You are one of a kind… shouldn’t your space be, too? Fully customizable path lights on sale now.

Daytime elegance meets nighttime mystery, brought to you by your Kansas City low-voltage experts:

The Natural Accents Outdoor Lighting Team!


Why Use Path Lighting?

There are three main reasons to light your paths:

  • Safety. To provide enough light for your family and friends to safely navigate your property at night without tripping or falling.

  • Security. To provide enough light on these paths and areas so you can see and identify people who approach your house.

  • Beauty. A well-lit landscape evokes a sense of beauty, tranquility, and awe.

What About Size?

Custom path lights can come in all sizes and shapes. Some have larger or smaller hats, others are shorter or taller. These size and shape differences affect the performance and suitability of various applications.

A Few Simple Guidelines

  • Larger hats and taller fixtures tend to have wider beam spreads.
  • Smaller hats look best along narrow paths.

  • Shorter fixtures can be used for any sized path or garden bed. Just be careful along walkways since they can be tripping hazards.

  • Taller fixtures are good in garden beds and short bushes. Consider adding the optional fixed or telescopic extensions if the fixture might need to go higher as vegetation grows.

How Many Path Lights Are Needed?

Two approaches – continuous illumination and pools of light.

  • Continuous illumination: This describes a pattern where the light from one fixture overlaps the light from another fixture. This is the best approach when your path is uneven, or there is no ambient light present, or if elderly people will be using the path.
  • Pools of light: These are achieved when you space the fixtures farther apart. This allows you to use fewer fixtures and can result in very beautiful illumination. But you should only use this approach if there is some ambient light present, and if the path has a fairly even surface, and use by the elderly is not a concern.

Since the diameter of the beam (beam spread) differs for each fixture, you will need to refer to spacing suggestions on the fixture’s web page (under the details tab).

Now that you know the spacing between each fixture and the length of your path, you can calculate the number of fixtures needed. But there’s one more consideration.

The first and last path lights should be positioned very near the beginning and end of the path. That means half of each fixture’s light will extend past the path itself for a distance of one-half the beam spread – or a total of one extra beam spread length.

Example: Your path is 50 ft. long, and you’ve selected the Max Spread Path Light (beam spread of 16 ft.). Before you calculate, add 16 ft. since the first and last fixtures will sit at the beginning and end of the path. Divide the 66 ft. path length by the 16 ft. beam spread to equal 4.125 fixtures – round up to 5 fixtures.

Useful Lighting Terms

While landscape lighting design is largely intuitive, there are a few useful terms to describe what you see.

  • Ambient Light: This refers to light already present in the nighttime landscape. Sources include street lights, lights from the interior of the house, sky glow (from artificial lights reflecting from clouds and mist), moonlight, and starlight. If you have ambient light that is always present (such as from streetlights), then you may be able to use fewer path lights – spaced farther apart.n
  • Beam Spread: This describes the diameter of the useful illuminated area (in feet) beneath a path light. Since the light may have soft or hard edges (depending on the fixture type), the dimensions are approximations. Beam spreads are found on product web pages under the details tab. Keep in mind that beam spread increases when stem extensions are used. Also, note that for some specialty fixtures, beam spreads are not published since their light distribution may be too complex for that measurement.

  • Direct Glare: This describes light from a bulb, lamp, or LED array that projects directly into the eye. Such light detracts from the lighting design and can cause visual discomfort and may partially obscure vision. Path lights typically use shades or shields to protect visitors and occupants from direct glare.

All on One Side or Staggered?

It almost always looks better to light a path from both sides with the fixtures set in a staggered or zigzag fashion.

When the fixtures are staggered in this way, be sure to adjust your calculations of how many fixtures you need. If the path is very wide, then, instead of using the path length to determine the number, use the length of the zig-zag line from fixture to fixture.

Call or text today to find out more about our custom path light specials! 816-407-1300.