If you’re looking to add beauty and security to your home and immediately increase the value of your curb appeal, then you ought to consider your outdoor lighting.
Understanding the purpose and placement of outdoor wall lighting and sconces can help you create a welcoming entrance into your home. A well-lit home both deters nefarious visitors whose activities thrive in the dark and simultaneously accommodates desired guests who need to clearly see the path to your door. In order to do this, you need to provide the right amount of light in just the right spots.
Here are 5 tips that will help you choose the perfect outdoor lighting fixtures for your home:
How to Choose the Right Size
- For Pendants and Other Hanging Lights on your porch, the size should be 1/5th the height of your door.
- For Outdoor Wall Sconces and Porch Lights, you should aim for 1/4th to 1/3rd the height of your door.
- If you’re hanging Wall Lights Over the Front Door, you should aim for 1/3rd to 1/4th the width of the door frame.
How to Choose the Best Placement
- Pendants and Other Hanging Lights should be centered with door and hung so that the bottom of the fixture is 6 inches above the door.
- Outdoor Wall Sconces and Porch Lights should be mounted so that the center of the fixture is 66 inches from the floor.
- Wall Lights Over the Front Door should be centered with the door, leaving at least 6 inches of clearance from the top of the door frame.
How to Choose Materials and Finishes
Outdoor lighting comes in a variety of different materials. Some of the most common include:
It is possible to find fixtures to match all styles in a wide array of colors and finishes. Some of the most popular finishes include:
- Oil Rubbed
How to Choose Lighting Controls
There are several ways to manage your outdoor lighting:
- Timers allow you to have the lights turn on and off at scheduled times. One popular option is to have lights automatically go on from dusk until dawn.
- Motion Sensors will turn on lights only whenever movement is detected
- Smart Lights are internet-connected light bulbs that allow lighting to be customized and controlled remotely through a home automation smart device.
When choosing outdoor lighting, here are some special considerations you should also keep in mind:
- UL Rating: Damp or Wet? Lighting fixtures that are designed for outdoor use will be given a rating by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) based on their capacity to tolerate moisture and humidity. UL Damp lights work for moist locations with no direct exposure to rain or snow, like covered porches. If your outdoor lighting fixture will be exposed to direct wet conditions, make sure your fixture has the UL Wet rating.
- Energy Efficiency To ensure your outdoor lighting is energy efficient, pair lighting controls with CFL or LED bulbs. You may also want to incorporate solar lighting, especially if you live in an area that gets a lot of direct sunlight during the day.
For more Outdoor Wall Lighting inspiration, check out our collection at Going Lighting.