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How To Pick Outdoor Lighting That Will Complement Your Home’s Designs

Written by:
Liliana Alvarez
Photography:
Alexandre Zveiger

A lot of outdoor lighting can be seen as gimmicky, and many people don’t know how to pick it out. But the truth is, there are factors to consider when looking for outdoor lighting that will complement your home’s designs. This blog post will offer a few tips to get you started finding the right lighting for your home.

1.     Consider The Seasons

In order to find the right outdoor lighting, you must first consider the seasons and the natural lighting available. For example, in the winter, you’ll want to find lighting that will complement the shorter days and the lack of natural light. Meanwhile, in the summer, you’ll want to find lighting that will complement the longer days and abundant natural light.

Natural light is always the best, but when the sun goes down early in the winter months, you’ll need to supplement with outdoor lighting. It’s also best to consider how your home’s design will complement the lighting. For example, if you have a lot of windows, you’ll want to pick a light that will highlight the natural light coming in.

2.     Something To Avoid: Patchy Lighting Schemes

Another point to remember when picking outdoor lighting is to avoid patchy lighting schemes. Instead, find a cohesive plan that complements your home’s design. Any good lighting scheme will consider your home’s size, shape, and style to create a pleasing and functional result.

Patchy schemes, however, will make your home look like it was pieced together with little thought or care. You don’t want your residence to look like it was an afterthought, so avoid any patchy outdoor lighting schemes.

The best way to achieve a cohesive outdoor lighting scheme is to plan it out from the beginning. This means thinking about how you want your outdoor space to look and feel and selecting the right fixtures to achieve that look.

If you’re clueless about where to start, you can consult a professional lighting designer like Washington Outdoor Lighting Seattle. They’ll be able to help you create a stylish and functional lighting scheme.

3.     Porch Light Fixtures Considerations

When guests come to your home, they first see porch light fixtures. They also play an essential role in the overall design of your home. Here are some considerations when choosing the right porch light fixtures for your porch:

Lighting Cost

You need to consider your budget when choosing porch light fixtures. There are a variety of options available at different price points. Choose the option that fits your needs and budget.

Maintenance

It’s also essential to pick fixtures that complement your home’s maintenance needs. To ensure your lighting lasts for years to come, choose fixtures made with durable materials that can withstand the elements.

For example, metal outdoor lighting is an excellent option for heavy rain or snow areas. If you reside in an area with high winds, consider using outdoor lighting designed to stay in place during gusts. And, to make sure your outdoor lighting is always shining bright, regularly clean your fixtures and replace bulbs as needed.

UL Ratings

If you’ve ever shopped for outdoor lighting, you may have noticed the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) logo on some products. This voluntary safety certification program tests products for compliance with specific standards. The UL logo guarantees that the product has been tested and meets certain safety requirements.

There are three UL ratings that you may see on outdoor lighting products:

     UL Listed: The product has been tested and meets the minimum safety requirements.

     UL Classified: The product has been tested and meets additional safety requirements beyond the minimum.

     UL Verified: The product has been tested and meets even more stringent safety requirements.

When choosing outdoor lighting, look for products with a UL rating that meets your needs. For example, if you’re located in an area with a lot of wind, you’ll need to find products rated for high wind loads. Furthermore, if you live in a wet climate, you’ll need to find products rated for wet locations. UL ratings are important because they tell you if a product can withstand the elements and certain types of wear and tear.

4.     Understanding Installation

When choosing outdoor lighting, you’ll also need to know the size of the area you’re lighting and the desired light level (in foot candles) to determine the number of fixtures and their wattage. Use a light level chart to determine how many fixtures and what wattage you need, then consult the installation diagrams to see where to place them.

Double Sconces

Double sconces are usually made of metal or glass and have two light bulbs. Double sconces can be placed on either side of a door or window and often provide lighting in a hallway or stairwell.

Single Sconce

A single sconce can add a touch of elegance to any porch or patio and is a great way to illuminate a dark outdoors. If you have a lot of landscaping, you may consider using multiple sconces to provide adequate lighting.

Floodlight

Floodlights are a great way to provide ample light to a specific area, and they can highlight certain features of your home. Floodlights can be a great way to do that if you have a beautiful garden that you want to show off. Another popular use for floodlights is to provide security lighting around your home. If you have an outdoor pool, you may want to consider floodlights to keep it lit at night.

String Lights

String lights are one of the simplest and most effective ways to add outdoor lighting to your home. String lights can be hung from trees, porches, decks, and more, and they provide a warm and inviting glow that’s perfect for entertaining or simply relaxing outside.

5.     Front Entry Lights: Because Entrances Matter

An easy solution that adds curb appeal to your home is choosing an eye-catching front entry light. Consider the style of your home when picking a front entry light. A sleek and simple light fixture may be the best option if your home is modern. Meanwhile, a more ornate light fixture would be appropriate if it had more traditional architecture.

No matter your style, be sure to pick the right size of front entry light for your space. If your light is too small, it’ll get lost in the space. If it’s too large, it’ll overwhelm your entryway.

6.     Pick The Right Style And Finishing

Lastly, pick a style and finish that will complement your home’s design. Many different finishes are available, so pick one that will match the rest of your home’s hardware.

outdoor lighting designimage © Olesia Bilkei

Ranch Style

Ranch-style light fixtures are simple in design, with a single light or lantern hung from a chain or rod. This type of outdoor lighting is often seen in the country or rustic-style homes.

The best finishing for ranch-style light fixtures is made of natural materials like copper, stone, or wood. If your home is more modern, look for a ranch-style light fixture with clean lines and a simple design. If your home is more traditional, look for a ranch-style light fixture with more ornate details.

Victorian-Era Style

Victorian-style lighting fixtures add a touch of elegance to your home’s exterior. When choosing Victorian-style outdoor lighting, keep in mind the overall design of your home and choose fixtures that will complement its features.

For example, if your home has a lot of ornate details, you may want to choose a light fixture with intricate details and a rich finish, such as oil-rubbed bronze or aged brass. On the other hand, if your home has a more simplified design, you may choose a light fixture with clean lines and a sleek finish, such as stainless steel or brushed nickel.

Cottage Style

If you have a cottage-style home, you’ll want to find outdoor lighting with a cottage feel. One option for cottage-style outdoor lighting is lanterns. These can be hung from your porch or placed on either side of your door. Solar lights are also a good option for cottage-style homes. You can find these in various styles, including lanterns, pathway lights, and string lights.

Classical Style

Classical design is characterized by symmetry, balance, and proportion. Sconces and lanterns are good classical options. They can be placed symmetrically on either side of the front door to create balance. And the best finishes for classical lighting fixtures are typically polished metals like brass and bronze.

For a more modern look, try to find fixtures with clean lines and geometric shapes. These will complement the straight lines and angles found in most modern home designs. And finishes in brushed metals or matte black are usually a good bet.

Final Thoughts

There are a few final thoughts to keep in mind when selecting outdoor lighting for a classical-style home. Firstly, make sure to choose fixtures that are in keeping with the home’s overall design. Secondly, don’t be afraid to mix and match different finishes and materials to create a unique look. And finally, remember to keep the functionality of the lighting in mind so that it not only looks great but also serves its purpose. With these practical lighting tips, you can find the perfect outdoor lighting for your home.


By Liliana Alvarez

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