The right outdoor lighting design will improve the curb appeal, safety, and security of your home. A combination of attractive exterior fixtures and landscape lighting helps to highlight the architectural features of your home. When planning your outdoor lighting, consider using some or all of these outdoor lighting products:
Wall Light for Porches, Patios, Entryways, Garages
Wall-mounted outdoor light fixtures are the perfect solution for front and back porches, but they can be used on any vertical surface. They add a decorative touch to patios and courtyards too.
To install exterior wall lights on both sides of a door, hang them around 60″- 65″ from the floor. For doors with just one light, install it on the same side as the doorknob so you’re lighting visitor’s faces. Leave 4”-6” from the edge of your light fixture to the door frame.
- For the right scale, buy wall lights that measure more than 1/4 the height of the door.
- Consider your home’s size and distance from the street, to make sure your wall fixtures are large enough.
- Make sure exterior wall lights are designed for outdoor use – they must be rated for damp locations.
Ceiling Lights For Porches and Patios
Ceiling fixtures are a great way to add impact to a front porch, covered patio or verandah. Measure your ceiling height, and choose a fixture that will clear seven feet off the ground, so people can stand beneath it.
- For a tall entryway, a lantern or hanging light is a bright and stylish feature.
- For low ceilings, look for either a flush-mounted or semi-flush-mounted light fixture.
- Make sure all ceiling lights are designed for outdoor use – they must be rated for damp locations.
Post lights are designed to mount on top of fence posts or poles. Install a lantern-style post light for general lighting in a front yard, or use a pair at the entrance to a driveway.
Post lights are often installed on fence posts to illuminate pathways and patios.
- When shopping for post lights, make sure the fixture will fit diameter of your post or pole.
- Check the manufacturer’s specifications for dimensions.
Ceiling Lights For Porches and Patios
Pier mount lights are similar to post lights, but are installed on top of columns or walls instead. They can be an integral part of an exterior lighting design.
- Some manufacturers have adaptors that allow post light fixtures to be used as pier lighting on columns or walls.
- Post lights and pier lights must be rated for wet locations, since they’re directly exposed to rain and moisture.
Security Lights For Walkways, Alleys, Garages
Keep your family and property safe by installing security lighting. Brighter and more powerful than decorative lighting, security lights flood the area with light to ward off intruders. Solar-powered fixtures will save energy and continue to work during a power outage. Use security floodlights on garages, seldom-used entrances, and dark walkways.
- Look for lights that have motion sensors, which only turn on when triggered by movement.
- Dusk-to-dawn sensors automatically keep the lights on at night, when you need them.
- Check the specifications when shopping for security lights, and choose a design that flood-lights the entire area.
Landscape Lights For Pathways and Garden Features
Landscape lighting is a low voltage lighting system, used in addition to other exterior lighting. Small, integrated fixtures are used to add soft lighting to walkways, steps, and planting beds, or to wash walls and garden features with light. Landscape lighting is often combined with decorative exterior lighting to give homes a rich, layered look.
- Types of landscape lighting include uplights, downlights, flood lights, bullet lights, well lighting, bollards, and pathway lighting.
- Installing hard-wired landscape lighting will probably require professional help.
- Solar-powered landscape fixtures are easy to install yourself.