Have you ever pulled into a driveway so dark you had difficulty navigating your way around it? Perhaps, you worried about hitting something on the property or wondered if you were headed in the right direction. It can be scary driving at night when you can't see where you are going.
Now, consider your driveway. Would your guests have difficulty at night?
Effective driveway lighting serves several purposes: increased safety for you and your guests and added curb appeal to your home.
Outdoor lighting along the driveway should help guide you and your guests at night while safely navigating them around your property. When properly done, it can also create a warm and welcoming ambiance. The combination of safety and beauty delivers a WOW factor, leaving a lasting first impression for those visiting your home.
Driveway Lighting Ideas for Safety and Curb Appeal:
Down Lighting onto a Driveway:
If you have large trees along your driveway, down lighting is a great option to create a unique, soft atmosphere. The lights are strategically placed high up in trees and pointed down to illuminate the driveway for optimal effect.
Redoing your landscaping or building your home? A lighting designer can help you can map out the tree placement along the driveway to get this look.
Mixing up the light sources can help balance light and ensure an evenly lit driveway. Some driveways benefit from bollards or well lights in combination with down lighting. The best option for your property will vary based on how your driveway is laid out and the number of trees.
Bollards are taller fixtures that serve as markers and define the edge of a driveway, these are some of our favorite driveway bollard styles. They should be spaced proportionately – not too far apart, but not too close, either. Alternating sides provides optimal light without creating a runway effect. Here are more ways to use bollards on your property.
At McKay Lighting, we use a process called "sleeving" to create a path of wire underneath concrete or hardscapes for bollards. It's not always needed and (again) depends on the driveway. If you are in the process of building or remodeling, it's best to install the sleeving before pouring the concrete.
Up-Lighting the Driveway:
If you prefer less noticeable fixtures, up-lights or well lights are an excellent option. They can help define the edge of the driveway and add ambient light. We've installed this type of fixture along the turf (shown above) and into the cement. Similar to bollards, sleeving might be needed to run the wire under the concrete.
Whichever option you choose, you want to highlight potential obstacles along the driveway (trees, fences, walls, etc.) and any change of direction. You might also want to consider lighting your entrance to make it easier to find and safer to park at night.
In summary, strategically placed landscape lighting can increase driveway safety and provide curb appeal to your home. A lighting designer will know the best options for your driveway and then develop a comprehensive plan of action. If you are remodeling or building your home, it's best to get a designer involved early. They'll work with your builder or architect to coordinate sleeving, which will help save money.
Ready to strategically illuminate your driveway to increase safety and add curb appeal to your home? You can schedule a free consultation online with one of our experienced designers.
Need help finding a lighting professional in your area? Download our helpful guide.
Landscape lighting is what we do. Every day.
We’ve been in the landscape industry since 1987, becoming a dedicated outdoor lighting company in 1992. Our team has years of experience creating and installing elegant outdoor lighting designs including providing maintenance and repair services to homes and businesses across the nation. Our award-winning company has been voted Best of Omaha and Best of Houzz by the community.