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How to Choose the Right Outdoor Lighting for Your Home



Upgrading your home's outdoor lighting can refine the look of your property, boosting its curb appeal. However, before you can create the perfect ambiance, it is necessary to understand a proper outdoor lighting aesthetic and how to prepare your Christmas light installation


Factors such as scale, correct placement, color and style, and level of illumination need to be considered. In this guide, we'll go over these essential elements and other tips and guidelines to help elevate your property's outdoor appeal for the festive season and beyond.


Stylistic Harmony


Selecting outdoor lighting that seamlessly blends with your home's architecture is crucial to ensure a cohesive and visually appealing ambiance. Begin by aligning the style of your light fixtures with the distinctive features of your residence.


Mismatched styles can disrupt visual harmony, creating a jarring effect in the design of homes and businesses with exterior lighting. Certain light styles historically pair well with specific architectural forms. For instance, lantern-style lights work best with Georgian, Federal, and Victorian houses. On the other hand, onion-style globes look exceptional with Cape Cod-style cottages.


However, it’s always helpful to remain cautious of certain style pitfalls:


  • Using disproportionately small lights or fixtures that clash with the architectural style.

  • Exterior lighting options that don't compliment your home's lines and shapes seamlessly.

To help you decide on the outdoor lighting that suits your needs, consider taking a walking tour through well-kept neighborhoods. Observe how different light styles enhance various house types, paying attention to placement and scale. This can provide valuable insights for selecting outdoor lighting that harmonizes with your home's architectural identity.


Light Fixture Proportions


A common mistake in outdoor lighting is choosing fixtures that are too small. Don't assume the builder's default fixture is the best fit for your home, as they often install smaller lighting options to save on costs. Be sure to consider your home's scale as larger residences may benefit from more substantial residential accent lighting fixtures. At the same time, smaller homes suit more modest sizes for a proportional appeal.


Festive season tip: A practical guideline for installing festive cheer at your front door, is choosing a Christmas lighting fixture approximately one-third the door's height for a single light and one-fourth if they are on the door's side.


Ensure your chosen fixtures (festive or otherwise) make an impact during both day and night, contributing not only to aesthetic harmony but also functional illumination. This balanced approach enhances your home's curb appeal, creating an aesthetically pleasing visual impact.


Color and Material Selection


Seamlessly integrate your light fixtures with the overall aesthetic of your home by drawing inspiration from the color palette of your house exterior. Analyze the hues of your siding, shutters, and front door, and take note of the materials comprising your front door hardware.


Assess the color scheme of your windows, whether they exhibit a white, black, or wood-toned finish. Determine if these colors lean towards cool or warm tones. 


Some popular options for exterior lights and a Christmas light installation include oil-rubbed bronze, brushed or polished nickel, matte black or white, copper, and polished brass. You should opt for a color or finish that harmonizes with your existing exterior colors and hardware.


One strategic approach involves adhering to warm or cool tones. For example, consider nickel, white, or bronze finishes if your house boasts a blue hue with white trim. On the other hand, a classic red brick exterior with dark shutters pairs elegantly with fixtures and Christmas lighting with brass, black, or bronze finishes.


Always consider all the design elements of your home or building and not only the easily visible sections. For instance, if your home leans toward a transitional style, pay attention to copper roofs and door hardware that create classic-looking lines. These features can pair well with an oil-rubbed bronze Christmas light installation.


This selection process enhances visual appeal and adds a touch of sophistication to your property. Matching the color and material of these elements can cater to the discerning eye of potential buyers boosting your property's market value.


Strategic Outdoor Lighting Placement


The placement of your lighting fixtures is another crucial detail impacting the overall appeal of your property. Common pitfalls include wall fixtures hung too high or spaced too far apart and ceiling lights suspended at a height that interferes with the door.


Wall-Mounted Fixtures


Positioning sconces, commonly found beside front or side entrances, requires a nuanced approach. For optimal placement, position them in the top third of the door, approximately 66" up from the ground. This positioning ensures the light is above eye level, preventing glaring effects.


Exercise proper discretion in aligning the center or end of the fixture with the 66" mark, considering your door's style and the entryway's height. Maintain a spacing of 6 to 8" from the door casing for a balanced and visually appealing arrangement.


Post Lights


Ideal for illuminating driveways or front and side garden areas, post lights should stand at a height of 5 to 6 feet. This elevation guarantees effective illumination while contributing to the overall aesthetic balance of your outdoor space.


Ceiling Lights


Hanging pendant lights and other similar fixtures should delicately overlap the top of the door, positioned around 84" from the ground. This strategic height ensures that the light source neither obstructs nor distracts, providing an optimal blend of functionality and aesthetics.


Optimize Illumination


Go beyond aesthetics when choosing outdoor and Christmas lighting elements. The degree of illumination generated by your selected fixtures is crucial in enhancing functionality and ambiance. Carefully assess the number and wattage of light bulbs required by the fixture. A higher wattage may be suitable for security lighting, while softer illumination may be preferred for festive, decorative and accent lighting fixtures.


Atlanta's Trusted Outdoor Lighting Professionals


Are you ready to boost your home's curb appeal with elegant outdoor lighting? Certified professionals from Lights Over Atlanta can provide expert recommendations and financing. Contact us today to get started.


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