How to choose the right porch lighting for your home

Porch lighting is an important aspect of curb appeal for your home. However, it does more than add beauty to your front door. Outdoor lighting can improve security and safety and even help you save money on your utility bills.

Porch Lighting Goals

While there are many reasons to upgrade your porch lighting, it is also important for the appearance of your porch. Most porch lighting upgrades are for aesthetic reasons when a fixture is worn or outdated. You can choose new porch lights that will not only improve security but also add style and elegance to your home. After you’ve identified your goals for lighting your porch, you can start shopping for the fixtures. Many types of fixtures will suit your needs, depending on your goals.

The first step is to identify your porch goals. These goals could include:

  • Replacing old light fixtures: It’s all about shopping for the right style and buying new lighting.
  • You can increase security with ample lighting: Search for fixtures with motion detectors or light sensors.
  • Illuminate Dark Corners & Steps: A stylish solution is to place step lights or stake lighting next to your steps.
  • Increase Energy Efficiency: Lighting fixtures, including bulbs, have made great strides in improving energy efficiency. Choosing the correct porch light is important if you don’t want it on all night.
  • You can add additional fixtures to enhance your porch: Large porches may be better served by more than one light source.

Lighting Beyond Your Front Door

The standard porch lighting in most homes consisted of one porch light next to the front door. As porches became more of an entry point than a place to relax, they were less useful as lighting. Today, porches can be used to entertain or relax. Lighting requirements have also changed.

Think of your porch as a room in your home. This will help you find the perfect lighting balance. Your porch should be lit in layers, just like your living room. These are the top spots to enhance your porch lighting.

  • A second light fixture next to your front door will balance the lighting and frame your front door.
  • Overhead porch lighting: Not all porches can be fitted with an overhead light. A ceiling light fixture is a great way to add charm and character to your front porch.
  • Garage Carriage Lighting: Two to three light fixtures that frame the garage doors can balance your home and garage lighting.
  • Path Lighting: Solar- or battery-powered path lighting will guide your guests to your porch.

How to Buy Porch Lighting

After analyzing your needs and setting a goal for porch lighting, it is time to start shopping. These are some simple tips for outdoor fixture shopping:

  • Measure before you shop: Make sure to take measurements of all fixtures. These measurements will help you choose the correct fixture size whether you are shopping online or in-store.
  • Talk to an expert: A pro may be able to help you if you are installing a hard-wired fixture.
  • