Did you forget the driveway when you designed your landscape lighting? It’s a common error to design an entire lighting scheme and forget about the lonely driveway in front of the house.
It’s also a common misconception that driveway lights are only installed for safety reasons. While safety is the number one concern, driveway lighting also adds a level of luxury to the home and sets it apart from other homes that do not take advantage of the same attention to detail.
Before you run out to decorate your driveway, consider these tips first:
Take Proper Measurements
Measure the length and width of your driveway. If your driveway is larger than average, make sure your lights are large enough to illuminate at least halfway across the width of the driveway. Also, don’t overpower a small driveway with large lighting fixtures.
Devise a design on paper to help you determine how many lights you will need and how far to space them apart. Take into account surrounding scenery and safety issues. The lights should not be too bright so they blind nightwalkers or passing cars, but bright enough to illuminate the driveway so people can feel safe to walk. Observe where water can penetrate and run the wires to avoid potentially hazardous situations.
Choose from surface, flush-mounted, or post lights. You can also select lanterns in large or small sizes depending on your personal style. To save money, use low-voltage or solar lights. Solar lights install easily, cost virtually nothing to operate, and use the energy from the sun to illuminate its surroundings. The only drawback with solar lighting is they need to be installed in a place that receives ample sunlight. Also, if you live in a location that gets cloudy or endures harsh winters, you may not receive enough energy from the sun during the day to light the driveway at night. In these cases, low-voltage lighting may be the best choice as they are relatively inexpensive as well.
Before you purchase your fixtures, assess your ideal purpose for the lights. Of course, safety is the utmost concern, but what else do you have in mind when you think of lighting your driveway? Do you want to include some of your personal styles? Impress your neighbors? Use them for a functional purpose? Use the answers to these questions to guide you in your purchase process.
If you are a low-maintenance type of person, choose fixtures that won’t cost an “arm and a leg” to maintain. You should be able to change the light bulb and keep them clean without much hassle.
Homeowners should take extra precautions when installing driveway lighting. If you are using solar lighting or even low-voltage, your risks are not as severe. If you decide to run off your home electricity, it is recommended to hire a professional. These projects can be very dangerous for someone who does not understand proper handling.
Once you install your driveway lights, your landscape will be complete, front and back. You will be the envy of your neighbors and the talk of the town and your home will look great from every angle.