Porch lighting is an important part of your home’s curb appeal, but it provides much more than just a pretty accent for your front door. The right outdoor lighting can enhance security, safety and even save you money on your utility bill.
Porch Lighting Goals
There are many practical reasons to update your porch lighting, but your porch’s appearance matters, too. Most porch lighting updates are done for aesthetic reasons when a fixture has become dated or worn. The good news is that you can choose new porch lights that not only address the practical issues like security, but also give your home a stylish boost. Once you have identified your new goals for lighting your porch, you can shop for the right fixtures. Depending upon your goal, there is a specific type of fixture to meet your needs.
Knowing what your goals are for the porch is your first step. Those goals can include:
- Replace Outdated Light Fixtures: Updating your lighting is all about shopping and finding a new style that you love.
- Increase Security With Ample Lighting: Look for fixtures with features like motion detectors or automatic light sensors.
- Illuminate Dark Corners and Steps: Step lights or stake lighting adjacent to your steps can be a stylish solution.
- Increase Energy Efficiency: Lighting fixtures and bulbs have come a long way in energy efficiency. If you leave your porch light on all night, it’s important to choose the right one.
- Add Additional Fixtures to Enhance Your Porch: A large porch may benefit from more than one light source.
Lighting Beyond Your Front Door
Standard porch lighting for most homes traditionally consisted of one porch sconce adjacent to the front door, as porches became more of a pass-through spot than a place to linger. But today, porches are again becoming a place to entertain and relax. And the lighting needs have changed accordingly.
To find the right lighting balance for your porch, think of it as another room in your home. You’ll want to create layers of lighting on your porch, just as you would your living room. Here are the best spots for enhancing your porch lighting:
- A Second Sconce Next to Your Front Door: This balances the lighting and frames your front door.
- Overhead Porch Lighting: Not all porch structures can accommodate an overhead light. If it’s possible, a ceiling light fixture can add charm to your front porch.
- Garage Carriage Lights: Balance the lighting of your entire home and garage with two to three light fixtures framing the garage doors.
- Path Lighting: Solar or battery-powered path lighting helps to lead your guests safely to your porch.
How to Shop for Porch Lighting
Now that you have assessed your needs and created a goal for your porch lighting, it’s time to shop. Here are simple outdoor fixture shopping tips:
- Measure Before You Shop: Have all the fixture sizes you’ll need written down. If you’re shopping online or in a store, these measurements will help you choose the right fixture size.
- Consult an Expert: If you’re adding a new hard-wired fixture, you may need help from a pro.
- Watch the Usage Ratings: Be sure that you’re choosing fixtures that are designed for outdoor use. It’s easy to fall in love with a fixture, only to find out it’s indoor-use only.
- Consider a Dark Sky Fixture: Many retailers now offer outdoor lighting that helps to reduce light pollution. These dark sky fixtures control the direction of light to minimize glare while reducing light trespass and skyglow.