Once you've designed a meandering pathway in your yard, it's time to consider how you will light it properly. For walkways throughout the yard, lighting is a matter of safety as well as drawing attention to the best parts of the path. So, how can you light your way? Here are 5 tips for any yard.
Start Low and Soft. When planning your lighting, start with an understated lighting design and add only as you need to. Many homeowners assume that safety means creating a lighting plan that looks more like an airplane runway, but less really is more when it comes to walkway brightness. Avoid the urge to light every inch of a walkway. Foot-level lighting -- including low-voltage solar stakes or built-in paver lights -- is a good basic walkway light that looks good and will provide enough illumination for most of the pathway.
Add Variety. Using different types of lighting sources and positions can help prevent your pathway from looking too rigid or boring. Position fixtures, stakes or paver lights in a staggered style on either side of the walkway rather than side-by-side or all on one side. Use above-ground or lantern style lights to create fun focal points in the best parts of your garden. Spotlights shining into trees or even lights placed (by professionals) inside trees to shine downward can also add unique touches when used in limited amounts as a complement. Try playing with colors or even using cooler, nighttime temperatures when choosing bulbs.
Guide the Eyes. Walkway lighting can serve to help guide your guests along the right path -- both for safety and for enjoyment. Is there a curve in the walkway? Try adding a lamp-style light fixture in the greenery inside the curve's elbow. Does the path have an end destination? Light it a little brighter than the walkway to draw attention to it. Have interesting or colorful plants in your garden? Throw a little light on them to add texture and even color at night.
If your pathway is long or if it contains unique features that you aren't quite sure how to light, it may be best to work with a professional who has experience in landscape lighting. But, whether you do it on your own or with help, a well-lit path through your yard will help create a space you will love and be proud to share with friends and family.
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29 June 2016
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