How To Choose The Right Outdoor Lighting That Will Match Your Home’s Design

Outdoor lighting should be as important as interior lighting. Hence, don’t disregard this crucial aspect as you develop or remodel your abode. Exterior lighting should be both functional and fashionable, and the fixtures should match the home’s design.

Create a beautiful and illuminated space for your property’s outdoor areas. Continue reading to know nine tips to help you choose the right outdoor lighting that complement’s your home’s style.

Pick A Reasonable Size

Size matters when choosing outdoor lighting. Consider picking lights with sizes that blend well with its surroundings. Don’t go too large or too small that the fixtures become over- or under-bearing to enhance your home’s style.

For example, picking massive lights might take away attention from the door. Consequently, minuscule lighting fixtures might make the decorations look insignificant to the entire design.

Here’s a quick guide to help you choose outdoor lighting based on size:

  • Measure the height of the surrounding décor (e.g., doors, windows, and bushes).
  • The light should be about 1/4 or 1/3 the size of the nearby décor.
  • The fixtures should appear about 1/2 the size when you’re about 50 feet away from the property.

Keep in mind that there are some exceptions to these rules. Post lights are excellent examples, as these fixtures need to be larger-than-average to highlight the nearby decorations.

Also, several outdoor lighting choices exist on the market. If you’re unsure about the design of the fixtures you want to place in your home’s exteriors, touch base with a company like Washington Outdoor Lighting. The technicians may also help you with outdoor lighting installation and repairs.

Choose A Relevant Color

One way to ruin your property’s outdoor design is to mismatch the colors. Picking hues and tones that don’t complement will create color clashes. Unless you know how to color block, the clashing colors will make your home’s exteriors look gaudy.

Aim for complementing colors to help present harmony in your home’s exteriors. For instance, if the walls have blue paint, consider using black or pewter outdoor lights. Conversely, if the walls have warm, earthy colors, consider installing proper outdoor lighting with bronze or gold details.

Use colors that blend well with the property’s theme. In turn, you’ll display a consistent yet gorgeous exterior design to increase the property’s curb appeal.

Cubical looking lantern placed on the exterior of a building during night time with copy space – Modern electrical equipment for illumination

Know The Types

It might be highly challenging for you to select the right outdoor lights if you don’t know what you need. Remember that several outdoor lighting fixtures are available for purchase. Understanding the different types will help make the selection process more manageable than before.

Here are some of the outdoor lighting types you might add to your home:

  • Wall Lights

Like its name, wall lights affix to walls or virtually any vertical surface. Some ideal uses of these fixtures are on porches, garages, and patios.

  • Ceiling And Hanging Lights

If you don’t have room for wall lights, consider using ceiling and hanging lighting instead. These lights are ideal for damp locations since these variants tend to hide from the rain.

  • Post Lights

Post lights are fixtures mounted on top of poles or posts. These models don’t tend to be in open-air settings, such as driveways and walkways. Search for the “Wet Rating” on the model you choose to ensure you’re going to get a waterproof or water-resistant unit.

  • Security Lights

Security lights are excellent for adding extra safety and security to properties. These lighting fixtures are quite bright, as their brightness levels tend to be similar to floodlights.

  • Landscape Lights

Landscape lighting fixtures are low-voltage options used to separate wall and ceiling lights. Some ideal places to put these lights are on gardens, driveways, and pathways.

You can also check the following video for help on the different types of outdoor lighting:

YouTube video

Pick The Right Style

As with picking the right type, you should also select the right style to deliver a harmonious visual appeal to your home’s exteriors.

Consider blending the theme of your property to the lights you choose. For instance, if your home has a contemporary look, choose fixtures that deliver modern aesthetics. Conversely, select vintage lighting fixtures for a home with a classic appeal.

Here’s a quick look of some of the common outdoor lighting styles:

  • Traditional

Traditional outdoor lighting tends to have ornate designs equipped with elegant details, such as curved hooks and flourishes. Colonial or Craftsman homes should do well with conventional lights.

  • Contemporary

Contemporary outdoor lighting promotes streamlined and minimalist aesthetics for modern homes. These fixtures tend to have geometric touches to improve consistency in their uncluttered look.

  • Transitional

Transitional lights tend to be in between traditional and conventional lighting. These fixtures aren’t as ornate as conventional models, yet they’re not too simple as well.

Placement Is Crucial

Thinking about the right outdoor lighting means you should also consider their placements. Random placements will only make your property’s exteriors look cluttered and unappealing.

The style, type, and placement should blend well. For instance, you need a garage light to illuminate vehicles as they go in and out of the room. Garage lighting tends to be above the door, taking them away from the moving parts of the entryway.

Consequently, you might want carriage lights for the front door. The ideal placement for this model should be about 66 inches from the floor to the center of the light. Moreover, place an allowance of about 6 inches between the door and the fixture to avoid accidental bumps and dings.

Another example is placing ceiling lights on your front porch. Since porches tend to have broad dimension ranges, it can be challenging to figure out rules of thumb for correct ceiling light placements. Nonetheless, accurate measurement is essential to ensuring the light offers adequate brightness to a sufficient area on the porch.

Try to place the ceiling lights in the middle of your front porch. Also, consider any hanging accent pieces that may inhibit the fixture from giving light to a wide area.

Select Durable Fixtures

You can’t marvel at your outdoor lighting if these fixtures break easily. Hence, don’t disregard durability when choosing lights for your property’s exteriors.

