Outdoor lighting is an easy and cost-effective way to add beauty, safety, and security to your home. But it starts with choosing the right lighting fixtures. Otherwise you might not gain the desired value from your lights.
We’ve rounded up a few considerations to help you pick the right outdoor lighting;
One of the most common mistakes owners of Lewisville TX apartments make when selecting outdoor lighting is choosing fixtures that are too small. When replacing existing lighting fixtures, don’t assume that the ones you found installed were the right size. Builders often install smaller fixtures to save on costs. Budget, allowing, use the following guidelines when buying new fixtures;
- Pendant and hanging porch lights should be 1/5 the height of the door
- Front porch lights and wall sconces should be 1/4 to 1/3 the height of the door
- Over front door wall lights should be 1/4 to 1/3 the width of the door frame
- Garage wall and carriage lights should be 1/4 to 1/3 the height of the garage door
- Over garage door lights should be 1/4 to 1/3 the width of the garage door frame
- Resident lamp post and fence lights should be 1/4 the height of the mounting pole or fence post
#2: UL Rating
Outdoor lighting fixtures are rated differently from indoor fixtures because they need to withstand higher levels of humidity and moisture. So, from the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) options which are Dry, Damp, and Wet, you should only pick either Damp or Wet lighting fixtures as they’re designed to brave the outdoor weather. Here’s what you need to know about the two;
- UL Damp Lights – UL Damp ratings are a sign that the lighting fixture is suited for humid and moist locations. However, the lights must not be directly exposed to water, rain, snow, or other liquids. As such UL Damp fixtures are ideal for partially covered areas such as marquees and canopies.
- UL Wet Lights – UL Wet lighting fixtures are suited for all locations and can come in direct contact with water, rain, snow, and ocean spray without any problems. For this reason, these light fixtures can be used on uncovered gazebos, porches, pergolas, and walkways.
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#3: Type, Purpose, and Location
Outdoor lights come in many types depending on the intended use and purpose. Here are a few guidelines you can follow to ensure that you’re purchasing the right lighting fixtures for the right location and purpose;
- Ceiling lights are for decorative purposes and are ideal for entryways.
- Pendant and chandelier lights are also designed for decorative purposes. They can be used for outdoor kitchens, patio lighting, and garden nooks.
- Wall sconces are another decorative option. They can be used on front entrances, exterior walls, and stairways.
- String lights are meant for decorative lighting on gardens, patios, gazebos, and porches.
- Landscape lights serve both decorative and safety purposes and can be used in front of the house, along pathways/walkways, and on gardens and trees.
- Solar lights are for safety. They can be installed along pathways, walkways, and gardens.
- Recessed lighting fixtures are also for safety and can be used on decks, paths, and stairways.
- Flood lights are for security. They are usually installed outside the garage and in parking areas.
#4: Materials and Finishes
Outdoor lights are also made from different materials and come in different finishes. When selecting, here are some tips to keep in mind;
- Brass – Holds up in all environments, is resistant to corrosion, and can last many years. But the fixtures tend to darken over time.
- Cast Aluminum – Is an affordable alternative to brass and copper fixtures. But unless it is coated with a special weather resistant finish, it corrodes easily.
- Ceramic – Is a unique, decorative material if you want to highlight your home’s exterior. It is also weather resistant and can last many years.
- Copper – Is almost similar to brass in terms of weather resistance but is less durable. A majority of manufacturers coat brass fixtures in copper.
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Lastly, outdoor lighting fixtures are available in a wide range of styles which can make choosing difficult. Some of the popular styles to consider include;
- Antique Lights – These are classic, colonial design lighting fixtures often made from brass, bronze, or copper. They are ideal for vintage-inspired and historical homes.
- Modern Lights – Are perfect for smooth, clean lines. Often made from nickel, stainless steel, or chrome, they are ideal for contemporary, transitional, and modern homes.
- Nautical Lights – Are also classic colonial designs mostly featuring satin or black iron finishes. They are perfect for coastal homes and bungalows.
- Rustic Fixtures – Are hand-forged metal accents mostly available in natural finishes such as pewter. They are best suited for cabins and lodge-style homes.
These are just the most important factors you need to consider when choosing lighting fixtures for your outdoors. Along the way, you may also want to look at controls, bulb types, and energy efficiency. Above all, the key to longevity for light fixtures is maintenance. So, choose fixtures that are easy to clean and care for.
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