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Exterior image of a grand front entrance lit up with Kroft exterior wall lights at night

Outdoor Lighting Guide

Outdoor Lighting Placement

Light Up the Great Outdoors

Your outdoor space should feel like an extension of your home. Comfortable, welcoming and a reflection of your style. But with outdoor spaces, you can go a step further. With a little décor and the right light, you can make your own backyard feel like an outdoor oasis. 

Superb Appeal 

With your front porch or doorway area, you have a chance to welcome guests to your home before they even set foot in the door. A large, outdoor wall-mounted fixture next to your door will say ‘welcome’ even better than your clever welcome mat. And a ceiling light and pendant will put polish on a front porch. Keep in mind that outdoor porch lights or wall lights work best when placed above shoulder height to keep direct light out of your eyes (5.5' - 6'), and help with tasks, like unlocking your door. A good rule of thumb is to choose fixtures about 1/4 to 1/3 the height of your front door and hang them around 6’ from the ground.

Exterior image of a front porch with guides on where to install exterior wall lights
Garage Lights

One of the best and safest ways to arrive home at night is with the right garage light. For a double garage or multiple garages, place outdoor sconces on the outside pillars of the garage to cover the whole area. Or, alternatively, opt for a flood light or motion sensor outdoor light above the garage to light the whole area any time someone drives up. An RLM fixture, also known as a barnlight or gooseneck light, is a stylish and versatile way to bring light to your garage. To determine how large your fixture should be, simply multiply the width of your garage door in inches by .25 (for a single car garage) or by .33 (for a two-car garage.)

Exterior image of a garage door with a Northland exterior wall light above the garage door in the daytime
Exterior image of a garage at the front of a house with exterior wall lights lighting up the garage in the evening time
We're a Big Fan of Hanging Lights 

If your outdoor space has a ceiling like on a covered patio, then an outdoor pendant, flush mount light or a fan are great ways to help your space shine. Fans help keep things cool in warmer climates, while pendant and flush mount lights can brighten up your outdoor space to help it feel like a cozy extension of your home. When considering outdoor lights, consider a fixture from the Climates™  collection, which uses a composite material with UV protectant to create an anti-fading finish resistance to acidic and alkali elements, corrosion, and rust.

Exterior image of an outdoor kitchen with a Lehrll fan in the day
Post It

Whether out front or anchoring a back patio, post lights are a great way to shine some indirect light on your outdoor space. Since they typically shine in all directions, post lights are best used in an expansive area like the bottom or top of a shorter driveway, or a couple more placed evenly along a longer drive. Style-wise, post lights can be a standalone feature in classic black, gold or bronze, even if your other lights are a different finish. You can also use a post light on top of a stone or brick column, like in a backyard patio area. Choose a light with textured glass to cast an ambient glow or allow the bulb to shine through clear glass for a bright spot in any space. 

Exterior image of a front yard with a post light lighting up the yard during the night
Detailed zoomed in image of a Bowen post light during the day
Out Back 

Around your back door, along an outdoor sitting area or on a wide porch, wall lights can serve as the perfect way to brighten up dinner parties or outdoor gatherings. Classic wall sconces or outdoor wall lights can seamlessly fit with any home style.

A covered back patio lit up with a Linford flush mount and Linfor exterior wall lights during the night
Light Up Your Landscape

Landscape lighting is a simple way to shine a light on your lawn and beyond. Think about areas you want to highlight in your yard, or ones that are particularly dark and not reached by the lights on or around the house, and that will help you lay the plan for your landscape lighting. Overall, there are three main placement spots for landscape lights, although there are many placements within each category. The first is path and spread lights, which illuminate sidewalks, stone pathways and lawn walkways while adding a hint of intrigue to boulders and plant beds. Next is accent lighting. There are lots of options including uplight, downlight, flood, in-ground, water, and deck & patio. These focus the stream of light on trees, walls or accents in your yard like a statue or water feature. And finally, hardscape lighting illuminates man-made structures like decks, steps or walkways, which also increases safety and security. 

Detail image of a Seaside path light in a front yard turned on during the day
Detailed image of an exterior tree light during the day

We're all spending more time outdoors these days, so make sure you don’t leave your guests, or your family, in the dark when you’re entertaining outdoors. There’s no one right way to light your outdoor living space. The only wrong way would be not to do it at all! 

Looking for more inspiration?

Outdoor Living Ideas
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