Driveway lighting is a feature that will enhance your driveway design. It not only creates a nice ambiance but also provides enhanced safety.
There are a few different types you can use.
You can use low voltage lighting or regular 120V. What you choose depends on what type of lighting you will be using. For example, a post light (see below) typically will require 120V, while most other lights can be installed with low voltage. Also, see my link below to solar lighting.
The disadvantage of using to solar lights for driveway lighting is that if the sun did not shine that day, you are out of luck...the lights will not work that night!
Driveway lighting for central area and residence
If you have planting beds along your driveway, you can add groups of path lights. If you don't, it's a good idea to add beds if you want to use these types of lights. Typically, each path light will provide a ten foot diameter of light.
You do not have to have driveway lighting over your entire driveway. You want just enough to show the way and also make it look aesthetically pleasing. I like to alternate the locations on either side so they are not exactly even on each side of the driveway. This way you avoid that "runway effect" like an airport!
Path lights are not my favorite type of lighting along a driveway. I prefer some of the others below.
If you have an allee of trees going up your driveway, you can place two to three up lights in each tree. This provides subtle light and also accents the branching patterns of the trees. This is a beautiful look.
This not only provides light but also lights up the trees.
Post lights are another option. This type of lighting needs 120v, so it is not as simple as low voltage or solar lighting. In addition, you must purchase nice light fixtures which can be expensive. However, these lights can provide a thirty foot diameter of light.
lights can be placed along a driveway or you can use just one at your
driveway entry. If you want a row of them going along your drive, I
would not add an allee of trees. The height of the lamp posts interfere
with the tree heights.
For an old fashioned look, you can even use gas lights for driveway lighting.
Of course, these days you don't need the "gas lighter" to go out and
light them every night though! The system can be operated from the
house, which is more convenient.
If you have some large shade trees along your driveway, you can use moon lighting in them. This will cast the light downwards. It creates subtle light. The disadvantage to this type of fixtures is that you need a tall ladder to change the bulbs.
Lights can also can also be installed on top of driveway entry piers whether you have driveway entrance gates or not. These also use 120v electricity and will light the driveway entrance nicely.
You can include a variety of lighting techniques. You might choose one type of light for one area, such as path lights in a bed, and then you might light up a few ornamental trees. Try to create a natural look.
"Susan, what a pleasure it was to work with you. You made me feel like I was your only client - responding late at night and always so quickly! Your design is amazing and we only hope we can do justice to it when we plant. You have such fantastic ideas and you are so open to suggestions and changes. Loved working with you - now if you could only come to Canada and plant it!!!"
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