For city authorities and councils, as well as private homeowners or holiday park managers, creating inviting, well lit, pathways is a simple yet significant way to make people feel safer. In this guide to pathway lighting, we explain where pathway lighting can be applied, why it is important, discuss popular pathway lighting ideas and explore eco-friendly lighting solutions.

Pathway lighting applications

Pathway lighting can be applied to any path, public or private, used by people day and night. Paths used by pedestrians or cyclists are commonly lit up for use in dark hours across cities, however pathway lighting also suits private applications.

Common pathways with lighting:

  • – Cycle paths
  • – Footpaths
  • – Countryside paths
  • – Canal paths
  • – Caravan paths
  • – Private paths
  • – Garden paths

Pathway lighting doesn’t just have to be practical, for example guiding caravan park visitors through the site if they’ve never been there before, but pretty too. Pathway lighting is often used in private gardens to create aesthetically pleasing outdoor areas.

Pathway lighting importance

Pathway lighting is important for a host of significant reasons. Without adequate lighting, pathways may seem unsafe, intimidating or daunting for pedestrians and cyclists.


Security is one of the most important reasons for pathway lighting. By illuminating pathways during dark hours, people will feel safer, and the chance of crime may be reduced. Visibility and illumination give people peace of mind as they know they can see any suspicious activity and others will be able to as well. This can also deter criminals who do not want to be seen.

It is a sad fact that muggings and more serious crimes can and do take place within cities and populated areas. Pathway lighting can go a long way in helping residents feel safer and more visible during dark hours.


Pathway lighting helps to illuminate risks for pedestrians and cyclists, showing where the path is headed and indicating changes or possible hazards that could be dangerous. For example, canal paths with improper lighting could result in accidents as these paths tend to be narrow and possibly slippery with unclear edges. Even pronounced tree roots or potholes can be serious hazards if not seen by pedestrians, especially to older people.


Aided by pathway lighting, path users have a better idea of where the pathway is leading and winding. This is especially useful for cyclists who move at faster speeds and may have to quickly react to other path users, turns and hazards – read our tips for keeping safe when cycling.

Guidance is also critical for showing the way to people who have not been somewhere before and could feel lost or confused without proper guidance. Pathway lighting, therefore, is often employed for private functions, gardens or even holiday parks to map out where people should go.


A pathway instantly looks more inviting and safer if lit up well. A combination of the above reasons is often why councils and authorities install pathway lighting, to make them more inviting and encourage residents to use pathways even in dark hours. Additionally, lining paths with lighting is a modern and attractive style used in public city centres and private gardens alike to stylishly illuminate areas.

Pathway lighting ideas

Ground lights

Ground light units are stylish, minimalistic and effective at highlighting the direction of a path. Simple and unobstructive to install, ground light units can be quickly placed into shallow holes in the ground creating an even finish, flush to the ground. The cost effectiveness, self-sustaining nature, and simple installation make ground lights a big hit with councils and city authorities looking to install a large amount of lighting without disrupting infrastructure and fulfilling big costs.

Our pioneering Solareye80 solar powered ground lighting units are small but effective outdoor lights powered by renewable solar energy. With the highest IP rating ensuring resistance to dirt and water ingress, a battery life of over 8 years, and a skid-resistant finish, our Solareye80 lights are the go-to maintenance-free ground lighting solution. There are endless benefits to outdoor solar lighting, all perfectly suited to pathway lighting.

See our solar powered ground lighting in action and read reviews from customers by viewing our library of case studies.


Floodlights or streetlights are some the most effective illuminators in terms of quantity and brightness of light emitted. The installation of floodlights/streetlights is more disruptive and mains connections are required to power the lighting, making them the most expensive outdoor light solution.


Bollards provide an ideal middle ground between taller streetlights and ground lights. Depending on the energy source for the light units within the bollard (solar vs mains power), the installation demands and maintenance needs may vary. The above-ground nature of bollards makes them an ideal option for establishing boundaries, such as in city centres whereby areas may be reserved for pedestrians only and entry prevented for vehicles.

Eco-friendly pathway lighting

There are various ways to ensure pathway lighting solutions are environmentally friendly – read our guide to eco-friendly lighting to find out more.

Within populated areas such as towns and cities, light pollution is created by the excessive use of artificial lights in a night-time environment. Light pollution has many negative effects on the atmosphere as well as animals, who may experience difficulties foraging, confused biological clocks, deviation from migration routes, avoidance of areas and much more.

To combat these negative consequences of artificial lights, outdoor lighting can be altered to reduce light spill. Our innovative Bat Hat product, for example, reduces the upwards light spillage of our solar powered light unit by around 98%, offering the same great illumination without disrupting bats as they fly above. Find out more about our Bat Hat!

See more: Light pollution – what is it and how can we reduce it?

The power source of pathway lighting should also be considered; energy from renewable sources is deemed eco-friendly. Solar powered lighting is an eco-friendly solution that preserves limited fossil fuels and offsets the negative emissions. In addition to the environmental benefits, solar powered outdoor lights are self-sustaining and do not need connections so can be quickly installed then left for years.

Solar powered pathway lighting with Solareye

For effective, proven and trusted solar powered outdoor lighting suitable for cities, countryside and private applications, get in touch with Solareye. Working with councils, local authorities, and businesses across the world, our Solareye80 lights, along with our other products, illuminate pathways and keep people safe.