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How To Choose Outdoor Lighting That Works For Your Home

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Beyond a simple beacon that will lead to your front door, outdoor lights can define the appearance of a home. If you plan it well, you'll be able to bring your home's best image forward.

Take a stroll down the street, and our bet your eyes are immediately attracted to a home with a welcoming front door that is well-lit. If done correctly, outdoor lighting can make the most of your space, enhancing your home's design, adding security, and helping guests find their way to the entrance.

Deciding what to use for outdoor lighting is a decision that requires time and effort. There are a lot of lighting options and various kinds of products available. Missing a step is relatively easy; that's why we come up with this guide to help make the right decisions when buying outdoor lights.

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LED Solar Light Outdoor Waterproof Wall Light


Why are Outdoor Lights Important?

Curb Appeal

  • When guests arrive at your house, first impressions can make a considerable remark. It can also make guests feel more at ease at your home as they arrive.


  • One of the main advantages of outdoor lighting is increased security. Research has proven that a home with adequate outdoor lights can stop criminals from attempting to break into your house. The key to outdoor lighting design is not just to create an atmosphere but also to provide security at the same time. This means that you aren't just shining the spotlight on the outside of your home.

Value of Home

  • Properly done outdoor lighting that works in harmony with well-designed landscaping, then outdoor light illumination can increase your house’s property value. When we look at homes for sale, we frequently see evening photos to give prospective buyers a glimpse of the exterior look during the night. It could be a deciding factor when buyers look at your home compared to other listings.

The benefit of cost is evident for lighting for the outdoor. Compared to the added value you'll receive, the expense to purchase and install indicated this is an investment homeowner should take seriously.

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Choosing the Right Outdoor Lights For Your Home

Size of Outdoor Light Fixture

The most frequent mistake that individuals make is choosing fixtures that are too small. Don't think the builder's fixture is the right size for your home, as they typically install smaller fixtures to reduce costs.

An excellent rule of thumb to use for your front entrance is to choose a light fixture that is 1/3 of the height of the door if there's just one light. It should be 1/4 of the door height when there are a series of lights along with the doors.

Outdoor Light Fixture Style & Color

Deciding on the design of your outdoor lights will depend on your home’s current structure and personal preferences. There are a variety of styles and designs to pick from, from sleek and contemporary to traditional and rustic.

When choosing the right color or style for your outdoor light fixture, consider your home's architectural characteristics and color scheme. However, even if you're personally drawn to certain lighting styles, they should be in line with the aesthetics of your house.

The Brightness of Outdoor Lights

It is also important to consider the level of brightness produced by outdoor light fixtures. When choosing a light fixture, take note of the number and wattage of light bulbs the fixture needs.  In addition, examine the type of glass it comes with (seeded vs opaque, clear vs opaque). These factors determine the amount of light generated from light fixtures.

Mounting Height of Your Outdoor Lights

Remember that the best vertical position should be just a bit higher than eye level and lower than the uppermost point of your front door. If the junction box is high on the wall, you should select an installation where the light fixture’s body is below that junction box.


Diverse materials will impact the look of your outdoor lighting. However, they also offer different advantages. The majority of outdoor lighting fixtures are made of aluminum, brass, copper, and even ceramic.

Energy Efficiency

Consider using LEDs as well as other energy-efficient outdoor lighting options, such as solar-powered lighting and energy-efficient CFL lighting.

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Types of Outdoor Lights: Decorative, Security, Wall, and Landscape

Decorative Outdoor Lights

Outdoor lighting that is in decorative form isn't meant for only evening parties.  Nowadays, due to the advancements in technology and materials, all kinds of lighting from plain traditional porch lights up to strings of lights look more attractive than ever.

Wall sconces and outdoor pendant ceiling lights are a step above the dull lighting fixtures of the past. They give a stylish look to your exteriors, while also providing security and safety to your home.

The overhead lighting system is the preferred choice for most homes to provide ambient lighting. The most contemporary outdoor pendant lights and ceiling lighting come with more attractive designs than we could list. It ranges from ultra-modern to traditional and everything in between.

Regardless of your style, there's a pendant that will match it. There are damp-rated pendants ideal for Porte-cochere or covered patios, as well as wet-rated designs. You can hang these outdoor lights from trees and pergolas, and work in all weather conditions.

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Multicolor Solar Firework Light Garden Decorative Lights

Security Outdoor Lights

Certain areas of your home will require greater security or outdoor lighting, including the flood light, lighting recessed lighting for landscaping as well as solar lighting. Places like your garage, decks spaces, driveway areas, stairways, pathways as well as certain areas in your backyard must be well illuminated.

