Driveway Lighting Tips

There are three reasons, primarily for adding outdoor lighting to your driveway: security, safety, and curb appeal. These goals do not have to be at odds with each other.  These goals should factor into the lighting you choose, but the length of your driveway and the preferred height of the lighting via available trees, shrubbery, gates and the like should also be considerations.

General Tips
Typically, homeowners would prefer to avoid having their driveway lighting look like an airport runway. This is easily avoided by staggering lights spaced well apart rather than two parallel sets of lights. Also, it shouldn’t be necessary to light the entire length of the driveway as vehicle headlights should be able to do that.

Ensure that all light fixtures and wires are up to code and certified. If your design requires burying wires, “sleeving” (running wires under concrete or asphalt), and hooking into an electrical panel of any kind be sure to follow all professional standards or seek the help of a professional electrician. There is less risk obviously with solar powered stake lights, but a cloudy day can mean a poorly-lit driveway at night.

Posts and Pillars
Post lighting is a bit more complicated to install, but casts more light. These can be purchased in a variety of modern or historic looks and are often placed at the end of a driveway. The raised lighting is also helpful in winter when the snow can pile up.  Usually, one or two is sufficient. This is especially effective for short driveways where you can choose a focal point and be done.

Lighting on pillars for porches or other fixed structure elements that might line the driveway can be valuable for security to light up dark spaces. These can be as stark as a floodlight or more subtle depending on your purpose. These lights are also available with motion sensors to save electricity or scare away nocturnal wildlife.

Uplighting is lighting placed low to the ground pointing up. Typically, these provide an unseen source of light and therefore should be more subtle. This kind of lighting can sit flush with the driveway or lawn or be mounted on a tree or other landscape feature. Inground uplights often have a lower profile, and when placed next to a driveway can prevent having to mow around or move stakes in the summer. Slightly angled, these lights can highlight features such as trees and buildings as well.

Downlighting is placed higher up pointing down. Two or three high up in a tree provide a romantic feel. Downlights placed on tree trunks or other features pointing at the ground provide safety lighting and curb appeal. Make sure the lights are pointed at the edge of the driveway so as not to interfere with or temporarily blind drivers.

Bollards also come in a variety of shapes, styles, and heights. These can be solar powered and/or have motion sensors. Bollards are available in a variety of price points and required skill for installation. Whether there’s an actual underground footing for the light, or a light mounted on or hung from a stake, bollards offer slightly raised light and can be a great compromise.

Contact Landscape Lighting Ottawa for a professional evaluation of your lighting needs for your property. Let our experts manage the process to ensure everything is not only done safely and properly, but your new lighting system will showcase your property while providing safety and security.

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