When the sun goes down, your ability to navigate your yard shouldn’t disappear with it. During winter months, sunset can occur as early as 4:30 pm, easily leaving your yard in the dark for large expanses of time. Thankfully, outdoor lighting makes it possible for you to enjoy your outdoor living space well into the evening hours by illuminating all of your yard’s best features. Beyond making your space look great, outdoor lighting can also play a crucial role in the safety and functionality of your yard during evening hours.
There are three general types of outdoor lighting used throughout outdoor living spaces. These include uplighting, pathway, and step lighting. All are important and serve individual purposes within an outdoor space. One of the most critical of the three areas of outdoor lighting is pathway lighting.
As the name suggests, pathway lighting can be used to illuminate and brighten various walkways throughout your outdoor space. However, it can also be used to highlight and brighten multiple other key areas of your yard after sunset. Here are three of the most common places you can install pathway lighting to enhance the appearance and safety of your outdoor space.
Perimeters & Storage Areas
Pathway lights can be greatly helpful for illuminating perimeter areas of your outdoor space that you often traverse, but rarely think of when considering nighttime lighting. Perimeter paths include those running from the yard to the garage, up and down driveways, and around the base of decks and pools.
Stonework and hardscaping used in these types of perimeter features can at times create uneven surfaces that result in tripping hazards if they are not properly outfitted for night time navigability. Keeping these areas well lit is not only important for your own convenience, but it can ensure the safety of your guests as well who may not be as familiar with your outdoor space.
Additionally, pathway lighting can be used to illuminate functional areas of your yard such as storage sheds or installations. Whether you’re packing up after a late night dinner party, or simply stowing some outdoor furniture in preparation for inclimate weather, storage areas are made accessible at all hours with the inclusion of pathway lighting.
Landscape and Garden Beds
If you’ve spent a lot of money on landscaping, you might as well be able to view it for more than part of the day. Installing pathway lights along garden beds and low lying plants will ensure that you can enjoy your greenery day or night. Not only do well placed lights highlight great landscaping, but they protect it as well.
Delicate planting can easily be disrupted or even damaged by unassuming feet. Lining the edge of your beds in pathway lights gives you and others the spatial awareness you need to avoid trodding on smaller plantings.
Pathway lights are aptly named, as they are mainly used to illuminate key walkways throughout your outdoor living space. Landscape designers know that navigability is often a priority for clients. Prioritizing well placed pathway lighting guarantees that the walkways which guide homeowners throughout their space are usable throughout the early mornings and late into the evening.
Whether you’re being guided from your patio to your pool, or from your front door to your driveway, pathway lighting illuminates key walkways throughout your yard and is essential to making any outdoor living space fully functional.
Choose Pathway Lighting Carefully
Once you have determined which areas of your space would benefit from pathway lighting, you should take care to choose lighting options that best fit the overall design and function of your yard.
Perimeter lighting or garden beds may look best illuminated by ambient lighting that spreads more horizontally, as much of this lighting is used not only for function but for general aesthetics as well. However, essential walkway lighting will likely benefit more from directional downward light, which spreads light over the pathway in a targeted cast.
Design tips such as staggering pathway lights, adequate spacing, and paying close attention to the height of your pathway lights will help you achieve the nighttime ambience you desire. The last thing you want is to finish your project, only to realize you’ve inadvertently turned your driveway into a brightly lit runway.
While outdoor lighting can be installed on a DIY basis, the best results and most seamless integration can often be achieved by working directly with professional contractors and landscape designers. Working with experts also allows you to feel confident that you are investing in lighting that will serve you well for years to come, with minimal outages or complications.