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Outdoor lighting serves two important purposes.

  1. After sunset safety for your family and your guests.
  2. To illuminate your home’s exterior decor, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.


Whether your tastes are rustic, artistic or modern, keep these general things in mind when selecting porch lights for your home.



The style of your home should directly influence the fixtures you choose. For example, lighting that incorporates warm metals, such as brass, looks good on a home with brick detailing. And size matters. Is your home a one or two storey house? A larger fixture works well with a two-story home while a smaller one better suits a one-story.



Choose weather resistant materials. Shiny, polished fixtures show spots quickly and iron and steel rust in the air and moisture. In terms of finishes, you want to go with powder-coated aluminum, oil-rubbed bronzes and dark antique brasses.



A comfortable wattage for outdoor lighting is generally 60 watts, but it really depends on where you are placing your lights, and the size of your space. If you want them bordering the door, opt for a lower wattage that won’t blind visitors when they approach the door at night.

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If you want to place lights on either side of your front door, they should be mounted between 3/4 and 7/8 the height of the door. You want your mounted light fixtures to be slightly above eye level for a few reasons, one of them being to spare your guests the unpleasantness of coming face-to-face with the dust, cobwebs and dead bugs that will inevitably accumulate on top of your fixtures.


Special features

Are you thinking about motion sensors? They could be a good idea, enhancing your home’s safety, or they could be overly sensitive and ultimately become a nuisance, becoming activated every time a jogger passes. Make a well-informed, well-researched decision about this feature.


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