The Top 9 Dos and Don’ts of Outdoor Lighting

Image Provided by The Home Depot

Image Provided by The Home Depot

Most interior designers agree that lighting can really make or break a room, and the same can be said for outdoor lighting and the exterior of your home. Having a well-lit exterior not only increases safety and security, but also does wonders for your curb appeal. When your home’s façade has attractive and complementary outdoor light fixtures, you are sending a friendly and welcoming message to your guests and neighbors.

Backyard living spaces like decks and patios are no exception either. Before you buy your first lantern or sconce, read these essential do’s and don’t’s of outdoor lighting:

DO’S

  • DO opt for LED fixtures. They use much less energy than incandescent bulbs, last longer and come in a variety of color temperatures. You no longer have to stick with the cool, bluish light of the original LEDs—they now come in warmer temperatures that give off a more yellow light, if you desire that look. LEDs also come in clear finishes rather than just frosted, so you can still achieve the elegant, sparkly look of exposed bulbs while remaining energy efficient.
  • DO choose fixtures with finishes that complement your home’s exterior color scheme. Bronzes go best with earth tones and brown trim and accents. Black is appropriate with most color schemes and white fixtures work well on houses that have darker bodies and white trim.
  • DO space out the light sources on your deck or patio. Several small fixtures with low wattage will always look better and create a more welcoming ambience than one fixture with a bright bulb.
  • DO stick with a mounting height that is slightly above eye level. A general rule of thumb is 66 in. above the threshold for the front of your house.
  • DO use post lanterns near your driveway. If light from the front door or garage fixtures does not extend the length of your driveway, post lanterns offer another source to warmly greet visitors.
  • DO your homework and research to find a consistent, quality line of lighting fixtures.

If you’re looking to reinvent your home’s exterior by upgrading your outdoor fixtures, consider a line of options like Progress Lighting’s wide selection of high-quality, energy-efficient exterior solutions. Their selection includes variety of fixture styles and finishes to meet design and budget goals of any scope.

 DON’T’S

  • DON’T choose fixtures that are too small. This is the most common mistake that homeowners make. Your front door should be the focal point of your home’s façade, so it should have the largest and most ornate fixture. If you use only one light fixture by the door, aim for one that is roughly 1/3 the height of the door, and if you use two, aim for 1/4 the door’s height.
  • DON’T use light bulbs with wattage that is too high. Using bulbs with 40-75 watts or the equivalent thereof is best for outdoor fixtures. Choose the wattage based on the fixture, but never use more wattage than you need because it could create glare and daunt your guests rather than welcome them.
  • DON’T skimp on light fixtures at the back door. They should be less important than the front door’s fixtures, but they should match the rest of your home’s lighting and not be too small.

*Sarah Kellner is a writer for The Home Depot. With a background in art and design, she writes on a wide variety of home improvement and decorating topics. To shop outdoor lighting options, visit the homedepot.com selection online.

Spruce Up Your Front Porch for Spring

First impressions are important and that is especially true for the outside of your house. A porch is one of the first things that welcomes guests to a home, so it is prudent to make it look clean and inviting. Aside from impressing visitors, a porch can be one of the most relaxing places to hang out during warmer months.

Porch

Here are 3 ideas that will give your porch a facelift without breaking your bank.

Make or Buy an Assortment of Wreaths
A wreath is the perfect piece of decor that can be swapped seasonally. By having a few different options your front door will always have a fresh look. For those brave enough, there are thousands of DIY ideas which include creations with flowers, leaves, fruits, twigs and various materials on Pinterest. Another excellent option is to buy one from Etsy. For those who have never visited Etsy before, it is a social commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items and it is super addictive! They have hundreds of different wreaths at varying price points.

Flowers
Sunshine and flowers mark the return of Spring. By adding flowers to your porch, you will instantly improve curb appeal. The size of your porch will determine your options for arranging flowers. You can choose a color scheme that matches your house exterior or add a variety of colors to make your porch pop.
Here are some ideas to get you going:

  • Place a tall plant on each side of your front door
  • Add a flower box near a window
  • Hang a flower basket on one or both sides of the porch
  • Arrange small pots of flowers on the edges of the steps leading up to the porch

Fresh Paint
A new coat of paint on a front door can change the entire look of a house. This weekend project is one of the easiest makeover changes you can make. House Beautiful picked 16 of their favorite front door paint colors. Grab some paint supplies and instantly transform your house’s curb appeal.

So there you have it. A wreath, some flowers and a fresh coat of paint are all you need to spruce up your porch for spring!
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source: Coldwell Banker

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