Recessed driveway lighting is an excellent way to add some outdoor lights to your property, without investing in large, gaudy light posts that have to be constantly cleaned and mowed around. Extra lights create extra work when it comes time to do landscaping, so if you are able to implement recessed driveway lighting to your property, it’ll save a lot of hassle in the long run.
Of course, recessed driveway lights are easiest to install if you planned to put them in before actually paving your driveway in the first place. If not, you’ll probably have to do some rewiring – and though it’s not impossible, it isn’t always easy. At the very least, there are a number of types of recessed lights to choose from.
Type of Recessed Driveway Lighting
Recessed driveway lights can be divided into four different categories:
1) LED Lights
2) Smaller, Encapsulated Lighting Units
3) Medium, Encapsulated Lighting Units
4) Commercial Lighting Units
These lights are normally reserved for home and garden use, though they are gaining popularity for driveways. The problem is that they are quite small and provide little light points instead of larger, concentrated doses of light, so a lot of lights need to be used in order to make them effective.
On the plus side, they are the cheapest lighting options available, and typically each unit of lights includes the transformer. The best part of LEDs is that they’re maintenance-free and have an approximate lifespan of 20 years. They also don’t overheat, which makes them safe for children and pets.
LEDs are often supplied pre-fitted to your standard paving unit, though they can be fit to other units if asked. Again, the light provided by LEDs will not make them suitable for normal activities after dark, but if you’re only looking for an aesthetic touch to your driveway, they might be a good option.
Small Encapsulated Units
These lighting units are small enough to be slotted into individual paving units, but are also rather low-voltage. They typically have a cluster of LED lights in one unit, which provides a more concentrated dose of light than a single LED – this means you get all the bonuses that single LEDs provide, such as a long lifespan and no maintenance, but with the added feature of better lighting.
While these units are often pre-fitted to selected paving blocks, some suppliers have units that can be added to the edge of your driveway whether it’s brick, flag, or just edging that you want the lights in.
Medium Encapsulated Units
These units use traditional light bulbs inside of a weatherproof fitting, which creates a stronger, ambient pool of light. This means that they’re good for lighting up your entire driveway at night, if that’s why you’re installing recessed lights.
These units are especially useful if you have children who like to leave toys or bikes in the driveway, and you’d rather not run over them when coming home – ambient lighting will let you see what’s in the way, so that you can avoid these potential hazards.
These units are the kind that you will probably have to dig into the ground around your driveway to install, unless you’ve purchased fitted lights before the driveway has been installed. You may have to dig the holes and run the wiring underground to make it work, but check with your local bylaws to make sure that this is possible where you live.
Commercial Recessed Lighting
Needless to say, this isn’t the kind of recessed lighting you’ll be using on your driveway, and it definitely isn’t something you can install yourself. These are wired into the street lighting circuit instead of using a LV system, so they’re not really an option for home use.