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Driveway lighting tips for hospitality venues

Author: Richard Bevan
Published: August 14, 2019

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A well-lit driveway can make guests feel truly welcome and safe as they arrive at your premises. As well as its practical benefits, lighting also has the ability to completely change the look and feel of a property’s entrance, delighting guests time after time. The following lighting tips can be applied to virtually any driveway or pathway.

Recessed spotlights

Recessed ground lights are a popular choice for driveways because they are versatile, unobtrusive, and easy to install - they also look great too. Recessed ground lights can either be positioned at regular intervals around the perimeter of a space, or used to highlight a specific entry route or pathway. When choosing ground lights, look for lights with an IP68 rating: This means the lights are totally protected against dust and water, and generally hardy enough to handle the worst of the British weather.

Post or pedestal lights

Post and pedestal lights are useful for marking out the perimeter of a driveway or path to highlight the entry and exit routes. They generally sit best when positioned asymmetrically so as to avoid creating a runway effect. The good news is that these fixtures don’t typically become blocked by snow or leaf debris in the same way that recessed ground lighting might, but a possible downside is that they inevitably take up more physical space.

For these reasons, post lights work best in wide open spaces rather than tightly walled boundaries. Try positioning them on top of a wall at either side of the entrance, set on bends to make obstacles visible, including trees, walls, boulders or outdoor seats, or blend into garden shrubs and rockery for a decorative appearance.

Hanging decorative lights

If the entrance walkway is sheltered by tree branches, a canopy, or a pergola, hanging light fittings are a practical yet attractive solution, creating a glowing pool of light on the pathway or patio area below, and adding a dramatic appearance to the area. Similarly, a string of fairy lights, lanterns, or festoons hung above or along the length of a driveway or entrance can create a magical effect.

Wall-mounted motion-sensor lights

Wall-mounted lights with motion sensors can serve as a convenient driveway and pathway lighting solution, particularly when space on the ground is limited. These lights are generally most suitable within car parks and entrance ways. They will automatically turn on as a visitor approaches, distributing light only when it is needed before automatically turning off afterwards – conserving energy and keeping unnecessary illumination to a minimum.

Choosing the right light source for your premises

Solar driveway lighting

Since solar lights draw their energy from the sunlight, they don’t require an electrical supply to operate, which removes any running costs. And because solar lights don't need to be plugged into a mains source, they can be positioned anywhere, and without needing an electrician. While direct sunlight will provide the best source of energy, most solar powered lights will run efficiently even during overcast spells of weather, albeit to a slightly lesser degree. To learn more about getting the most out of solar lights in the winter, including where to position them, and the best lights to choose for your venue, read our helpful guide.

Electrical driveway lighting

Compared to solar lighting, electrical lighting offers far brighter illumination, and is typically more durable. Electric lights will also stay illuminated for as long as they’re switched on, while solar lights will require charging between use. However, electrical lighting fixtures generally need to be installed by a qualified electrician, which comes with additional costs.

Planning lights for your driveway entrance

When planning outdoor driveway and entrance lighting, it is essential to identify potential hazards beforehand. Fixtures should be set along the driveway wherever there are obstacles and obstructions including trees, fences, walls, boulders, dipped and raised land or changes of direction.

In addition, lighting can be used to illuminate ponds, statues, and plants, but be aware that some plants will not survive well in constant bright light so it may be necessary to point the beam away from the leaves to prevent unwanted damage.

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