Outdoor step lighting serves one main purpose in your home, to keep you and anyone else who happens to be using your steps safe from trips and falls during the night. But just because the lights serve this mundane purpose doesn’t mean that they have to be equally boring. Depending on what look you want to achieve, step lighting can be unobtrusive or decorative or just entirely functional. There are many different types of deck lighting features and designs out on the market, it is up to you to decide what is best for your home.
When you’re designing your outdoor landscape lighting, step lighting is probably not the biggest highlight that you are worried about, but it still carries an important function nonetheless, so you should still put some thought into installing them. Try to look at your steps and plan out the traffic pattern that will most likely be used. This is especially true on wide staircases. Also keep in mind the general theme that you are using in all of your garden lights and try to keep this theme in your stair lighting as well. Generally, your stair lights should eliminate all of the shadows on the steps and provide a lot of clear light so that people can see while navigating around your steps. Depending on the layout of your property, there are two different ways to achieve this.
The first way to light up your steps is by downlighting. The most effective downlighting is going to be outdoor flood lights centered right above the steps in a fixture hidden in a tree or roof. However, the lights can also be mounted on a pole near the steps, on the railing of the stairs themselves, or even on a nearby wall. No matter how you decide to install your step lights outdoor, keep in mind that the higher up the light is mounted the more steps you can light at one time, but the softer the light will become. The goal is to balance these two competing aspects to create the right look and feel.
The second option for installing outdoor stair lighting is by using recessed lights. Recessed lights are fixtures that are installed into the sidewalls of your steps. These are a little bit more work to install, but they are also much less noticeable and create a much more subtle light that is usually only taken note of when you need it. Depending on the light you are using elsewhere in your yard, this might be the prefect touch. Just don’t install the lights on opposite sides of wide staircases because this can create dark areas between the lights on the steps.
Make sure that whatever outdoor step lights that you don’t place the lights too close together. This could create too much light on your staircase and actually draw lots of attention to them instead of to more interesting areas of your property. And finally, try to choosing lighting fixtures that come with a lamp shield. The lamp shields will help prevent people at the bottom of the steps that look up from being blinded by the lights.
Installing step lighting isn’t a particularly exciting affair, but it is very important. It will help prevent trips and falls and is an integral part of any outdoor lighting plan.