"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
Home Page
About Us
Fireplace/Wood Stove
Heating and Cooling
Windows and Doors
Pathway lights. Walkway lights. Solar paver lights
120-Volt circuit wiring
Low voltage pathway lighting systems need a transformer which can be plugged into any outdoor and GFCI protected receptacle or outlet box. 120-Volt wiring must be directly hooked-up to the main hydro or distribution panel. For long walkways a heavier wire is required to compensate for "cable loss" which is the amount of electricity lost between one end of the wire and the other end. Undersized wires will result in dim or dimmer lights located at the end of the driveway compared to those placed closer to the house.
Using regular sized wires for long runs may be cheaper at the time of installation but it will cost you more in the long run because you will pay for the lost electricity. To make it easier to understand, think of your garden hose. Leaks will limit the outflow at the end of the hose but you will still be paying for the total amount, used and lost, as shown by the water meter.
On and off functions can be controlled by an inside switch, timer or photoelectric sensor attached to the light fixture.

Pathway and Walkway Lighting

Need more information?
Use our search box
Pathway lights. Walkway lights. Solar paver lights
Path lighting systems are a nice way to showcase your home as well as for guiding visitors along the walkway after the sun has set. Path lights come in a wide variety of styles, shapes and colours.
Things to avoid
- Lights that shine into visitors eyes.
- Placing the light fixtures too close together which can create a runway effect especially if the pathway is straight.
- Lighting should be subtle but effective and not too bright and overpowering.
Your options
Effective walkway lighting systems can be provided by in line power (120 volt), low voltage or solar power. These systems are basically the same as for driveway lighting.
Solar paver light
The recessed lights are installed in the border or edging of interlocking stone walkways, driveways and patios. They are also highly effective, and potential life savers, if placed along the edge of swimming pools. Just like all other solar lights they only work well if exposed to lots of sunlight.
Solar paver lights are:
- Easy to install
- Strong enough to walk on or, for driveways, to drive over.
- Scratch resistant
- Fully weather resistant
- Available in different colours and shapes (rectangle, triangle, square and round).
All outside receptacles should be GFCI protected either at the outlet or at the main electrical distribution panel. This is not a DIY project, call a certified electrician to do it for you.

Properly spaced solar paver lights

Back to Index Outdoors
Back to Index Electrical