Lighting Control & Design: Pathway Lighting

When you think of pathway lighting, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the small pagoda-shaped lights you typically see along the front walkway of a home. While this is the most common form of pathway lighting, there are many other important areas of a home that benefits from pathway lighting.

A well-designed lighting control system focuses not only on the aesthetics of the home but how you use your home as well. Start by thinking through your daily routine and the areas you walk between most frequently, particularly in the dark.

Not only does pathway lighting look great, but it’s incredibly convenient, conserves energy, and helps ensure the safety of you, your family, and your guests.

Here are a few things to think about when planning your pathway lighting:

  • Which areas on my property do I walk between most frequently (particularly at night)?
  • Should any of these lights come on automatically, or do I want only to control them manually?
  • From where do I want to be able to control the lights?

Modern lighting control systems can utilize scenes -- pre-programmed settings. Scenes can be deployed through the push of a button on a keypad, through a mobile app, or automatically based on a variety of factors including time of day, motion sensors, etc.  

Let’s talk about a few common pathways and how homeowners benefit from pathway lighting.

Outdoor Pathways

Outdoor pathways connect a destination outside the home to an exterior entryway. One example would be a row of lights leading from the driveway to the front door of your home. You may also have a path in your backyard that would benefit from pathway lighting -- for example, from your back door to a detached garage, workshop, or pool.

Another common pathway is from the garage to the kitchen. When your garage door opens, the lights in the garage and along the path come on automatically. Now you don’t have to worry about fumbling around in the dark with arms full of groceries!

Pathway lighting - lutron

Indoor Pathways

Now let’s talk about some of the less-commonly thought of, but equally important pathways in and around your home. Do you enjoy the occasional midnight snack? If you’re married, you may know the pain of trying to navigate from the bed to the kitchen in the middle of the night without disturbing your partner.

You wake up and have to wave your arms around in the dark, trying to find the door knob to let yourself out of the bedroom. You quietly close the door and are ready to head downstairs. You flip each light on as you go. Once you finally arrive at the kitchen and enjoy your snack, the lights are on all over your house! When you’re finished, you have to navigate your way back to the bedroom, turning each light off as you go. Making it through this obstacle course without waking everyone up, stubbing your toe, or falling down the stairs can be a tall order! All of this for a glass of milk?

Here’s the same scenario with pathway lighting. Your home technology partner can simply program a “midnight snack” scene into your lighting system. With the push of a button on a keypad on your nightstand (or through a mobile app), your entire pathway will be lit.

Or to avoid having to hit any buttons, overhead lights can be programmed to stay on at low 10% levels when you turn on your "goodnight" scene.

If you’d prefer not to have to do anything manually, you can utilize motion sensors! As you walk through the home, each light will come on automatically at a preset brightness level and will turn off on its own as you pass through. Now you can enjoy your midnight snack and head back to bed with no worries! The programming can even differentiate to turn on the lights at low levels at night as you walk through.

Experience is Everything

While pathway lighting helps to highlight the visual aesthetic of a home, it also improves the experience of living in it. If you’re building a new home and you’re considering smart home features such as automation or lighting control, it’s important to find a partner that is committed to designing a system that takes your family and how you will live in the home into account.

At Audio Advice, we have the most experienced team in the Carolinas and we partner with the best builders and architects!

If you are interested in learning more about lighting control and other home technology solutions, please contact us. We’d love to help make your next house a home!