Home Exterior Lighting: How To Choose The Right Styles For Your Home's Outdoor Spaces

Posted On Friday, 27 March 2020 12:44

Your choice of outdoor lighting makes a huge difference in the overall look of your property, especially at night. Therefore, it is essential to pick the right styles of light fixtures that would add allure to your abode’s outdoor spaces.

Confused about how to choose the right styles of exterior lighting?  Use these tips as a guide:

1. Determine Your Goals And Needs

One of the first things to do when choosing exterior lighting is to determine the problems you want the lighting to solve. Common lighting problems have to do with durability, poor lighting, safety, and energy sustainability.

Landscape lighting is ideal for lighting the lawn and driveway, serving as a guide for your guests when coming to your home. In addition, this type of lighting can help enhance the appearance of your property by throwing light on the architectural features of your home. Landscape lights also prove to be beneficial during nighttime outdoor events.

You may hire a professional to draw up a plan and help you choose the ideal exterior lighting for your type of outdoor space. For people living in Oregon, services from outdoor lighting Portland experts can help you out.

To know what to expect in a lighting project, take a look at this walkthrough of outdoor lighting in Portland:

2. Choose An Appropriate Size

It is of the essence to pick the right size so your light fixtures won’t look too big or too small on areas which you’ll be installing them.

For doors, it is advisable to use light fixtures that are 1/4 of their height, or 1/3 if you are using a single light. For a garage, it would be best to use fixtures that are 1/3 of the garage door's height since you want to illuminate the whole area.

Moreover, when installing light fixtures on a post or fence, big lights are allowed since smaller fixtures will look too tiny from afar. You can also use bigger lights for places like the driveway and yard. On the one hand, smaller bulbs are preferred for areas, such as the doorway and porch.

3. Invest In High-quality Lighting

You have to make sure that your light fixtures are of excellent quality and made from weather-resistant materials. Although most outdoor lights are designed to withstand different weather conditions, how long they can last is another story.

When buying outdoor lights, the weather pattern in your area should determine the type you should settle for. The Underwriters Laboratories (UL) rating can tell you what is ideal for your environment.

• Those with UL damp and UL wet rating can both be used outdoors.
• Lighting options with UL dry rating are only for indoor use because they cannot withstand moisture and harsh weather conditions.
• For cold regions, it is best to use light fixtures with UL wet rating because these can best handle snow, ice, ocean wind, and heavy rain.
• For warmer and drier climates, light fixtures with UL damp rating are most ideal. They are best for covered outdoor locations, as well as areas that are not directly exposed to snow. They can also handle moist and humidity.  

4. Invest In LED Lighting

LED lights are energy-efficient and, more importantly, you don't have to change them frequently. Initially, most people were hesitant to use LED lights because they were too harsh; however, there are now softer led lights available in the market.

LED outdoor lights can buff up the security in your home, apart from providing illumination to your property's outdoor space. LED lights provide bright lighting, which increases visibility at night and allows facial recognition up to a 30-foot distance. They also work well with cameras and motion sensors. 

5. Make Sure You Meet Local Requirements

You don't want to finish fixing your outdoor lighting only to have them removed because they don't comply with your town’s or city’s local requirements. Each area has different regulations regarding home exterior lighting. So, before you install one, make sure you check with the appropriate authorities.

In some states, the only thing you need to ensure is that all light fixtures must have an energy star certification. In others, they might require other safety and privacy procedures.  


Exterior lighting does not only provide proper illumination, but it can also improve your property’s curb appeal. In terms of installing outdoor light fixtures, there are several things to consider, from choosing the appropriate sizes to identifying specific lighting problems you want to be solved. You also have to make sure that your exterior lighting meets the local requirements. With the guide above, choosing the right styles for your outdoor spaces should no longer be a problem.

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