Path Lighting

garden path1What is a garden?  Simply put, a garden is a planned space usually outdoors that is set aside for display, cultivation or enjoyment.  It serves to inspire those who visit it.  But, how do we get there?  How does one move through these spaces?  It’s all in the form of a path or walk.

Here are a few poetic quotes that present inspiration:

“I walk through the garden,

On this warm summer’s day,

To smell the flowers,

That grandma raised.”

            Lois E. Felder

“This is the garden: colours come and go

Frail azures fluttering from night’s outer wing

Strong silent greens serenely lingering

Absolute lights like baths of golden snow.”

E. Cummings

“Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it.”


And the following quote reveals how a walk through the garden is much like a story in a book:

“A garden path can become the thread of a plot, connecting moments and incidents into a narrative.  The narrative structure might be a simple chain of events with a beginning, middle, and end.”

            Rebecca Solnit


path entry2In essence, the garden path and/or walk should lead the visitor on a personalized journey of your home.  And at night, this journey should be comfortably lit.  There are several ways to illuminate these spaces, but NiteLiters, Inc. utilizes light applications that best impact the setting.

Key Points in Path Lighting

path entry1Path lighting will typically conform to the mid and lower levels of illumination, so as to not compete with focal points or interest areas.  This transitional form of lighting should be evenly lit to ensure a safe means to traverse by.

NiteLiters, Inc. will utilize several means of applying light to these areas, whether directly lighting the pathways or indirectly illuminating other landscape elements which will reflect this light.  The lighting designer will determine how this application will provide the best interest or lighting effect in each scenario.

The following bullet points are goals to consider:

  • An even and comfortable level of illumination should be provided along primary pedestrian routes
  • Safety is the main objective
  • Increased levels of illumination should be provided at stairs and areas of elevation changes

“Path Lighting should guide the visitor to a destination point”

Details & Tips

There are several ways to effectively light a path way:

  1. path stairs1Use of path light fixtures equally spaced along a pedestrian route–it is preferable to stagger these lights in an alternating pattern.
  2. Use of down lights mounted up in trees that specifically aim onto these areas.
  3. Use of reflected lighting off of surfaces, walls or fences onto these paths.

“Path lighting should not stand out or capture too much of one’s attention”

Tip #1:  When using path lights, a staggered placement pattern has a more comfortable feel verses an aligned (same side of the path) approach.  There will be times that an aligned layout is the only means, and that is okay.

Note:  Placement of path lights in lawn and turf areas is a poor practice and should be avoided at all cost.  These are considered a big maintenance problem, due to mowers and trimming/edging can create likely damages to these fixtures.

Tip #2:  When utilizing down lights from overhead positions, whether from trees or structures, they should be aimed within a 30-degree maximum off of the vertical axis.  This limit will ensure the least amount of glare into any passer’s eyes.

Note:  It’s always better to illuminate from a position perpendicular to the walk (from the side), as this will avoid directional glare into one’s face.

Tip #3:  Reflected light is a great source for gentle illumination and is perfect for transitional areas.


path lightNiteLiters, Inc. is a company built on excellent service.  We find solutions to any concern or need, and that is what makes us unique.

Our goal is to eliminate your fears, problems and concerns.  We can only do this by listening to you and truly understanding each situation.

NiteLiters, Inc. is a family owned business where we treat each of our customers with the same level of respect.  People trust us because we have always done what we have said we would do.  We are committed to be there for you.  This very fact provides both, peace-of-mind and complete satisfaction.


Call NiteLiters, Inc. Now!

There is no better time to enhance your living environment—we would love the opportunity to meet with you and to explore ideas.  One of our team specialists will eagerly set a date and time that best applies to your needs—please contact us at:

NiteLiters, Inc.

(270) 685-7070        Kentucky

(615) 674-9950      Tennessee

(812) 431-7250          Indiana

We serve most any outdoor lighting need within a 200-mile radius of Owensboro, KY, for both residential and commercial properties. This includes the beautiful state of Kentucky, southern Illinois and Indiana, and northern Tennessee.  We are a nationally recognized, award-winning company that is licensed, insured, and certified.

Published by

Mark Carlson

Exclusively serving the landscape lighting design profession since 1999, artistically as a designer-builder. My firm, Avalon Lighting Design is located in the Sacramento region of N. California. Avalon is a multi-award winning company that has performed nationally and internationally. My role is primarily that of an artist of landscape lighting design. Additional roles include consulting, specification writing, blogger/subject writer, and trade expert.

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