Creative pathway lighting boosts your home's security and its curb appeal
Since the days when 18th-century blacksmiths welded lanterns onto fence railings, outdoor lighting has become an art. Its tools, inspired by the world of theater, include uplights, spots, halo-throwing globes, and even solar-powered torches. Whether lining the edges of pathways, illuminating steps, or brightening entries, landscape fixtures add security as they impart style. Some, like the multicolored glass orbs, graceful bronze pillars, and slender copper lanterns on these pages, lend drama to a garden even when they're turned off. Trust us—with footlights like these to set the stage, any house can have star quality.
A favorite with This Old House staff for its whimsical antique look, this cast-brass branch and canary with a bronze finish should attract neighborly admirers, too.
23 inches high, $297; hinkleylighting.com
Economize with this tall copper area light, since a few will cover a lot of ground. The angled stem and broad shade cast light as far as 16 feet away. 27 inches high with a 9-inch-diameter shade, $164; nightscaping.com
This solar-powered steel torch with a copper finish spreads its beam 360 degrees, good for simultaneously brightening a walkway and a flower bed. 14 1/4 inches high with a 6½-inch-diameter shade, $50 for six; brinkmann.net
Spotlights resembling the big ones on movie sets add visual interest as well as functionality. An adjustable elbow
on the base lets you illuminate steps, driveways, trees, or architectural features. Square, 5½ inches wide by 4 inches high, $237; cylindrical, 7 inches, $177; hinkleylighting.com
Subtlety not your style? These 20-watt, blown-glass orbs make a bold statement, day or night. The wired stems adjust up to 36 inches, so they can sit close to the ground like extraterrestrial eggs or appear to hover beside a pathway or pond. Sphere and egg, both 8 inches in diameter, $395 and $420; nightorbs.com
Individually, these dainty solar wands aren't bright enough to light a walkway. But planted together, a row of them can guide you in the dark. Best of all, they need no wiring. Just stick them in the ground, and enjoy the view. Fully charged, the LED bulbs glow for 6 to 8 hours. Green sphere, 35 inches high, $45; red ball and yellow flower, adjustable from 42 to 60 inches high, $40 to $45; allsopgarden.com