How to Light Your Exterior Walkway

How to Light Your Exterior Walkway

Outdoor lighting can improve safety and security, and add decotative interest to your yard

By Sabah Karimi

Lighted Walkway
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Lighting your exterior walkway not only makes your outdoor space more appealing, but it serves the functional benefit of making your outdoor environment safe for you and your guests. Exterior lighting can also illuminate major landscaping features such as trees, ponds and waterfalls. Light shining through foliage can cast distinctive patterns on the exterior of your home and add visual interest to large walls.

  • What You Need to Know
  • Measure the length of your walkways so you have an accurate idea of the number of lights you need to illuminate the path. how many lights you need depend on the size of the pool of light each light casts.
  • Be prepared to pay extra for custom light fixtures and designs by professional lighting designers or landscapers.
  • Map all of the areas of the garden where you plan to install light fixtures in so you can find the best solution for each area when comparing designs.
  • Consider solar-powered lighting to save money on your electricity bill.

Step 1:

Hire an electrician to perform a system check of your power box. Confirm that your electrical system can accommodate the additional power load of exterior lighting fixtures.

Step 2:

Select a light fixture design. Light fixtures for exterior walkways can complement or enhance the decor and design of your landscaping, garden and home's theme. Look at the style and color attributes of different fixtures to select something that best fits the style and theme of your outdoor space.

Step 3:

Select the right type of bulbs. You may need to invest in low-wattage bulbs based on the system check. Compact fluorescent bulbs and LED lights are more energy-efficient than halogen lights and incandescent bulbs.

Step 4:

Run wiring down the walkway. Hire a licensed electrician to run PVC pipe and wiring down the walkway to protect it from water damage and lawn mowers. If the wiring is not buried, consider hiding it under mulch, gravel or between shrubs.

Step 5:

Position your light fixtures. Insert the bulbs into the lighting fixtures and connect each fixture to the wiring system. Secure the fixture in place by digging holes on the edge of the walkway and inserting them according to the manufacturer's instructions. If you want this process done by a professional, hire a landscaper or exterior designer.

Step 6:

Set the timer. If your lighting system is designed with a timer, program the timer to turn on and off at certain times to save on energy.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • Exterior lighting fixtures tend to attract insects.
  • Avoid circuitry problems when installing high-wattage lights by working only with a licensed electrician.

About the Author

Sabah Karimi is a regular contributor to DexKnows.

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