Outdoor Lighting Basics – Walkway Lighting

Understanding walkway lighting basics can help you stay safe around your home. Few places of our landscaping can benefit more from a strategic lighting plan than walkways. They add a sophisticated beauty, increase visibility, and improve the security of our homes. Hiring a professional to add landscape lighting to your walkways can be one of the best decisions you make all year. Let’s look at some reasons that pathway lights are so beneficial.

  • Increased Security. One of the walkway lighting basics includes reducing your homes attractiveness to burglars.
  • Adding Curb Appeal. A well-lit path can be a beautiful accent to your home.
  • Marking path boundaries. Don’t let your favorite plant get stepped on, install lighting so visitors can clearly see where they are supposed to walk…preferably not on your plants.
  • For older people or those who have difficulty seeing in the dark adding lights can help keep them safe and comfortable walking at night.

There are many different walkway lighting basics and options available to you. These depend mostly on your landscape and what you are wanting to highlight. Of course, the overall goal is to provide visibility while walking but with the right lighting plan you can create a focal point for the beautiful aspects of your home as well.

Garden Lights

If your path is surrounded by plants, garden lights are a great option to both light your path and highlight all of the work that you have done. These work best with low lying plants as these lights are typically around 18 to 24 inches tall and need to be higher than any plants in front of them.

Flush Lights

Flush lights are installed in the pathway with a soft low intensity light that casts a glow across the walkway. This is great for a more modern look and for smaller spaces where garden lights would look out of place.

Up lights

When used properly to mark a path up lights can be beautiful. Although this can be difficult to achieve without creating a harsh glare. If you have a wall or tall trees lining your path, up lights can be a great way to increase visibility while featuring these beautiful aspects of your walkway.


Stairways are another area that needs specific lighting. One of the best options for this is built in lights that cast a downward glow on to each stair. This helps to highlight the difference in stair height creating a safer environment especially for people with difficulty seeing or who are less balanced.

Walkway Lighting Basics Tips

There are a few different tips to consider when lighting a walkway so keep a few of these in mind.

  • Stagger lights on each side of the path. This prevents your path from looking like a runway.
  • Set lights back from walkway. This will highlight other aspects of your yard and creates a wash of light over your path.
  • Don’t overdo it. It is easy for lights to become too harsh at night. Lower intensity is better.
  • Leave distance between your lights. 10-15 feet in between each light creates a well-lit path while guiding your eyes forward.
  • Hire a professional. Walkway lighting can be beautiful especially when done by a professional who knows all the options.

Understanding walkway lighting basics are a great way to add curb appeal, value, and functionality to your home. When considering your options and how to best light your pathways consider talking to a professional about the possibilities. They have the experience needed to create the best landscape lighting design for every situation and you will find that it is worth the added investment.