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25 of the best Outdoor Path Lighting Ideas

Outdoor lighting is essential for creating dynamic outdoor spaces that are both beautiful and practical. Outdoor path lighting in particular is highly important for defining key walkways, providing safety, and establishing the style of your home's exterior. There are many different paths and walkways to illuminate, which is why we have compiled 25 of the best outdoor path lighting ideas and guidelines for illuminating your home's walkways.

Consistent Style

When pairing outdoor path lights with nearby wall lights, sconces, and other fixtures, it is vital to have them convey a similar style. Although the wall light posted above the door is cylindrical while the landscape lights are more rigid, all the fixtures work thanks to similar black finishes and the same warm lighting. Considering these two areas as unifying factors will help you to create a consistent, cohesive outdoor style.

Marching Architecture

Lights are practical additions to outdoor spaces, but they can also reinforce existing styles through their materials, finishes, and overall aesthetics. If your home's exterior uses clean-cut lights and linear patterns, consider using similar outdoor wall lights, step lights, or landscape lighting to complement those features. Tying lights into the rest of the design scheme is a masterful way to create a cohesive style.

Modern Aesthetics

Each interior design style has its own principles used in their designs. If you are looking to create a modern aesthetic with your outdoor lights, focus on using clean-cut lights with straight lines and minimal detailing. In general, modern lights are designed for practicality before style, so they will use very little ornamentation to fit into minimalist styles that are sleek and stylish.

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A Step in the Right Direction

One unique way to illuminate outdoor staircases is to place the lights within the risers themselves. This works best in open staircases like the one pictured here, since they can be placed as near or as far from the stairs as they need to be. This method is ideal for creating ambiance for woodsy staircases and modern ones alike.

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Contemporary Styling

Outdoor path lights and landscape lights take many forms with different materials, finishes, and designs. Artemide's Reeds Outdoor Floor Lamp uses high performance monochromatic LED modules and then diffuse the light through PMMA rods with different heights to mimic the appearance of reeds. These artistically designed modern lights can highlight a path, nearby architecture, plants, or other areas outside the front of your home.

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Simple Solutions

Pier lights can be placed directly atop existing architecture or posts to create ambient and general lighting. In this case, the Hammerton Studio Beacon Outdoor Light is naturally stationed on the stone wall near the stairs to signal a change in elevation and highlight the nearby landscaping. Simple lighting solutions that use existing architecture or mountings can convey high style even with their easy installation and application.

Thinking Outside The Box

Wall lights are frequently used in outdoor seating areas or on the home's exterior, but they can be used as practical stair lights as well. When using any sort of lighting near stairs, it is vital to direct light down and out to ensure that the step is being highlighted. Therefore, the light will often rest a few inches above the stair to spread the light over a wider area and create a safe set of stairs.

Customize Your Home

Many outdoor lighting fixtures have different options with sizes, finishes, and lighting directions. These wall sconces from Kuzco Lighting are available in three different finishes and can cast light in one or two directions. With that in mind, if you see a light that you like but there's an element holding you back, look at the light's description and customization options to see what solutions are present. If that fails, shopping from that specific designer may still lead you to your ideal outdoor lights.

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Flexible Design

Portable lights are ideally suited to decorate social spaces as well as nearby landscaping. Since they are not permanent fixtures, they can easily be moved to brighten different areas depending on the day. Paths, landscaping, decks, tables, and other outdoor areas can all benefit from these diverse, versatile lights.


Lights can be wonderful accents and statement pieces, but they can also hide in the background if that is your taste. Camouflage outdoor lights like these ones from Flos Lighting come in numerous colors, sizes, and lighting temperatures to help you hide the light in existing architecture during the day and create path lighting at night.

Unconventional Placement

Continuing with the theme of unique design, outdoor wall lights do not have to be placed perfectly in line with one another or in the same manner to create a consistent style. In fact, using the same light in one or two different scenarios/settings is a fantastic way to diversify your style while retaining a cohesive aesthetic and practical lighting.

Unconventional Design

Permanently mounted or fixed lights are great for some homes, but others can use portable lights and outdoor floor lamps to naturally highlight paths and landscaping. When using floor lamps or other outdoor lights in unconventional ways, it is vital to consider its wet/damp rating and how the light is secured to ensure it will not be knocked over and damaged by wind and rain.

