Exterior lighting, and walkway lighting in particular, can often be overlooked. Exterior light fixtures can add a valuable opportunity to enhance and highlight your landscaping, provide texture, uniqueness and depth to your yard, all while increasing your curb appeal. And with proper placements, walkway lighting can provide function without taking away from the natural beauty of your landscaping.

Here are a few of tips we've found helpful when designing an outdoor pathway:

1. Keep the eye drifting naturally down the path: Place lights in a way that draw the eye towards the end of the walkway. Lights placed in a methodical, measured way often make the lighted walkway seemed forced and unnatural.

2. Less is more: Don't overdo it with lights -- remember interior and exterior house lights, and sometimes moonlight provide more visibility than you think. The exterior lights along a walkway should be a gentle suggestion, not an airplane landing strip.

3. Choose bulbs with a lower voltage: Balance the softness of light with the softness of natural elements. Make sure the voltage on your light bulbs are not too harsh. The light should feel soft and welcoming, much like the natural light of the moon.

4. Mix & Match: Don't be afraid to mix styles when choosing light fixtures. It personalizes the walkway to your home and makes an interesting visual experience. Use this opportunity to pick lighting that will accent your home's style. This will help tie the natural elements of the outdoors with the architectural style of your home.

5. Highlight your landscaping: Instead of shining your lights on the walkway, try highlighting some of your plants that are planted near your walkway. The light will reflect off the foliage, and add some visual and color for guests to admire on their walk up. Interesting and strategically placed lighting boosts curb appeal and differentiates your yard from others.

6. Highlight your stone work: An alternative to highlighting your landscaping is to highlight your stone work. If you have beautiful stone work, show it off! Lights reflected off the side of your house or the stone pathway create interesting shadows and depth. 7. Safety and security: Last, but certainly not least, keep in mind the functionality of exterior lighting. Adequate lighting not only provides safety to your family and guests, but also acts as a deterrent to intruders. Walkway and path lighting is a step in landscape design that should be strategic and well thought out. When done right, exterior and pathway lights will enhance the aesthetics of your home, accentuate the design of your yard, and provide safety and security to anyone that comes around.