/ Learn / Lighting Design

on December 22, 2015

3 Path Lighting Techniques that Break all the Rules

If you are a perfectionist when it comes to your yard, then what I'm about to say might make you a bit uncomfortable. For an alluring pathway that adds character and charm while gently guiding the way, you might have to break a few rules of symmetry and design.

Less is More

Pathway lighting is most successful when it's soft and subtle. Just because your lighting kit included 12 path lights, doesn't mean you need to use them all on your front sidewalk. Unless you plan on performing surgery in your front yard or garden – which we really hope isn't the case – you don't need tons of glaringly bright lights. DIY Network recommends that you think of your path lights as 'gentle hints for where to go next, not outlining tools or runway lights for an airplane landing." Try this test: On a clear night, with your outdoor path lights on, can you see the stars? If not, they may be too bright.

Download a Free Printable Outdoor Lighting Mini Guide and receive a promo code for special savings

Get Crooked

Put away the yardstick. It's perfectly OK if all of your path lights are not equally spaced down to the millimeter or that they are not all at the same height. Having them in a straight line isn't necessary either. In fact, staggering your path lights on either side of the walkway actually creates balance, and is a lovely way to guide your guests.

Tall walkway lights in gravel backyard

Be a Mixmaster

Finally, experiment with combining different kinds of path lighting in similar shapes & finishes. Lanterns, recessed lights and stake lights within the same style family can all play a part in your walkway lighting strategy. Stagger your path lights and vary the styles for an eye-catching design.

There are almost limitless ways that you can design an outdoor lighting strategy.