As we’ve discussed often in this space, safety is one of the many benefits provided by landscape lighting. When we talk about the safety benefits of landscape lighting, we’re usually referring to the crime-reducing potential of outdoor lighting.
But there’s another side to the ‘safety’ aspect of landscape lighting: the reduction of slip, trip, and fall accidents. After all, it’s pretty obvious that the ability to better and more clearly see where you’re going will reduce the risks of accidents. And nowhere is the payoff of good lighting more important than on outdoor stair steps.
The National Safety Council confirms that stairs cause many of the accidental falls in homes, sending millions of people to hospital emergency rooms each year. And one of the leading causes of falls? Inadequate lighting.
Here are some of the better options for keeping your outdoor stair steps fashionably well lit.
Sidelights: One option for lighting outdoor steps is to use sidelights. Sidelights are mounted in walls or banister railings adjacent to the steps, and are designed to cast an even glow across the width of the steps.
Riser Lights: Stair step lights are often mounted within the risers of the stairs. With this form of lighting, the light is embedded within the vertical face of a step, with the light aimed upon the horizontal face of the previous step.
Riser lights might consist of a single bulb embedded within the vertical face of a step, or multiple bulbs embedded into one step, depending upon the width of the steps.
Bannister Lights: Not all outdoor steps are equipped with banisters. But when a banister is present, it offers many additional options for illuminating stairways, including:
Cap lights: Lights are incorporated into the cap of the banister, providing a consistent and even glow along the entire width of the steps
Post lights: A downward-focused light is attached to some or all of the supporting vertical posts of a banister railing
Rope lights: A particularly decorative form of banister lighting involves incorporating a string of rope lights along the length of the banister
Floodlights: Completely illuminating a stairway with a series of floodlights replaces subtlety with a dramatic statement – and eliminates any possibility of an accident-causing murky zone.
Color Creativity: Stair lighting doesn’t have to consist of only boring and bland white lights. There’s no reason you can’t incorporate colors that will compliment and enhance your overall landscape lighting theme. Just be careful that the colors you choose provide adequate illumination of each stair step.
Particularly popular colors for outdoor stair step lighting include red, amber, and blue.
A Perfect Blend Of Aesthetics and Practicality
Landscape lighting is about enhancing the outdoor beauty of a property. It’s about transforming a boring black hole into an elegant, attractive nightscape.
But though the aesthetics are the key motivation behind most landscape lighting installation projects, the safety factors are also important. That’s why the installation of landscape lighting is booming in popularity among homeowners; it offers a perfect blending of aesthetic beauty and practical, safety-enhancing benefits.