Illuminate Your Way with Landscape Lighting Path Lights
Time to read 6 min
Time to read 6 min
There's no underappreciating the transformative power of lighting to enhance a property's appeal. This is especially true when it comes to path lights - even a few can make a big difference! This article will dive deep into the topic of path lights, how they work, the varieties they come in, and why you can't afford to go without them.
Path Lights, sometimes called spread lights or pathway lights, are a type of landscape lighting designed for installation outdoors. Homeowners use them to illuminate spaces - like walkways - that require better ground visibility. Path lights differ from other property lighting systems in that they are fixed to the ground rather than a wall or roof. Their parts are much more rigid and usually waterproof to protect internal electrical components from the elements.
Virtually all landscape path lights on the market today are electric, relying on either underground cables or built-in solar panels to source their energy. In the case of corded systems, they are wired directly to a power source and then connected to a control box or transformer. Solar path lights get their energy from the sun through solar cells located inside each light fixture; no wiring is required for these systems. The only caveat is that they require regular sunlight to work properly. Applications in shady areas or rainy climates may not see optimal performance.
Many path light systems can be equipped with timers and photocells to control when the bulbs turn on and off. This automation is an asset for anyone who wants a 'plug and play' setup that takes care of itself.
Per the name, landscape path lights are most often used to illuminate paths on residential and commercial properties. In some cases, this is for safety purposes, to ensure that people have adequate visibility of the ground they're walking on when out at night. Another common reason is style; lights are a simple, yet incredibly impactful way to enhance natural landscaping. You can install them along bricked walkways, across dirt paths, through fields, and even up driveways with little effort.
But aside from conventional uses, the individualized nature of path light systems makes them very easy to set up in other areas. Some property owners opt to use single units as garden bed accents, or to highlight particular trees and shrubs. Many people also use them around pools and patios to create a more inviting atmosphere for outdoor entertaining.
Regardless of where and why, the final result is always something that's both functional and beautiful.
Like any purchase, it's reasonable to want to know what kind of value you'll be getting upon investing in path lights. Are they just another outdoor fixture you don't need, or are they something capable of actually making a difference in the usability of your property? Spoiler alert: it's the second answer. There are tons of benefits to be reaped by buying path lights, so many in fact that you'd be hard pressed to argue after reading them all.
Take a look at these great reasons:
The most important reason to invest in path lights is undoubtedly safety. If you've ever had an experience of having to walk up a driveway or sidewalk in the dark, you'll know that it can be quite dangerous and difficult to maneuver. Path lights ensure that anyone navigating your outdoor space will have a much easier time doing so.
Lighting isn't given near as much attention as it should be, yet it plays a huge role in creating the right atmosphere for any gathering. Path lights specifically provide a soft, natural glow which is perfect for outdoor areas like the garden or patio. The best part is that this extra touch of appeal doesn't cause overkill - emboldening existing landscape features rather than competing against them.
Unlike string lights, pathway lighting units can be installed as few and far between as you'd like. While they do look best in a cohesive line, you're free to choose any distance or arrangement that makes sense for your space.
Whether you prefer a modern, classic, or antique look for your home's exterior design, there are plenty of path light designs out there to choose from. Manufacturers create their products in plenty of shapes and sizes, and also with different materials like aluminum, brass and copper. The creative opportunities are virtually limitless.
Installing path lights is not as complicated as one may think - it should be relatively easy for anyone who has done basic home improvements before. All you need is a drill and the right tools, and in most cases, it should only take a few minutes to set up your lighting system.
Path lights serve as a great deterrent for potential burglars. The illuminated paths and walkways ensure that anyone walking around your property can easily be seen, making it much less likely that they’ll attempt any mischief. And if someone has already broken in, they won’t be able to move freely around your property without being seen.
Path lights are more energy-efficient than regular lighting fixtures since they don't stay on for too long and generally consume less energy. LED and solar-powered path lights in particular are the most efficient options when it comes to saving electricity and money on your power bills.
Path lights happen to be a very affordable lighting option when compared to other types of exterior lighting. You can find low-cost, high-quality path lights from most online stores and home improvement retailers that will last for many years. And with regular maintenance and replacement of bulbs, you'll end up saving money in the long run.
One common mistake made by property owners when installing path lights is the assumption that more equals better. It's actually the other way around. The key to making these fixtures look their best lies in balance; while you obviously need enough bulbs to light your walkway, putting them too close together kills the aesthetic appeal. It's best to find a happy medium between visibility and space so as to give each light maximum ambiance. The right distance can vary depending on the type of bulbs you're using and the nature of the landscape being lit, but generally speaking, 10 to 15 feet is a good starting point.
It's important to remember that landscape path lights are exposed to the elements, and as such require a bit of maintenance. The most important thing you can do is inspect them every so often for any signs of wear or damage. This includes checking the wiring and ensuring that all bulbs are still working properly. In addition, you should also clear away any debris or dirt that has built up around them over time, as this can affect their efficiency. The more you take care of your lights, the longer they will last!
What's in a light bulb? The type of bulb you choose will have a significant impact on how bright and attractive your path lights are. LED bulbs are becoming increasingly popular due to their lower energy consumption, but halogen is still an excellent choice for high-performance lighting.
The overall aesthetic of your landscape should guide the style of path light you choose. For example, if you have a classic-looking garden, then traditional lamps might be the best option. Conversely, modern designs tend to work well in contemporary spaces. It's even better if you find a product that coordinates with any other outdoor light fixtures already on the property.
Path lights are supposed to be durable by nature. As something that you'll install on your property and ideally use for years, it's important to opt for models that are made of high-quality materials. This will ensure that they last and don't rust or corrode over time.
Don't mix up durability with quality; although hand-in-hand, they are different things. Beyond an ability to withstand the elements, you'll want to find a product that has well-designed electrical components and a reliable warranty. Reviews from past customers can be very helpful when it comes to assessing quality.
So now you know everything you need to know about path lights. The next step is putting that education to good use. Top Notch Landscape Lighting has a wide selection of products to discover, all of which are backed by our industry-leading reputation for quality. Get shopping today!