Wall Outdoor Lights

Wall lights can illuminate the outdoor areas of your house, not just the front door.  They are available in many forms, designs, and finishes. Furthermore, outdoor wall lighting provides a fancy look along with a certain level of security to guard your home from burglars and unwanted visitors.

One of the most prominent outdoor lighting is a wall sconce. They are a popular choice for lighting. Modern outdoor wall lighting is designed to flank doorways and can be installed wherever a wall or wiring is present. Certain wall lights provide ambient lighting and some provide more focused light.

There's a multitude of choices that can be incorporated into your home's exterior, or create aesthetic points of their own. The majority of outdoor wall lights are rated for extreme exposure to the elements, however, should you reside in an extremely moist or harsh location, you should look for marine-grade finishes which can endure high salt, UV, and moisture exposure.

Beyond the appearance of the light fixture, the work that an outdoor wall sconce can accomplish with light is quite amazing. In addition to letting your ideal outdoor light allow a splash of light to fall on your feet, there are designs that wash walls in uplight and downlight to create the effect of highlighting your house. Even if you have complex exterior textures, these wall sconces highlight the look of your house and boost the security level when they are installed throughout the home.

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Modern Up Down Aluminum Cuboid LED Wall Light

Landscape Lights

The best way to illuminate your garden, driveways or paths is to install outdoor lighting. Outdoor lights will glare an illumination on all areas of your house. Illuminating your driveway can be an additional security feature that draws people to your home in since it helps. It can give a sophisticated look when combined with other outdoor lighting fixtures.

Possibly, the most complex of all outdoor lights is landscape lighting since it generally requires more planning and installation than other types of lighting. Most homeowners hire a professional for the installation of landscape lights and architectural designs. However, you can begin planning your space by gathering some basic information.


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Garden Lawn Solar Powered Outdoor LED Light


Path Lights

  • They light walkways/pathways. There are solar alternatives as well as wired ones that require underground power sources. So, consider the amount of commitment you're willing to put in order to set it up.

  • These path lights don't need to be installed only along footpaths since they can also be placed around the garden bed, water features, or the exterior of your home. You can use path lighting to illuminate the driveway, trails that meander through your backyard, or as a straight way to get to the front door.

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Waterproof & Anti-Corrosion LED Solar Ground lights

Recessed Ground and Well Lights

  • Recessed and well lights are installed under the ground, your patio, driveway, or deck spaces. Recessed outdoor lighting gives you an elegant and contemporary look without the need for a lot of equipment.

  • The only thing you can see is the effects of these lights, the outdoor light fixture itself compliments well into the landscape. They are ideal to secure your home and cover the exterior of your property with lighting. They also have an aesthetic purpose, highlighting the trees, plants, and other features of your yard at ground level.

Deck and Step Lights

  • Another outdoor design that needs more planning. Deck and step lights are inserted directly onto the steps of your home. It can be as simple as removing an opening in the wooden stairs or planning of concrete to be laid and is an option that is more long-lasting as opposed to the different styles we've discussed. Therefore, lighting for steps is an excellent way to increase the curb appeal of your home as well as safety, visibility, and appearance whilst staying clear of pets and your feet.

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Find Out the Outdoor Lights Fixture UL Ratings

Every fixture is given a UL rating, which is determined by its capacity to withstand various elements. It is essential to know the features of the outdoor lights you are buying.

  • Damp-rated

    Outdoor light fixtures with a damp rating can be used in outdoor spaces which are covered. For instance, they could include a light underneath a covered porch. In this case, the light will be exposed to dampness since it is outside. However, it is not at risk of experiencing rain since the space is completely protected.

  • Wet-rated

    These outdoor light fixtures will be fully subject to weather conditions. They will be outdoors in the rain. Buy only light fixtures that are wet-rated to install in these areas.

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LED Solar Wall Light Waterproof Motion Sensor


Where to Install Outdoor Lights?

Each day, the use of light fixtures for outdoor areas grows rapidly. They enhance both the curb appeal and security of your family. From gorgeous rustic outdoor lighting that welcomes you at the front door or modern-day lighting devices that highlight the pathway through the backyard, outdoor lighting can add stunning appeal to any outdoor space.

Obviously, there are fewer requirements for installing outdoor lighting than we recommend, which is why we've given you the most effective advice on the size and positioning of various outdoor lights. This method was primarily created for aesthetic reasons and also to ensure security.

Outdoor lights can define your home's appearance at night. If you've got a gorgeous exterior and stunning landscape, it is best to showcase them throughout the night. Perhaps, your home will look more appealing when the temperature is cooler at night.

