Choosing Landscape Lighting for Steps

Considerations in Landscape Lighting for Steps

If you are only choosing one kind of landscape lighting for your property, landscape lighting for steps may be the one to choose. Landscape lighting for steps is important for safety as well as aesthetics.

If you have pathway lighting and steps in the path, lighting the steps is a very logical decision. Here's what you need to know about choosing landscape lighting for steps and why you may want to consider this kind of lighting.

Why Choose Landscape Lighting for Steps?

Landscape lighting for steps is one of the most important aspects of landscape lighting for you to consider. If you aren't getting any other kind of landscape lighting, you should probably still consider getting landscape lighting for steps. Why? Because step lighting is an important safety consideration, as well as looking great. Here are some key reasons why landscape lighting for steps is a good idea:

American National Sprinkler & Lighting - landscape lighting for steps in the front of a home.

Landscape Lighting for Steps Makes Your Property Safer at Night

Navigating your landscape at night comes with some built-in challenges, and steps can be some of the most difficult. It can be very hard to see the different heights in the dark. Even if there is enough ambient light to navigate paths with no problem, navigating steps can be a lot more challenging.

Steps can be especially dangerous at night for children and the elderly. Kids have a tendency to run around even when they can’t quite see where they’re going. Many kids especially enjoy running around at night.

It can be very easy for children to forget where steps are or not notice them in the dark. This, combined with an innate clumsiness as children are learning how to use their body effectively, can result in falls very easily.

Unlit steps can also be very dangerous for the elderly. The combination of often poor eyesight and fragility can make steps a perilous hazard.

Even if there are no children or elderly people in your life who are likely to be walking or running around your property in the evening, it's a very good idea to make sure that steps are safely lit. Anyone can take a nasty fall on steps that are poorly lit, especially in the rainy or winter seasons.

Continue Path Lighting Up the Steps

Path lighting is one of the most popular landscape lighting options because it looks great and is very practical. Lighting paths on your property makes it much safer and easier to do simple tasks around the house like taking out the garbage. It also encourages pleasant nighttime strolls. Furthermore, path lighting makes your home look wonderful from the street.

If you have path lighting, it makes good sense to continue it into step lights. Path lighting that integrates fluidly into step lighting creates a charming look. It is important that path lighting is well-coordinated with step lighting. Very often, the same lighting that works well for the path does not accomplish your goals for the steps. Ideally, a quality landscape lighting services company will install coordinated but differing lighting for the path and steps that work perfectly together.

Landscape Lighting for Steps Illuminates Foliage and Flower Beds

Typically, steps are a logical place for planting flowers or low plants. Steps represent a change in height that is often a natural location for a plant bed. Plants may also be necessary to keep soil in place where there is a change in elevation.

Landscape lighting for steps doesn't just have to illuminate the steps themselves. It can also cast light on plants and flowers around the steps. This kind of dual purpose lighting accomplishes two goals: safe lighting for steps to help people navigate around your property and beautiful illumination for plants and flowers.

How to Create Beautiful Landscape Lighting for Steps

At first glance, lighting up your steps may seem very straightforward. You may assume that you can run out to your local garden center or big-box store and install a couple of light fixtures along the steps to get the job done.

However, installing great landscape lighting for steps isn't as simple as you might assume. Here are a few things to keep in mind when installing this kind of lighting:

Safety First

There are two elements to consider when it comes to safety in step lighting: lighting the steps sufficiently to avoid a tripping hazard and avoiding a fire or electrocution risk. Even when installing low voltage outdoor step lights, there are risks to consider.

Lighting for steps can be particularly risky because this is an area where lights can easily be stepped on or kicked. Furthermore, there are often planting arrangements around steps which can be a risk if they need to be frequently replanted or trimmed.

It can be difficult for the homeowner to consider all of the potential risks that can go along with landscape lighting for steps. By contrast, a quality lighting company knows exactly what potential dangers to look for and how to install lighting safely.

Tips for Creating an Attractive Effect

There is an almost endless array of considerations when creating safe and attractive step lighting effects. However, here are a few of the main considerations which you may not have thought of:

  • Don't light both sides of each step. It may be very natural for you to assume that you should place lights on both sides of each step. In fact, this is not a very attractive way to do it and will create more light than is necessary. Instead, lights should be alternated to create pools of light that the eye can follow
  • Consider moonlighting. Lights don’t need to go directly on the step or very close to the step in order to create the desired effect and provide sufficient light for safety. You have another great option when lighting steps. Consider having the light shine down from trees to replicate the effect of moonlight gently falling, apparently by chance, right on the steps.
  • Use walls or railing. If there are walls or railings along the steps, they can be used very successfully to light the steps. Lighting fixtures can be used as a decorative effect on walls or railing or they can be hidden artfully within the wall itself or among the rails. This kind of lighting can be more complicated than other options since it requires drilling into the wall or rail, but the effect can be very attractive.
  • Make steps float. Tread lighting, which is slim strip lights, can be installed under each step to wash the step with a warm light that can make it appear to float over the previous step. This is a charming look which many people find uniquely attractive. It can be used by itself or in conjunction with another lighting technique to create a custom look for your steps.

Install Landscape Lighting for Steps Yourself or Hire a Professional?

When you’re trying to choose the best outdoor step lights that you can, the question will naturally come up as to whether you want to install the lighting yourself or hire a professional. There are plenty of landscape lighting packages and individual step lights that you can buy at your local garden center, hardware store, or big box store. Are these kinds of light a good option for you, or should you hire professional lighting services?

If you consider yourself a handyman, installing your own lighting may seem like a good idea. After all, the instructions on lighting packages seem pretty straightforward. However, you may be disappointed with the results that you get if you install lighting yourself.

While there may seem to be a lot of options in the lighting that you can choose, in fact, most of these options really aren't very different from one another. There aren't nearly as many effects possible with do-it-yourself kits as a professional has access to.

When it comes time to install the lights, you may also find yourself limited. You may be amazed by just how much time you can spend trying to create the effect you're going for without actually getting it.

Issues like lights being dimmer at the end of the line than at the beginning or differences in color among the lights can ruin the look you tried to create with all of your hard work. Finally, installing step lights safely can be a bit difficult. This is not an area where you want to make a mistake and end up creating a tripping hazard or making it likely that a light will cause a fire or electrocution hazard.

Find the Best Landscape Lighting Services Near Me

If you’re looking for the highest quality landscape lighting for steps, it is best to hire a professional who knows what they're doing. American National Sprinkler & Lighting has been installing landscape lighting since the early 1980s.

We have the experience required to install lighting that fits your exact needs. We can light up your steps in a way that illuminates them for safety and creates a highly attractive effect.