we prefer LED over Halogen since it’s energy efficient (using 80-85% less energy than halogen lights) and longer lasting (10-12 years vs. 1-2 years for halogen), which means you’ll have to change lights less often—a definite plus in those hard-to-reach areas. LED is also more weather-friendly overall. And no matter what type of bulb you choose, make sure the wattage matches your safety and atmosphere requirements. You don’t want bulbs that are too bright or too dull for your needs.
5. Make a List + Check it Twice: When doing your final inspection of your pathway lighting plan, be sure and check the following off your lighting wish list:
Double check to make sure that no matter how you’re placing and spacing your lights that no shadows will be cast on your pathways.
Don’t over light, which can ruin the atmosphere and feel you’re going for.
Consider putting lights—both pathway and landscape types—on a timer, which will save you money and energy as well as offering additional security when you’re away from home.
Make sure any lights won’t be obscured by foliage, trees, or other yard debris during all seasons of the year.
Be sure to match your lighting plan to the environment and atmosphere you want to create in your dream yard.
Need help putting together your landscaping lighting plan? We’re to help! Please complete our contact form, and we’ll have your pathways lit in no time!