Step Lighting: Discover How to Enhance the Safety & Beauty of Your Exterior

By Ava Brown, September 24, 2018

Illuminating our home’s exterior is usually something that ends up at the back of your minds while you’re too preoccupied with the state of your interior. And that’s can be a big mistake. The truth is, properly lighting your outdoor space is as important as lighting the inside, especially if there are any stairs or steps that can turn dangerous once the night rolls in. When done right, step lighting can allow you to safely navigate these tricky areas and enhance the beauty of your outdoor space. Let’s look at some of the best ways you can illuminate your outdoor steps.

step lighting

Tread/Recessed Lighting

This type of step lighting is vertically integrated into the stairs. As such, it’s barely visible and looks like part of the steps themselves. Step lighting provides a soft glow and is the perfect option if you want to add a romantic touch to your outdoor space. And remember, you don’t need to light every tread. If there are too many steps, just aim to create enough light to keep things safe. However, if the steps are particularly low and long, make sure to add lights that extend along each riser to ensure that an unexpected step doesn’t trip you or your guests.

Down Lighting

Not all step lighting needs to be directly mounted on the steps. Even downlights can count as step lighting as long as they are used to illuminate steps. To accomplish this, you can mount light fixtures on a wall or tree and direct them to shine on the staircase. This type of lighting floods a much wider area which allows for greater visibility. Because they shine downwards, there’s enough illumination to see what you’re doing, but it’s not harsh or shining in your face.

Path Lighting

Sometimes you cannot integrate lights into steps, and there also isn’t any wall or tree nearby to mount them. So, what can you do in that case? Easy, go for path lighting! While path lighting is designed to illuminate paths, it can be installed alongside the length of the steps. Most of these lights are mounted on posts which means they can be equally decorative during daylight hours.

Find the Perfect Balance

And finally, be careful not to overdo it with the lights. Ideally, you should illuminate your stairways and steps just enough to use them safely, but not too much that your outdoor space ends up looking like part of the Las Vegas Strip.