Light the Way: Include the Driveway and Paths in Your Ottawa Outdoor Lighting Plans

Designing a varied and attractive landscape around your property can immensely improve the appeal of your home in the daylight hours. At night, without some kind of architectural or landscape lighting, all of those gorgeous enhancements are lost. Or worse, a quaint winding path here or a group of low-lying shrubs there can cause your dinner guests to trip right into the decorative pond! In an attempt to improve safety, some people take the other extreme by blasting their homes with an array of floodlights that has all the subtlety and allure of Alcatraz in its hey-day.

But your home doesn't have to be a lawsuit waiting to happen, nor does it have to look like a penitentiary. A thoughtful outdoor lighting plan for your Ottawa home will indeed provide night time convenience and safety for you and your guests. It can also create a mood and atmosphere around your entranceway and paths that adds to the post-sunset enjoyment of your home.

Get on the path
The next time you have a free evening, grab a flashlight and go for a stroll around your property beginning at the street. Notice how visible your driveway entrance is in the darkness, especially if trees or shrubs border it. Ask yourself whether there are any obstructions that could easily be missed by a driver at night. Or perhaps a bit of soft light would enhance the night time curb appeal of your home? Use the flashlight to spark some inspiration by shining it around the edges of the driveway entrance or onto the trees and shrubs to see how a little indirect light might change your perception. Play with different up and down angles and notice the effects of light versus shadow.

Driveways do not need a great deal of direct illumination, since a car's headlights do most of the work. If you have a long or winding driveway, however, outdoor lighting can help with navigating and avoiding unexpected obstructions at night.

Follow the path
Once your walk has taken you to the house, turn off the flashlight and observe the path to your front door and the entranceway itself. Look at how much the shadows veil the walkway and vestibule around your doorway or front steps, if you have any. If your path leads around your home to a side or rear garden, or to an outdoor sitting area, watch for hidden flora, stonework, window wells or anything else along the way that is overly concealed by shadow. Since you know your home landscaping best, also think about which elements could boost the look of your home with night time illumination.

Know the path
Now that you've investigated your property's traffic areas and experimented with a little low-wattage light, here are a few tips for your outdoor lighting plan:

A little staggered, soft-wash lighting at the borders of the driveway will suggest the way to the house without causing pilots overhead to mistake your home for the local airport. If your drive is lined with trees, up-lights around their base will cast a glow along the driveway edges as well as create beautiful focal points.

Depending on the image you want to create of your home, a post light or a mock gaslight lantern at the foot of the driveway can be an attractive landmark for your property.

Low-mounted, concealed lights that are staggered along the walkways provide a soft and unobtrusive option, casting just enough light to promote safety without the glare.

If you're considering a landscape renovation, a path that includes flush-mounted up-lights covered in hard plastic creates a cool, modern effect.

If you have a pool area or spend a lot of time around the deck in the summer, consider gas Tiki-style lanterns along your pathway and pool deck to inspire a tropical theme.

Well-designed and strategically placed, outdoor lighting your paths and driveway not only enhances the safety of your home, but also helps to extend the daytime beauty of your property well into the night.
Contact us now to discuss these and other options from the lighting experts at Landscape Lighting Ottawa.

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