Outdoor walkway lighting options for winter

Yahoo Contributor Network

Winter nightfall comes early when you live in the Northern United States. The combination of early darkness and icy weather means that walking outdoors is often treacherous. One of the ways you can make the walkways around your house a little less dangerous is with strategically-placed lighting. HEre are some options:

Solar lights

One of the more affordable lighting options are solar path lamps that can be pushed into the ground where ever a little light is needed. Themed solar lights can be found as cheaply as $1 and are a thrifty solution for short term lighting needs. For longer lasting path lamps, hardware stores and garden centers carry high quality lamps which cost between $3-15 per lamp.

Battery-operated options

While solar path lights do a fair job of lighting up a walkway, there are times when a little more light is desirable. Wireless battery operated path lights are an excellent alternative since they cast light over a larger area. Battery operated lights have 12 times the power of a solar path lamp and can be activated with either a motion sensor or by remote. These can be attached to a stake and pushed into the ground or wall mounted alongside your house or garage.

Twinkle lights

For something a little more decorative, holiday twinkle lights can be used to follow a fence line or outline a path. These lights are also great for lighting up overhead obstructions such as a low hanging tree branch or a clothes line. Small, electric twinkle lights start at $5 for a 100 bulb strand. Novelty lamps in the shapes of Christmas trees and other holiday images start at $25 for a 10 light set. Both styles of lamps are widely available and can be plugged into any household outlet.

Bollard lamps

If you have something more substantial in mind for walkway lighting, a bollard-style lamp is an ideal solution. Bollard lights are short, ground-mounted post like lamps that provide direct lighting to a walkway. Until recently, bollard lamps had to be hardwired into an existing electrical system which added significantly to the cost of installation. These days, solar bollards are available for residential use and are comparably priced to the electric versions. Both types of bollards start as low as $150 with the average price of both ranging from $250-$400. Bollard lamps are bolted directly into a walkway and will illuminate distances up to 12 feet away.

New advances in outdoor lighting means that homeowners no longer have to hire a skilled electrician to install walkway lighting. With solar or battery operated path lamps and bollards, lighting up a dark walkway is an easy do-it-yourself task that can be completed in minutes.

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