Driveway lights are useful outside any home, if only to avoid scraping the car against low-lying walls or crunching over an abandoned toy. This modest aim usually requires only a few lights, but a larger property set back in extensive grounds is a slightly different proposition. Read on to discover how to light a longer driveway, whether for a restaurant or hotel, a health club or spa, a sizeable residence, or a private hospital.
Entrances don’t have to be grandiose, but it is useful to have one or two lights at the start of a long driveway or an opening in a wall. The traditionally styled Alex Post Lantern suits this purpose. Alternatively, a pair of pedestal lights can be positioned on top of a wall at either side of an entrance.
Once your visitor has negotiated the outer entrance, a safe and easy approach is desirable to the building itself. Lights should be placed on bends and make obstacles visible, including trees, walls, boulders or outdoor seats.
A post light such as the Searchlight Pagoda can be used to line a driveway. Its louvred design combats 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 the recharging process is hastened by direct sunlight. One of the great advantages of solar lighting is ease of installation, including the ability to site them almost anywhere without needing an electrician.
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 is perfect for lighting a rockery or a distinctive tree or shrub. It should be thoughtfully positioned so as not to dazzle drivers. With an IP68 rating, the Arigo is especially useful for lighting water features.
Front of house
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 Hibria LED Ground Light may suit. This hardwearing ground light can be walked over, driven over, submerged in shallow water, and provides upward lighting without glare. It’s a modern lighting solution, but discreet and practical.
Out of the car
Having exited the car, steps lead up towards the entrance of the building. Perhaps these steps are bordered by two Coach Pedestal Lanterns. These rainproof luminaires use polycarbonate diffusers for resistance to vandalism or accidental shattering.
As the steps are climbed, Norfolk Post Lanterns stand at each landing to ensure good visibility. The lanterns happen to show off the colourful shrubbery at each side as well as allowing safe passage.
The front of the building is cosily lit with an attractive pair of Searchlight Trapani Black Half Lanterns to frame the doorway. A clear-glassed lantern such as the Trapani is ideal for showing off decorative filament bulbs, which do an excellent job in creating mood. Regular bulbs can be used if a stronger, more practical light is required.
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 designed for effect rather than show. Thus, you will be able to install ground lights or decking lights without detracting from the character of the building. The development of LED technology has enabled 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 visualize it, regardless of artistic ability.
This article has drawn from several lighting ranges, but you may prefer sticking to one for effortless continuity. The popular Elstead Norfolk or Searchlight Alex ranges provide a choice of products in a traditional style. For contemporary settings, Elstead’s Glenbeigh range provides an answer.
If you live close to the coast, driveway lights made of copper or galvanised steel are suitable. Polycarbonate is another possibility, where practicality is the main concern. The Nordlux Blokhus range is made with non-lacquered copper, which naturally resists salt corrosion by oxidising over time and forming a verdigris patina.
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.