Tips on outside lighting of your home.

Tips on Outside Lighting

By Susan M. Keenan ©2007


Outside lighting is such an important facet of our home.  It welcomes us as we arrive home in the later hours of the day.  It shines light on the darker corners of our yard creating a sense of being safe and secure.  It showcases the finer elements of our outside décor and architecture.


Additionally, it provides safety for our family and our visitors during the hours when the sun begins to fade until the morning when the sun rises up in all of its bright glory.  Not only does our exterior lighting allow us to see where it is that we are walking when night has fallen, but also, it allows us to see what is going on outside of our home. 


The proper lighting can be used as a deterrent to crime.  It can keep away mischievous individuals on the night before Halloween as well as every other night of the year.  Moreover, outdoor lighting might just keep away anyone who is thinking about breaking into your home.


For all of these reasons and possibly more, it is important to make the proper selection and placement of our outdoor lighting.  If we pay attention to a few simple points when selecting our outdoor lighting, we can enhance its visual appeal as well as its functionality.


Selection Tips for Size and Placement


  • Consider the height of the door where the lighting will be placed.  If you are using one lighting fixture and mounting it to the side of the door, the height of it should be equal to 1/3 the height of the door.  If you are using two lighting fixtures and mounting them to the side of the door, the height of the fixtures should be equal to 1/4 the height of the door.  
  • Lighting fixtures that are mounted to the side of the door should be mounted at a spot that is slightly above eye level for a person of average height.  This probably measures somewhere between 66 and 70 inches, depending on your personal preference and the actual height of your door.  Some lighting fixtures may have an adjustment feature to them.  
  • If you purchase lighting fixtures for posts, select larger ones since they will appear smaller from a distance.  


Selection Tips for Features


  • Lighting fixtures that include sensors that allow them to turn on when they are needed and to turn off when they are not are a great convenience to homeowners.  
  • Avoid lights that are too bright, especially if they will be placed near bedroom windows or a neighboring home.  
  • Check the ordinances in your community that refer to outdoor lighting.  If your community has a “dark sky” ordinance, purchase lighting that qualifies.  
  • Purchase lighting fixtures that shine their light downward.  This reduces the glare and provides a more efficient output of light.  Additionally, you will need fewer lighting fixtures if you purchase efficient ones.  
  • Purchase fixtures with alabaster glass to create a soft, diffused effect.  
  • Purchase fixtures with frosted glass to create a flat, overall glowing appearance.  
  • Purchase fixtures with colored glass to create a distinctive and unique look.  
  • Purchase fixtures with seedy glass to create a diffused display of light.  


Selection Tips for Usage 


Article above By Susan M. Keenan ©2007


Consult a qualified electrician before attempting serious electrical work around the house.



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