Every night, when I get home from work, I take my precious dog Wiley for a long walk or run. In spring, summer and fall it’s a great time, but I somewhat dread it in the dark winter months. I can’t enjoy my surroundings as much because I can’t see them! One thing I do notice, however, is the inefficient sidewalk and path lighting that my neighbors have!
Solar lighting has been a big trend in outdoor lighting for a while now. Many of my neighbors have it and I look to see if it really is beneficial. My conclusion: no, it isn’t. The fixtures are small, set close to the ground and give off about 2 inches of light so a lot of them are needed to provide an efficient light output.
Proper outdoor path lighting delivers enough light output for visitors to clearly see where they are stepping and enhances the landscaping and features around it. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we don’t want any of our clients to have a path that looks like an airport landing strip with fixture after fixture after fixture. By installing path lights with the correct height sporadically, the path is well lit without too many fixtures.
Take the above pictured two paths for example. Your eye doesn’t go directly to the fixtures themselves, (like they do with solar lights) but rather what they are illuminating. The path is easily seen, as are any obstacles that may be in the way. While the safety and security of visitors may be the reason homeowners invest in outdoor path lighting, there are definitely added benefits. Now you can also see the plants and flower surrounding the path as well!
Path lights are not your only fixture option when it comes to path lighting. Depending on what is near the path, deck lights may be a good choice. They can be installed on railings, seen here, as well as along retaining walls that often border paths. While they can be installed on existing railings and walls, the wire is more easily hidden when incorporated at the time of installation.
Path lighting is especially important on commercial properties. Not only does it may the space safer and more secure, but also more inviting. I personally am wearier of approaching dark buildings and if it is really dark, I won’t approach it at all. Who wants their customers to turn away due to poor lighting? Not us.
If you have questions regarding outdoor path lighting and making your walkways safer, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.