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How to Properly Light a Walkway for Function and Beauty

A walkway can be a major focal point when properly illuminated in a landscape exterior lighting scheme. Walkways should be illuminated with both functionality and visual appeal in mind. Getting an exterior lighting layout for a walkway right may require some trial and error, but it is well worth the effort, as a properly lit walkway can dramatically improve the visual appeal of a landscape.

Lighting the Path

Exterior lighting fixtures should be selected that complement the color of the walkway. There are typically two choices for exterior lighting fixtures for a walkway: solar path lights and low voltage LED lights. Solar path lights offer the benefit of not requiring any wiring to be set up, and are generally easier to install in exterior lighting schemes. They have the downside of dimming as the night continues onward and may not be as bright as low voltage lights.

The exterior lighting layout for the walkway should be arranged to properly highlight the full walkway for use by guests. The path lights must adequately light the path so that guests can easily see it at night. For pathways that are more often walked in the evening, low voltage lights are recommended so that they don’t dim. The exterior lighting fixtures do not need to always be placed directly on the edge of the walkway, and some exterior lighting schemes will use lighting from other parts of the landscape to light the path, as long as the lighting is adequate.

A common mistake when setting up a walkway exterior lighting scheme is to place the lights directly across from one another along the path. A staggered setup is recommended to create a unique and appealing look. Also, the lights should not be placed too closely to each other. The light should not be too bright, which is why low voltage lights are used, and the lights should not shine directly in the face of the path walker. The ends of a pathway can be lit with a tall lantern to create a more dramatic and appealing look.

A walkway should be lit in an exterior lighting scheme so that it is safe to walk, and the lighting should match the rest of the landscape. The lights should be subtle enough to not draw away attention from other elements of the landscape, but bright enough to illuminate the path. With the right combination of functionality and appeal, a properly lit walkway can be an attention grabbing element in a nighttime landscape.

For more information on professional landscape lighting, contact us at (480) 513-2099 or visit our Scottsdale landscape lighting showroom at 15855 N Greenway Hayden Loop Suite 130.