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Here’s What’s New in Outdoor Path Lights

Path lights not only help guide you along an outdoor walkway, but can be used to highlight features of your home, garden or landscaping. Whether simple or elaborate, garden path lights can also help with safety and home security. Here's a look at what's new in outdoor path lights.

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Garden Path Lights: Solar or Low Voltage?

When it comes to garden path lights, two popular options are solar and low voltage. The main benefit of solar lights is that they are inexpensive. Low voltage garden path lights come in a variety of trendy styles and may be a good choice for those looking for a distinct look. Low-voltage garden path lights will cost you a bit more than solar but they don’t rely on the sun to work properly.

Photo: Courtesy of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Birmingham Blog

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Highlight Your Garden

With more people gardening, one trend in path lighting is to highlight all that hard work. This Minneapolis rose garden is illuminated with LED garden path lights. When looking for garden path lights to highlight a garden or flower bed, look for lights between 18 to 24 inches tall.

Photo: Courtesy of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives

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Bollard Lights

Trendy bollard lights are most often used along a path or walkway to direct people. These garden path lights from SLV Lighting are made with a type of steel coating that, when combined with weather conditions, creates a controlled rust layer on the surface which protects the fixture from further corrosion.

Photo: Courtesy of SLV Lighting

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Path outdoor lightsPakhnyushchy/Shutterstock

Stagger Lights

One trend to watch is the staggering of lights along a path. This will help you avoid the “runway look” and create a better sense of balance along the walkway.

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outdoor path lights on a wallTymonko Galyna/Shutterstock

Use Lights on a Wall or Fence

In the coming years, you’ll see more garden path lights installed in the side of a wall alongside a path. You can also attach lights to a fence for a similar look. Just make sure the lights are installed at a proper height for path lights—no more than 24 inches off the ground.

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LED Pavers

For an on-trend look, use LED pavers in your path or walkway. LED Pavers can also be used on driveways, in garages and on patios.

Photo: Courtesy of LED Pavers Blog

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Outdoor String Lightsfunkyteddy/Shutterstock

String Lights

Who says garden path lights must be on the ground? If you spend a lot of time on your deck or in the backyard, consider using popular string lights as path lights to instantly set the mood for fun. There are a variety of budget-friendly styles to choose from.

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Step Lighting

While flood lights can certainly light up your home’s exterior, try something a little more up-to-date and elegant with step lighting. Here, LED lights are used to light up the steps and stair posts for a more attractive entrance to your home.

Photo: Courtesy of Puopolo Electric

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outdoor path lights gardeny6uca/Shutterstock

Disguise Fixtures

If you don’t want your light fixtures noticeable during daylight hours, one trend is to disguise them. You can easily do this by placing some rocks or some colorful plants around the fixture, allowing it to still emit light during the evening. This also helps if your light is too bright and you need to cut down on brightness.

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brick path lightsProxima13/Shutterstock


Spacing is key when it comes to garden path lights and the trend here is less is more. Stick to a span of 10 to 15 feet between lights. This will help create just enough light to help guide the way along the path without going overboard.

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outdoor lighting Family Handyman


Solar lights are easy to install even for the DIY novice, while low-voltage lighting will need a low-voltage transformer and must be plugged into a GFCI outlet. If you’re unsure about doing electrical work yourself, contact a licensed electrician.

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.