Any lighting intended for installation outside a structure or in an outdoor area is exterior lighting. These lights must be durable and weatherproof because they are constantly exposed to the elements. Outdoor lighting, particularly motion-sensor lighting, can also increase safety. However, there are different reasons to invest in exterior lighting besides safety. This lighting guide will teach you about the various types of exterior lighting, where to put them for maximum aesthetic and security features, and how to maintain them.
Types of outdoor lighting
Several major categories of outdoor light fittings exist, differentiated primarily by their intended mounting method.
Lamp Posts for the Yard
These weatherproof lighting fixtures shine a light on the exterior of your home, illuminating walkways and highlighting architectural details.
Wall Sconces for Patio or Garage
Mounting lights on the outer walls of a house is a standard method of creating a welcoming atmosphere in the yard. Outdoor lights, such as exterior or garage lights, should be strategically positioned near the areas where you will be moving or working at night.
- Porch lights are fixtures typically affixed to the wall on either side of a home’s primary front door. These exterior wall sconces emit light downward and outward, making them ideal for lighting a small area.
- Mounting outdoor wall sconces or porch lights at or above shoulder height is ideal. This will direct light downward, where it can help you find your keys without causing discomfort to your eyes. These outdoor wall lights, often called “coach” lights after the lanterns on horse-drawn coaches, illuminate the steps, entryway, and path leading up to the entrance.
Lights for the Garage
- The walls on either side of the garage are another common location for outdoor wall lights. The driveway or surrounding area will be better illuminated with the help of these garage lights.
- Your home’s exterior garage lights can serve as a friendly beacon as you drive in the dark and illuminate a more extensive section of the driveway for your safety. It’s common for garage lights to be placed far from the entrance to decorate the foyer effectively, so it’s also a good idea to install porch lights.
- There are many ways to illuminate a garage’s exterior; a straightforward solution is to mount outdoor wall sconces on the garage’s outermost pillars. This will illuminate the entire garage. Another option is to install an outdoor floodlight or motion-activated light fixture above the garage, illuminating the whole area whenever a car approaches.
Additional Concepts for Outdoor Home Lighting
Outdoor facade lights can be installed along the building’s perimeter and rear to illuminate any dark passageways and deter would-be burglars.
Motion-activated outdoor lights are a convenient addition to the front or back yards. When the system detects that something of significance has moved, the lights will turn on. When you leave your home, security lights not only help to keep it safe, but they also turn on automatically to save you the trouble of remembering to do so every time.
Lamps for Outdoor Ceilings and Pendants
There are primarily two varieties of outdoor ceiling lights:
- Similarly to a flush-mounted light fixture in an indoor setting, outdoor ceiling lights sit flush with the ceiling and direct most of their illumination downward. Outdoor ceiling lights should be installed over a doorway or other passageway that people will be using. Be wary of the shadows they cast downward; a nearby wall sconce can help counteract this effect by casting light in a lateral direction.
- Outdoor pendant lighting consists of a lantern suspended from a chain, stem, or cord in the outdoor space. The light from the hanging lamp will shine downwards and in all directions. If you plan on walking below the pendants, you’ll need to have a patio or ceiling that’s high enough to cater for them. An alternative is to use a pendant light that hangs between or above porch furniture.