Keep in mind that many outdoor lights tend to be metal, but it doesn’t mean that all metal fixtures are the same. Here are some metal outdoor lighting fixtures you should consider:

  • Aluminum

Affordable and durable, aluminum lights tend to be a popular choice for homeowners in a tight budget. This material is dust- and rust-resistant, and it can last for years with proper maintenance.

But aluminum tends to oxidize, which means any paint placed on the material may fade over time. Opt for powder-coated aluminum lights instead, but choosing these variants may increase the price of the items.

  • Stainless Steel

Stainless steel lights can look gorgeous in contemporary homes. But this metal tends to be magnets for dust and corrosion. Choose this material only if you can commit to frequent cleaning and maintenance sessions.

  • Brass

Brass is a combination of two other metals: copper and zinc. This alloy can last for several years, and it can turn into a beautiful, dark shade when exposed to the elements. Perhaps one of the significant drawbacks of brass outdoor lighting is its price. Brass lights can become expensive investments, so only choose these options if you have the extra cash to spend.

  • Copper

Although copper has a similar appearance to brass, the former isn’t as sturdy as the latter. But the color, weather resistance, and beauty are identical for both metals. Moreover, copper outdoor lighting can be a less expensive option than brass fixtures.

You can also match the metal on the lighting fixture with the metal details on surrounding outdoor décor. For example, if your door has brass décor, consider using the same metal for the lights near the entryway.

Consider The Brightness

It’s challenging to gauge the brightness of outdoor lighting fixtures before purchasing the products, especially if you’re buying online. Although you can ask people around the Internet for feedback about particular models, it’s tough to factor in personal preference during this step.

Instead, check the product description to know its brightness level. Look at the spec sheet, precisely that of the lumen rating. The lumen is the unit of luminous flux or brightness. Hence, the higher the number tied to a product’s lumen rating, the brighter it becomes.

Outdoor lights need not be too bright or too soft. Still, some exceptions exist. For instance, flood and security lights tend to be brighter than other models to help deter criminals from entering the property. Consequently, soft outdoor lighting can create moods that are perfect for romantic getaways.

Here’s a quick list of suggested lumens you should seek for specific outdoor lighting:

  • Floodlights: 700 to 1300 lumens
  • Wall lights: 50 to 185 lumens
  • Lamp posts: 120 to 180 lumens
  • Landscape lights: 50 to 300 lumens
  • Outdoor spotlights: 120 lumens
  • Path lights: 100 to 200 lumens
  • Pond/pool lights: 200 to 400 lumens

However, some products don’t have the lumen rating printed on their spec sheets. Instead, search for the wattage to help give you a rough estimate of the brightness level of the fixture. Still, you need to consider the type of light in this regard. For instance, halogen lights will have different watts despite the same watts used in comparison with LEDs.

Here’s a lumen to watt conversion list that can help you in choosing LED outdoor lights:

  • 4 Watts: 220+ Lumens
  • 6 Watts: 400+ Lumens
  • 10 Watts: 700+ Lumens
  • 13 Watts: 900+ Lumens
  • 18 Watts: 1,300+ Lumens

On a side note, LEDs are excellent options for homeowners who don’t want to spend a significant amount of cash on monthly electricity bills. It’s because LEDs are relatively energy-efficient, especially when comparing it with incandescent lights. For instance, a 4-watt LED bulb can produce a similar brightness level to a 25-watt incandescent lighting fixture.

Nonetheless, always remember that consistency in design is critical to creating a harmonious aesthetic for your home’s outdoor design. Choose the right brightness level that can highlight vital areas in your walls, lawn, and porch without letting the lights become too harsh or too soft.

Think About Extra Features

Modern outdoor lighting now gives you the option to enjoy more than mood lighting in a specific area. Several lighting fixtures now have additional features to provide homeowners and guests with extra value.

One example is a ceiling fan with lights; you can place this fixture in the patio ceiling. With this particular décor, you can have adequate lighting and remain comfortable at the same time. Outdoor ceiling fans with lights are excellent choices for locations with warm climates.

Aside from ceiling fans with lights, you can also choose smart bulbs for your fixtures. Smart lightbulbs let you control the intensity and brightness from an app. These products grant you significant flexibility for different scenarios.

Use the smart bulbs to dance to the rhythm of the music for outdoor parties. Another way to use these intelligent pieces of technology is to change the mood depending on the setting. Alter the light’s color from a warm yellow glow to a romantic red for those intimate moments with your significant other.

Use these features to complement the home’s outdoor style. Although these extra functionalities may increase the costs when purchasing modern outdoor lights, the value they bring can be worth more than the money paid.

Consider Local Requirements

Always make a mental note about local laws in choosing the right outdoor lighting. Selecting the wrong model might present you with hefty fines.

For example, Washington prohibits the following fixtures in outdoor spaces:

  • Searchlights
  • Laser lights for outdoor use or entertainment
  • Mercury vapor lamps
  • Quartz lamps

Before you decorate your property’s exteriors with lighting, ensure that you do ample research about local restrictions. You may also contact your local government to check which fixtures won’t give you legal charges.

Choose Wisely

Use this guide to help you choose the right outdoor lighting that matches your home’s design. Remember to consider the size, style, and type of your preferred fixtures to ensure all outdoor design elements blend into one harmonious presence. Take the time to plan your outdoor lighting aesthetics. In turn, you should have exterior lights that can help increase the property’s curb appeal.


Tags: light, lighting, outdoor, outdoor lighting, party

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