Update Your Outdoor Path Lighting for Function and Fashion

Update Your Outdoor Path Lighting for Function and Fashion

The summer months mean hanging out after dark on your deck or patio. That is, when it’s not raining, intensely humid, or the halfway point of an endless heat wave. Or we take what we can get for Southeastern PA and deal with the weather to enjoy the outdoors for as many summer nights as possible.

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The interesting thing about spending time on the outside of your property after the sun goes down is that you really notice how well your outdoor lighting functions as both a safety feature and an aesthetic one. Whether you want to add a new look to your pathways for nighttime, are struggling to navigate your yard after dark, or want to deter unwanted lurkers, the right outdoor path lighting will enhance your landscape.

Outdoor LED Lighting is Efficient and Long-Lasting

We often mention the benefits of converting to LED lighting within your home. These advantages extend to your outdoor path lights as well. LED bulbs use less energy and last longer than regular bulbs, so they are far more affordable over the long term. Another advantage to LED lights is that they are made of durable plastic, which means they tend to be well-suited for outdoor applications.

On the safety front, LED lights are brighter than traditional bulbs, and these long-lasting lights will reliably turn on dusk after dusk. You don’t have to worry about constantly replacing bulbs. The best quality path lighting is typically a wired product, so it’s important to follow the instructions carefully if you’re tackling this as a DIY project. If you’re worried about the energy costs on your electric bill, contact us to talk about professional installation options.

LED pathway lights also add a great look to your landscaping – even during the day – when they are well-placed among the mulch and greenery. They come in a huge variety of styles, colors, and sizes. No matter what style you’re going for on your outdoor space, you’ll be able to find the perfect path lighting to enhance it.

Motion Sensor Path Lights Offer Added Security

Maybe you’re not so outdoorsy, and you just need simple path lighting that keeps you from losing your way from the garage to your house. Or maybe you want to make sure no one is using your yard to prowl around the neighborhood late at night. Motion sensor path lighting is a great option for providing light only when you need it.

The most important thing to consider with motion sensor lights is how bright you need them to be. For that, you’ll want to consider your main application. Are these lights primarily a cost-saving way to light the path for your own use only when you’re outside? If that’s the case, the annoyance of overly bright motion sensor lights will have you trying to avoid tripping the sensor, which just defeats the whole purpose. If your concern is security, such as keeping bored teens, would-be burglars, and stray animals off your property, the more obnoxious bright lights are your top choice. Some homeowners choose to wire their motion sensor lights to work with home security camera systems. When doing this, make sure the light doesn’t wash out the camera’s view and prevent getting an identifiable image in the case of a crime.

Outdoor Solar Lights for a Wireless Option

While solar-powered lights allow for a wire-free option to outdoor pathway lighting, they have a few drawbacks.

The solar panels on these lights are small, which means they must be placed in direct sunlight to charge, and they will be less effective after a streak of cloudy or rainy days. Solar lights also tend to dim throughout the evening, and the charging panel will wear out over time. What started out as the more economical option could get expensive if you find yourself replacing the lights fairly often.

Since the solar panels need direct sunlight, this could restrict their placement and influence the look of your pathway lighting. If you were hoping for an up-lighting effect on plants that line your pathways, solar lights may be too obstructed to charge well.

What we generally notice with solar-powered path lighting is that it’s the “starter” system. Homeowners buy solar lights first as a DIY project to light their paths, and eventually make the switch to more reliable and effective wired lighting.

Whether you’re new to the idea of outdoor path lighting, or you’re ready for an upgrade, contact us to talk about your outdoor path lighting needs. Our certified electricians are qualified to make recommendations based on your specific goals, and we’ll help you review options that work within your budget.

Kevin Hawke

Kevin Hawke has been a licensed, master electrician serving the Philadelphia suburbs for 25 years. He specializes in home electrical installations & repairs and generator installation. He owns and operates Hawke Electrical, and works with a fleet of talented electricians serving the greater Philadelphia area.