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Guide to Outdoor Lighting

The warmer weather has us thinking about how we can spend more time enjoying the outdoors. Whether you are revamping your entire outdoor lighting plan or just adding a few fixtures to the mix, this guide will help you efficiently illuminate your outdoor space.


As staples in any home lighting plan, outdoor lighting is great for highlighting your landscape and yard , as well as the facade of your home. Outdoor lights can highlight focal points and hide eyesores in your outdoor space. Our outdoor lighting guide will help you make the right lighting choices for your entry way, garden, yard, patio or porch.

Pediment Lantern FrontDoor Guide to Outdoor Lighting
Feiss Pediment Outdoor Wall Lights

Think Ambiance

Carefully planned lighting in your outdoor areas adds to the ambience. In your backyard, the lighting also sets a mood for outdoor dining. A well-lit outdoor dining area makes your backyard useable at night for entertaining, essentially adding an entirely new “room” to your home.

Highlight Features

Consider adding spotlights to highlight key parts of your yard, such as a tree or fountain. The spotlights will draw the eye in that direction and transform the feature that is being illuminated.

Placement of your outdoor lighting is essential. The key is to make your lighting blend into its surroundings to create a mood without making the source of light obvious. Small fixtures and spotlights are ideal for this, as they can be easily hidden in foliage or rocks.

Stay Up to Date on the Trends

Lighting styles for outdoor fixtures are often influenced by current interior design trends. For instance, sleek and modern fixtures are becoming more popular for outdoor spaces. Choose a style that blends well with the general exterior of your home, whether it is classic, modern, rustic or industrial. 

Modern outdoor lamps, like the Muse floor lamp from Contardi and the Vondom outdoor lamps, are fun additions to any outdoor space. 

Rustic Lanterns and Novelty Lights

Lanterns bring a rustic yet chic style to your home’s exterior and are perfectly at-home on wooden patios. Whether your exterior is classic or modern, we have different style fixtures to match any theme.

Security Lighting

No outside lighting buying guide would be complete without discussing security lights. Well-lit areas around entrances, windows, and garage doors increase your sense of safety while leaving concerns at bay. Whether you choose motion-activated lights or not, consider the angle and wattage of the light — as you want to increase the safety of your yard without shining bright lights through the neighbor’s windows.

Look Before You Buy: A Few Lighting Tips to Consider

•   Create a lighting planwalk around at night with a flashlight to see how the light will interact with the house and landscape. This will help you to get a good sense of where light is needed. 

•   Layer your light - just like interior lighting, consider ambient, task, and accent lighting for outside.

•   Consider your environment - choose Energy Star lighting and LED bulbs over incandescent lights. Dark Sky Approved fixtures minimize glare while reducing light pollution.

•   Stay in control - use dimmer switches, timers, and motion sensors to control outdoor light fixtures.

•   Be aware of the elements - all outdoor lighting fixtures and wires need to be made of weather-resistant materials. Refer to our guide to UL Ratings for more safety information.

•   Get the right size - lights for a front door or entryway should be relative to the height of the door or opening. If you are just using one sconce, it should be about one-third of the height of the door. If using two, they should be smaller than a single one, about one-quarter of the height of the door.

TechOutdoor CirqueCeiling Bowman4Wall Brozne Entry Guide to Outdoor Lighting

This outdoor lighting guide offers just a few ideas you can use to light your outdoor spaces. How are you illuminating your outdoor areas?

Need help selecting outdoor fixtures? Call us at 888.602.7011 or send us an email at smile@lamps.com.

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