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Driveway Lights – how to make an entrance

Author: Glenn Harper
Published: May 8, 2014

Driveway lights are useful outside a home, if only to avoid scraping your car against a murky low-lying wall or shadowy tree. This modest aim requires an equally modest set-up, but what if you’re running a business with a long, meandering driveway? You might be a country restaurant or hotel, a private hospital, a health club, or a spa. Perhaps you have the good fortune to live in a large house with a few acres of land. Read on to discover how to light a longer driveway.

By way of an example we have decided to focus on a 100-year-old rural hospitality premises but the principle in question applies to any property.

The grand entrance

Valencia Grande Black Pillar LightEntrances don’t have to be grandiose, but it is useful to have two tall lamp-posts to landmark the entrance of a long driveway. The Valencia Grande Post Lantern suits this purpose, with the added benefit of being height adjustable to suit any location. These lofty post lights will stand over a gateway or break in a wall, which require good lighting to safely pass. An alternative is a pair of pedestal lights, which can be positioned atop any convenient wall.

The approach

Once your visitor has negotiated the outer entrance, a safe and easy approach is desirable to the building itself. Anything else will reflect poorly on your business and the way you run it. Lights should be placed on bends and make obstacles visible, including trees, walls, boulders or outdoor seats.Pagoda Pedestal Light

A post light such as the Searchlight Pagoda can be used to line a driveway. A louvred design prevents glare whilst still providing a guiding light. It is a good idea to stagger the posts on either side of the driveway, rather than have them symmetrical. This is more comfortable on the eyes of the driver, and avoids the airport runway look on any straight stretches.

If the driveway lies in an exposed area, solar-powered lights are an option. The Assisi Solar LED Lantern charges by day, and automatically switches on at dusk. Solar lights work even in overcast conditions, though their panels need ample exposure to the sun when it appears. One advantage is ease of installation: most of the products mentioned here need an electrician, but not a solar light. It can be positioned almost anywhere, requiring no connection to an AC mains supply.Assisi Solar LED Lantern

While your guests are being safely led along the driveway, one or two other lights might be used to create an impression. The Arigo Garden Spotlight (as featured above) is perfect for lighting a rockery, or a notable tree or shrub. It should be thoughtfully positioned not to dazzle drivers. With an IP68 rating, the Arigo is especially useful for lighting water features.

Front of house

Acapulco Submersible Ground Light
Your visitor has navigated the snaking driveway, and now arrives in front of the destination, in what is an open paved area for parking. To light this parking area, the Acapulco Submersible Ground Light may suit. This hard-wearing ground light can be walked over, driven over, immersed in water, and provides upward lighting without glare. It’s a modern lighting solution, but discreet and practical.

Out of the car

Como Exterior Black Post LightHaving exited the car, steps lead up towards the entrance of the building. Perhaps these steps are bordered by two Turin Pedestal Lanterns. These robustly constructed lights are fully rainproof, and come with a long 25-year guarantee against corrosion. Coastal regions are accommodated by the guarantee, up to a distance of 4 miles from the sea.

As the steps are climbed, Como Exterior Post Lights stand at each landing to ensure good visibility. They happen to show off the colourful shrubbery at each side, as well as allowing safe passage.

Turin Large Black Half Lantern
The front of the building is cosily lit, with an attractive pair of Norlys Turin Half-Lanterns to frame the doorway. Depending on how much light is required, these lanterns offer opportunity to create mood with decorative filament bulbs. Inspired by century-old designs, such bulbs are increasingly popular at hospitality venues

A smartly dressed staff member ushers the visitor into the building and the journey from entrance to door is complete!

Mixing styles

Outdoor lighting style usually reflects the style of the property, from the entrance and driveway to the front door and beyond.

Although it is not desirable to mix styles, modern outdoor lights are often intended for effect rather than show. You can use ground lights or decking lights without detracting from the character of the building. Advancement of LED technology has enabled some very subtle lighting designs.

Ostentatious clashes of style are best avoided, so you don’t want lantern-style post lights and pedestals mixing with conspicuously modern geometric designs.


It is useful to plan outdoor lighting by walking the ground beforehand. Identify hazards like obstructions, bends and dark areas. Sketching your proposed lighting scheme may help previsualise it, regardless of artistic ability!

This article has picked from several lighting ranges, but you may prefer sticking to one for continuity. The Norlys Valencia and Turin ranges offer a broad choice of products in a traditional vein. For contemporary settings, Elstead’s Glenbeigh lights provide an answer.

If you happen to be right on the coast, driveway lights made of copper or galvanised steel are suitable. Polycarbonate is another possibility, where practicality is the main concern.

For further advice on any product or lighting project, please contact the friendly Lyco sales team.

Need more outdoor lighting options? If so, why not browse our full outdoor lighting range?

Alternatively, if you're looking for more inspiration... take a look in our Lighting Advice section.

This article was tagged with Outdoor