Consider the different lighting spots below when you're putting together your plan. Create your ideal method based on your budget. Make sure to spread your budget over as many of these locations as possible to achieve an impressive outdoor lighting impact.

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LED Security Lights Motion Sensor Light

Front Entrance Lighting

It is recommended to choose your outdoor entry lighting first. Visitors will interact with these outdoor light fixtures the most. It's usually the brightest of all outdoor lights and is the light fixture they see the most closely. This is the outdoor lighting that guests will get at the very least a few seconds to gaze at.

Garage Door Lighting

Lighting for garages is a practical fixture that will complement the home exterior and provide an elegant feature. The addition of lights to the side of doors will assist in illuminating your driveways as well as the surrounding areas.

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Westinghouse Matte Switch LED Lantern Fixture


Front Porch Lighting

Lighting the screen of your front porch is an ideal option when you're looking for the perfect design without compromising expenses. These outdoor lights can be placed on your overhanging patios, porches, or even in doorways, semi-flush or flush. While this outdoor light fixture may be small in size, it's likely to produce a tremendous amount of illumination.

Path Lighting

Lighting your pathway or walkway is an excellent option to enhance the exterior of your house. It can also be used as practical task lighting in the event that the path lights also provide more illumination to your walkway during the night.

The lights for walkways can be installed in a recessed fashion similar to those you see on the ground of an aircraft or raised mushroom-style lights that are the most well-known.

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Step Lighting

Several outdoor lighting sources are designed to provide security. The most popular are ones that illuminate the steps. Although they can be put in brick steps, they are usually employed with decking. They are low voltage lighting which isn’t expensive and easy to set up.

Step lights can be added to the side of the steps, with the beam of light shining on the steps. This is a good option for brick or cement areas where it is difficult to put in the wires and lights.

Post Lighting

A couple of decades back, almost every house had a lamppost with an incandescent lamp bulb within. The lamp post rusted in two months, and the older ones had around 12 layers of coating.

Feels like Deja Vu? The old-fashioned lamp posts can still be found and are still in use. However, they look more attractive now and come with many options. Post lighting is usually placed to highlight the top of cement, brick, or wood post, close to the edge of a walkway or driveway. We've seen them utilized to highlight low brick borders in backyards too.

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Outdoor Lights FAQs – Simply Light Fixtures

How do I install front door lights?

The placement of the new outdoor wall sconce is expected to be approximately 62 inches from the middle down to the ground. The same installation height must be maintained on every side, which is close to the garage door.

If you plan to install the wall sconces on your garage door or front entrance door, you must follow these measurement and installation guides. When it comes to calculating the horizontal dimensions of the wall-mounted display there are many options to consider, as there is a lesser degree of uniformity. The final goal is to focus on a particular style.

How to Size Front Door Wall Sconces?

Utilize these industry-specific guidelines for positioning the proper wall lighting near your entrances and doors. For the most effective wall lighting, multiply the height of your door by inches and divide it by one quarter.

The classic style is mounted on a door that is 80 inches tall and then multiplied by 80X(0.55) making a standard dimension of 20 inches. Larger sizes can adjust to the appropriate level by using the calculation.

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LED Waterproof Wall Light


How do I place front porch pendants?

In terms of height installation, if we had to guess, it's six feet over your door's threshold - as long as there was no issue. To measure light fixture size, we typically divide the width of the entrance door by five. The fixture must be in proportion to the entrance but not overly large to fill the space.

The most straightforward method to install the lighting fixture is to mount the fixture in the middle of the ceiling or on the entranceway's wall. The lighting in the middle should be installed in the midsection between the measurements of the height and width of your overhead space.

Which is the most suitable light wattage for outdoors?

Lights are now measured in lumens, not Watts. There isn't a specific figure of lumens ideal for every outdoor lighting situation. You must review the guidelines and requirements for each lighting fixture.

Do I need a professional electrician to install outdoor lights?

The homeowner can set up outdoor lights considering that you adhere to the guidelines and take the necessary precautions. If you're not comfortable using electricity you should definitely seek professional help from an electrician. Landscape lighting is usually plug-and-play with a slight risk.

What type of lighting is the best for outdoor use?

The most vivid types of light outdoors are those that use LEDs. LED lighting consumes less energy than incandescent light bulbs, and can last longer without cracking up your electric bill.



Outdoor lighting is a significant part of the entire house. They also provide an inviting outdoor atmosphere and give us an essential feeling of security.

If you adhere to the guidelines and follow a plan, it is easy to determine the best way to select the right outdoor lighting. The choosing and planning process might be more time-consuming than the actual installation. We hope that we have provided you with the right choices that work most effectively for your exterior home.

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