Transitional Outdoor Landscape Path Lighting

Transitional path lighting can expand your options in terms of color. Basic black and silver aluminum are still available. But you can also find beach and spruce, brushed to a pleasing matte finish.

The hoods of the lamps in transitional lighting begin to look more like hats than like bowls. A simple, relaxed effect can be achieved by using a flattened cone with a rounded top.

The cones can also have somewhat pointed tops, although they never quite come to anything sharp at the peak. These shades often benefit from having vertical ridges that divide the hood up into four or six sections. The sections are not flat, so the effect is of four or six rounded triangles connected together. These hoods can perch atop their supporting pole or jut out to one side to hang over the path.

Such hoods can also sit atop diffusers, a series of three or four rings that allow a bit of the light out as they direct it downward toward the path. These diffusers can in turn sit atop a standard thin pole. Or the pole itself can be as thick as the rings, giving the whole ensemble something of a lighthouse look.

Transitional style lamps can have horizontal lines instead of vertical, running as concentric rings around the top of the shade. The shades can be made of polished copper or brass with the rings being in a different sheen.

For a more complicated effect, try a hood that flutes outward slightly near the bottom. Or find a lamp with an aluminum hood that looks like a cabbage leaf, rounded and slightly irregular with veins rather than uniform ridges. If that doesn't appeal, gingko leaves and birds of paradise are two similar themes that may do the trick. If you're feeling especially daring, the leaf style shade can even come with a lizard perched on top.

For a different plant theme, try a post that has been made to look like a corn stalk or a blade of grass with a few shoots or broad leaves going up from the base.

A simple black cylinder with a rounded top can also give a pleasing look. It can attach to the edge of the post rather than the top. For an extra effect, you can find one with a frosted glass shade that extends below the edge of the perimeter, creating clean lines of black and white.

Other designs can even involve two poles. The poles can curve up on either side of a shade that looks like a crow's beak, as though a metal bird is hovering over the path. Or the poles can stand up straight and support a simple cylinder angle downward in between.

Most transitional path lighting doesn't involve glass shades. But a simple frosted glass tulip shape with one of the caps described above can certainly fit in with the transitional decor.

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