Indoor and Outdoor Lighting

Ultimate Guide to Bollard Lights: Modern Outdoor Spaces

Bollard lights are essentially outdoor lamps. They provide light for walkways and outdoor areas, ensuring visibility and safety for pedestrians.

Appropriate outdoor lighting design is an integral part of any home or business, providing essential safety, function and appeal. Bollard lights provide robust safety and diverse aesthetic options for fulfilling these requirements. While they are more traditionally used by businesses, you’ll also find a surprising variety of stylish new models for residential use.

Table of Contents:

What Is a Bollard Light?

An example of bollard lights, lighting a curved path.

Bollard lights are essentially outdoor lamps. They provide light for walkways and outdoor areas, ensuring visibility and safety for pedestrians.

More specifically, a bollard light is an architectural type of outdoor lighting that is enclosed in a short vertical post mounted into the ground; simply put they are a type of outdoor post light. Their height ranges from around one to three feet in height.

The term bollard was originally used to describe the type of post sailors used to tie their ships to the dock or pier. You can see this in the design of many bollard light fixtures today as they often look like nautical posts.

Bollards are often used to cordon an area or to add protection. For instance, you might use them to keep vehicles of a certain size from entering an area or to add a layer of protection between a road and a walkway. 

Lighted bollards have the added functionality of illuminating and protecting the area at night. Sometimes removable bollard lights are used so they can be moved if necessary to let vehicles through during certain events. Bollard lights are also used in specific ways to provide topography definition, separation or protection. They can create an attractive border. Bollard lighting is often used along walkways or you may see bollard landscape lights providing definition to the edge of a landscaped area.

Since bollard lighting was meant to be used outdoors they are built to withstand the elements. They are typically made from cast aluminum, fiber glass, or even brass for more decorative bollard lights. The light itself is safely enclosed and protected from the elements within the outdoor post structure.

Commercial Bollard Lights

Commercial lighting needs to be both durable and functional so it is important to look for certain features in these types of outdoor lights.

Commercial Bollard Lights
  • These lights should be strong and sturdy. Look for bollard lights made of solid materials and a strong housing. Then have them professionally installed.
  • These lights will need to be durable as they will be exposed to a lot of wear and tear both from the weather and the sometimes unpredictable public. They need to be weather resistant so they should be made from materials that won’t corrode in the elements. They should also be tamper proof and have an impact resistant lens to help prevent damage from theft or vandalism.
  • Commercial lighting also needs to provide enough light in the right places. Make sure the lights provide the right angle and level of illumination you need for them to be effective.

Commercial lighting usually requires a larger scale, meaning more lights. To help cut costs but maintain performance look for LED bollard lights. To save even more on your energy bill and to be environmentally conscious you may want to consider solar bollards as they don’t cost anything to use once they are installed.

Whether choosing the more commonly seen round bollard lights or the less common square bollards this robust option provides a great way to illuminate walkways and landscaped areas outside of any business or commercial area.

Residential Bollard Lights

Residential Bollard Light

Residential bollard lights are used for similar reasons; they are commonly used to light pathways to improve visibility and provide safety. In addition, they help define areas of the yard, like the patio, or to help accent certain features, such as a fountain or handsome tree. It is becoming more common to see bollard garden lighting in a terraced landscape design. Because we are seeing more decorative outdoor lighting you can now find bollard lights in a wide variety of finishes like bronze or copper as well as the traditional black.

Residential bollard lighting is often more decorative than commercial bollard lighting. As homeowners put more emphasis on lighting composition as part of their outdoor home décor we see a burst of new styles, like the Kitchler Zen Garden Bollard Light.

LED Bollard Lights

Leverage LED Technology For Efficient Bollard Lights

Light emitting diode (LED) technology has been used in computers for many years, but you’ve likely started seeing it everywhere for the better part of a decade. LEDs are able to produce a fairly bright light from a very small unit using a relatively small amount of electricity.

Led Bollard Lights

This makes them ideal for outdoor situations in which they are often in use for long periods at a time. For safety and even legal reasons, commercial bollard lights will be on all night, every night. The energy efficiency of LED technology lessens the environmental and financial impact of these attractive and safety-enhancing lights.

This makes them perfect for commercial use where a larger number of lights are needed. This type of commercial bollard lighting can help businesses save a lot of money on their energy bill over time.

Another great advantage of LED bollard lights is the impact-resistance of LED bulbs. Unlike incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, LEDs are entirely solid-state and aren’t made of a fragile glass vacuum. This is perfect for bollard lights because they are typically pretty exposed and subject to more abuse from the element. While the light itself is usually protected in the top of this post light, having a more durable and long-lasting bulb for outdoor lights just makes sense.

What To Consider When Choosing LED Bollard Lights

Not all LED lighting products are created equal. While choosing the right LED bollard lights can save you money through their efficiency and long-lived bulbs, some LED bulbs and units are of poorer quality, and over time will produce uneven, dim, or flickering light. Others will be poorly made and will not offer the durability advantages of a quality LED product. Sometimes saving money up front will not mean saving money in the long run. Make sure the lights you choose have an Energy Star rating and when possible read customer reviews before making a final decision.

Consider bollard LED lighting for your garden, patio, driveway or walkways. LED bollard lighting is a good choice if your priorities are reliability, strong, focused light, and money-saving efficiency.

Solar Bollard Lights

Solar Bollard Light

Outdoor solar lights offer a few important benefits over other types of outdoor lighting. Because solar lights don’t need to be wired they are easier and less expensive to install. They also don’t cost anything to operate once they are installed. They use energy they collect and store from the sun during the day.

This also makes solar bollard lights easier to install. Because they don’t need to be near a power supply, they can be installed almost anywhere. Even if there is a power outage these lights will still work so you don’t have to worry about a dark yard or office if you have solar bollard lighting.

Typically, these light fixtures automatically turn on when it gets dark outside, so you don’t have to remember to turn them on each night.

Bollard Lighting In Landscape Design

If you have a long driveway or a larger property with walkways, bollard lights may be a good choice. Traditionally bollard lighting is used to separate pedestrian and non-pedestrian areas so they work well as path lights or along a long driveway.

Bollard Landscape Light

If you don’t have a large property or you simply want more subtle accents, you can find some very attractive small bollard lights, also called mini or compact bollard lights. In some cases you can find a style in various sizes so you can blend them together to keep a cohesive look and feel in your garden.

You should plan the landscaping and lighting together to maximize the impact. 

Use cozy-lit bollards to separate different landscape regions of your property. Employ them by stairs to provide additional safety and signposting, or in areas where the ground shifts height, such as near terraces. Compact bollard lights work well for terraced landscape lighting.

Removable Bollard Lighting

Removable Bollard Lights

Standard bollards and lit bollards are often meant to provide a barrier or degree of separation between pedestrian areas and those allowing vehicle traffic. In most cases they are used as a permanent barrier, but in some cases you may want the option to remove them to allow for maintenance workers or emergency vehicles. Or maybe you only need temporary bollards for special events.

Removable bollards would work for these situations, and removable bollard lights offer the additional benefit of providing light and safety for nighttime events or events taking place during unpredictable inclement weather.

Light Your Way With Robust Bollards

Use bollard lights to illuminate walkways or to enhance landscape design. Use them to enhance safety and security. Bollard lighting empowers you to light up the land with robust, dependable function and diverse aesthetic appeal.