Outdoor lighting comes in many types. Post lights are mounted on a post, which is usually located near the driveway. Wall lights are mounted on walls near exterior doors—on each side of the garage door, for example. Ceiling mount lights are mounted on the ceiling of a porch or portico to illuminate the front entrance. Hanging lights serve the same purpose as ceiling mount lights but make more of a statement in grand entrances and tall porches.

Make a list of the outdoor lights you need and the amount you have to spend, and then get ready to shop. Outdoor lights come in a variety of styles. Look for a style that complements the style of your home. While lanterns might work well for a beach house, they may not suit your contemporary home. You might need a sleeker, cleaner style.

Finish is another aspect to consider. Again, look to your house as a guide. If you have a lot of brass, brass fixtures are the way to go. If you have a lot of ironwork, look for black fixtures. If you have a lot of chrome, look for chrome fixtures.

Scale is vital. Too small or too large of lights can detract from the beauty of your home. Look for appropriate sized lights. If you are looking for wall lights for a two-story home, for example, you should focus on lights that are 18 to 24 inches tall. Pay attention to the elements in the area where the lights will go. While you might adore hanging lights, having one in your small portico might not work. You don’t want guests hitting their head on the light every time they enter or exit your home.


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