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Outdoor Walkway Lighting Ideas for Your Home and Yard

outdoor walkway lighting ideas

Tired of tripping over the kids’ toys or stubbing your toes on the edge of the pathway? These walkway lighting ideas will light your way from door to garden, to driveway, to deck, or to backyard firepit: wherever you have a path, you can have great outdoor pathway lighting. Here are a few keys to great walkway lighting, and ideas to get you started.

Set the Tone

All professional outdoor lighting systems now use LED bulbs, which require 80% less energy consumption than traditional incandescent bulbs. One of the biggest complaints when LEDs first became popular was the brightness and the color. If you’ve ever felt blinded by a pair of bluish white, glaring headlights shining in your eyes, you understand. Fortunately, you can choose the color of your LED bulbs to set the right tone for your home’s walkway lighting.

A warm white tone is more natural and works well with warmer paint colors and natural stone. Pure white works well for darker materials: if your pathway is black or gray, this might be the better shade of white for the outdoor walkway lighting ideas you have.

Space Them Out

One of the most common mistakes with outdoor walkway lighting is using too many fixtures. This happens because solar pathway lights emit very little light; you need a lot of the dim little lights to actually see the path.

These walkway lighting ideas, however, are different: when using high-quality fixtures, with LED bulbs, you get a good light coverage from each fixture. So you can purchase fewer fixtures, have them installed further apart, and still get great lighting for your pathway.

Switch It Up

With the current options in walkway lighting fixtures, you can choose complementary but differing styles for different areas of your yard and home. For example, you can choose the same finish, but with a different style. You can vary the intensity of the light so you have the right mood for different areas of your outdoor space. It all depends on the vision you have.

5 Outdoor Walkway Lighting Ideas

Show Off the Lights

Here’s a simple but effective walkway lighting idea: if you have simple pathways, and not much landscaping to show off around your walkways, the lighting fixtures can stand in as points of interest. Ornate fixtures, with cut-outs and more complex designs, deserve the notice they get and can create visual interest for otherwise plain areas.

Focus on the Path

On the other hand, if you have beautiful stepping stones, natural rocks, or other path materials that deserve the attention, go the other direction. Minimalist path lights are set almost flush with the ground. Or, more traditional but simple walkway lighting fixtures serve to light the path without stealing the attention.

Highlight the Landscaping

You can also consider this outdoor walkway lighting idea: a combination of strategically placed spotlights to highlight nearby landscaping, with the perfect number of pathway fixtures. It’s important to consider the overlap between one light and another, and the difference in intensity. If you use a light that’s too strong on nearby landscaping, you’ll wash out the pathway lighting. The goal is to have the lights work together for a beautiful, uniform look that highlights the landscaping features and provides a softly lit path to walk.

Create Boundaries

Use pathway lights to designate certain areas of your yard or outdoor spaces, even without a ‘hard boundary’ like a wall, path, or fence. For example, walkway lights can circle the outer seating perimeter around a firepit and instantly create a sense of safety and coziness. The lights are small and low enough not to distract from the fire, but create a perimeter and provide light for walking back to the house when leaving the area.

Add Subtle Lighting

Walkway lighting is also good for areas where you want ambient lighting without a glare. Pathway lights work well around a pool; at night, you can see what’s going on and move around safely. But there are no bright shining lights on your face; it’s a subtle light, without a too-bright atmosphere when you want a quiet swim.

Upgrade Bulbs

If you’re not quite ready to replace pathway fixtures, you may be able to upgrade by replacing older incandescent bulbs with drop-in LED bulbs. It depends on what type of walkway lighting fixtures you have in place; some are too old to be upgraded, or were made for manufacturer-specific bulb styles which can’t be replaced.

If you’re ready to upgrade or replace your walkway lighting—or if you want to see more outdoor walkway lighting ideas—get in touch. We can show you the latest options and help you bring your vision to life.

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