Outdoor Lighting to Add Style

Nothing sets off a home quite as well as perfectly placed light fixtures.  They provide depth, elegance, and visual interest around your home.  Over 40% of home buyers believe that outdoor lights are an essential feature in the home they purchase.  But which outdoor light fixtures should you choose for your home?  While there are a variety of styles and types of outdoor lights to choose from, some are more popular than others. 

When you begin your search for the perfect outdoor light fixtures you’ll want to consider the purpose your lights will serve.  One purpose for outdoor lighting is security.  Bright floodlights and spotlights are common security light choices.   Most of these are mounted up high and are also motion sensor or timer set lights.  Homeowners who are not looking for basic security may be looking for decorative lighting.  If this is the case you can choose from wall sconces, pendant lights, or landscaping lights.  

Add Style with Sconces

Outdoor lighting can be a stylish addition to the exterior of your home when you add sconces.  A ‘sconce’ is a term for any wall-mounted light whether indoors or outdoors.  Outdoor wall sconces are very versatile and come in a range of sizes, styles, and finishes.  Flush mounted outdoor sconces work perfectly in front entryways and around tight spaces where a hanging light may get in the way.  Flush mounted sconces have many styles but are often a popular choice among modern or contemporary homeowners. These lights utilize the same clean lines and simple design as is seen in modern homes.  Think matte black cylinder wall mounts or graphite rectangular prism lanterns.  Common finishes for modern light fixtures are matte black, stainless steel, silver pewter, or chrome.  

Barn lights are another style of outdoor light that is very popular with homeowners.  These lights allow for higher light output than others because they are open on the bottoms and partially along the side.  Some barn lights are modern in design and would pair well with a home that exudes a simple minimalistic vibe.  Other barn lights appear more traditional or rustic because they use brass finishes.  

Arguably one of the most recognizable outdoor light fixtures is the lantern.  From the days prior to the invention of electricity when lanterns held candles the lantern light fixtures were on every home.  These can be mounted in a variety of ways depending upon the space you have available.  Installing wall lanterns on either side of the front door is a popular option with traditional homes.  Finishes that are popular among traditional homeowners are copper, iron, bronze, and silver-tones.  Coastal and French country style homes are also known for using lanterns as outdoor light fixtures.  Instead of a metallic finish, coastal homeowners use white painted lanterns with etched glass to set them apart from traditional homes.  Cottage style homes also use white or painted lantern light fixtures but they tend to add more detail to the lantern design.  

Finally, industrial homes can find the perfect light fixture to match their edgy vibe with a bulkhead light or barn light with thick metal roping.  Bulkhead lights sit flush against the wall they are mounted on and clearly display the utilitarian vibe of an industrial inspired home.  Metal barn lights with thick grid-like patterns below the light bulb are reminiscent of warehouse lights.

If you choose to install outdoor wall sconces you should consider using downlighting.  Downlighting is a technique in which light fixtures are placed or designed to throw illumination downwards.  Rather than act as a spotlight that is placed in the ground and shines upward toward your house, downlighting places light fixtures up higher and pushes the light toward the ground.  This creates the effect of moonlight and preserves the dark night sky.  Downlights can be mounted anywhere around your home but work especially well on columns or under gutters, soffits, or other overhangs.  

Pathway Lights

There is nothing worse than trying to find your way up your home’s walkway in the dead of night.  Not only does it open you up to security concerns, it also creates a safety hazard.  Luckily, there is a very quick and inexpensive way to add lighting to your pathways.  In-ground solar lanterns can be found at any hardware store, online, or home decor store.  These lights are solar-powered and only require that you push them into the ground in an area that will receive at least a few hours of sunlight throughout the day.  Not only are these lights extremely easy to purchase and install, they also light up automatically once the sun goes down so that you will always have a light source even when you forget to turn on your exterior lights.

Use Pendant Lights

Pendant lights can create an additional accent to your front porch.  Whether it hangs from a chain or stem, a pendant light will create visual interest with its unique design and bright light.  If you choose to use a pendant light you will need to have a high enough ceiling to accommodate the length of the fixture.  Pendant lights work well on any style as they are available in a multitude of styles, sizes, and finishes.  Make sure that your home does not receive too much wind or harsh weather that could possibly damage the pendant light. 

It is best to add multiple light sources around the front, back and sides of your home for optimal security and beauty.  Speak to an electrician and lighting professional who can assist you with where and how to hang light fixtures for optimal effect.  Light fixtures are a great way to accent focal points of your home, add depth, and create ambience.   

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