A well-lit home exterior extends your living space after dark, provides a beautiful view to look out on, ensures easy movement, and helps deter criminals from damaging your property. Exterior lighting consists of both the structural (fixed to a wall, post, or rail) and landscape lighting elements that illuminate the areas outside your home such as your front yard, driveway, patio, pool area, and gardens.
Exterior Lighting Fixtures
Exterior lighting can include both permanent fixtures like wall sconces and temporary decorative fixtures like hanging paper lanterns or candle-lit luminaries. Setting the tone for your home, wall-mounted fixtures on either side of a garage, a ceiling-mounted or hanging lamp above the entryway, and post lamps alongside paths are used to allow homeowners to see visitors and to provide guests a warm and safe welcome. They are the traditional elements of exterior lighting, and they come in hundreds of different styles as well as a wide range of materials and finishes suitable for any home, be it modern, transitional, Mediterranean, or country cottage. Here is a brief overview of these fixtures:
- Flush-mounted Ceiling Fixtures - lights mount flush to a ceiling for use where overhead clearance is below 66 inches.
- Wall-mounted Fixtures - sconces, lanterns, and entrance lamps provide lighting for areas adjacent to building exteriors such as porches, patios, decks, and entryways.
- Post Fixtures - these include bollards, pathway post lights, pedestal-mounted lights, and lampposts used for adding character to and lighting walkways, lawns, and driveways.
- Pendant/Hanging Fixtures - for lighting in areas such as entryways or alcoves where overhead clearances extend over 66 inches.
Using Exterior Lighting
In tandem with these more traditional exterior lighting elements, homeowners and lighting design professionals are employing a broad range of landscape lights like well lights to uplight plants and architectural elements; spotlights to cast moonlight-like radiance down through trees and onto pathways; submersible lights to add playful beauty to ponds and fountains; and low voltage accent and strip lights to gently light steps and patio rails. For added security around the home, many homeowners also choose to install motion detecting security lights in critical areas of their home's exterior such as near a back porch door, side gate, or above a garage. Another important feature to consider when installing or updating exterior lighting is an automatic timer that can turn your lights on or off at specific times, thereby enhancing your home's security and providing a safe environment for your family to come home to.