Wonderful Wall Sconces

Wall sconces can direct light in a variety of directions to create their own tones and aesthetics. The direction of these lights also impacts nearby areas like paths and stairs and can help define those spaces. Even if the lights are not directly above the stairs and simply highlight the building by the path, they can create practical lighting for your outdoor pathways.

Uplighting and Downlighting

Downlighting is frequently used for paths, porches, and other walking areas to create safe and well-defined paths. To complement those downlights, consider using uplighting to highlight the building's architecture, nearby shrubs, and other exterior details. Different lighting directions and castings is ideal for creating dynamic exteriors and highlighting numerous design elements.

Outdoor Floor Lamps

Outdoor floor lamps can also highlight paths and the nearby building as long as they are approved for damp/wet areas and have a proper source of power. Lights like these can be set on ground, on a small table, or on a step to create different style statements and aesthetics.

Unique Stylings

Path lights do not have to be mounted on walls, posts, or piers to be effective. Indoor/outdoor floor lamps that are equipped to handle outdoor elements can be placed on the corners of porches or decks to highlight the change in elevation and the nearby pathway. Even if you do have walls nearby that you can mount lights on, there are no set rules that say you must place lights here. With that in mind, you can widen your search for your ideal outdoor lights.

Artistic Lighting

Lights should be chosen because they practically suit your space, but that does not mean that lights have to be simple or boring. Artistic fixtures like the Revel Outdoor Path Light from Visual Comfort Modern uses horizontal light slots in its metallic surface to create symmetrical light distribution and unique shadows. Consider the lighting fixture and how light is cast in order to create an artistic statement with your outdoor lights.


Creativity abounds with outdoor lighting fixtures in their designs, colors, and placement. Portable table lamps like these can be used intermittently to create a dramatic wooded area outside your home or they can be used to define a warm sidewalk. In any case, you have the freedom to use as many or as few lights as you please and set them out to match your desired tone.


When using certain post and pier lights, you will need to consider how the lights are powered and how electricity runs to the lights. Consider avenues like low voltage landscape lighting, line voltage lighting, and other power sources to determine how you will give power to the lights and create your ideal lighting scheme.

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Safe Ambiance

Pathways should be well distinguished from nearby areas to create a definitive, safe walkway. However, this does not mean that the lights have to be extremely bright. Instead, look at lights that cast their rays over nearby areas to highlight a change in texture and any edging at the sides of the path. Even small lights like Flos's Bellhop Outdoor Bollard Lights can create safe walkways without disrupting the tone of the space.


Placing lights perfectly in line with one another is a great way to create a consistent style, but staggering the lights on each side of the path can make a more modern statement and create a natural pathway. Even with lights staggered, the lights can create a safe and ambient path through their lighting direction and brightness.

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Nearby Lighting

The lights placed directly along the path or in the set of stairs are essential for defining walkways, but they are not the only lights that impact the paths. Nearby wall sconces, pendant lights, or outdoor chandeliers also play a key role in illuminating pathways with their own lighting brightness and direction. With that in mind, when choosing outdoor path lighting, it is essential to consider all the lights and how they may impact the path's definition.

Low Voltage, Big Impact

Low voltage step lights and other outdoor lights are ideal for homes that use a lot of energy elsewhere or use many lights. In this scenario, the home uses small low voltage step lights on each step and spaces them out to have at least 16 lights on the staircases. Whether you use this many lights or just a handful of lights, using low voltage LED lights is a great way to be energy efficient and practical.

Beautiful Bollard Lights

Bollard lights are lights fixed on posts or poles, and they are typically used for landscape lighting or path lighting. The Flos Caule Outdoor 120V Bollard Lights used here masterfully display how just a few intentionally placed, directed bollard lights can reinforce your aesthetic and provide essential outdoor lighting. Bollard lights take many forms and direct light in different ways, so these lights are frequently used for general or specific outdoor lighting.

Dark Sky Approved

Dark sky lighting includes fixtures that do not cast light in an upward direction at all. These fixtures are dark sky approved because of the lighting direction and the fact that their color temperature is 3000k or below. If you want to highlight the sky and prevent light pollution, dark sky approved outdoor lights may be ideal for you and your home.

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Outdoor walkways can fit into modern, traditional, or other aesthetics depending on the path itself. However, the lighting fixtures and lighting types paired with these paths also play a large part in defining the style and creating a safe space. With the 25 outdoor walkway ideas and guidelines listed above, you can now choose fixtures ideally suited for your paths and personal aesthetic.


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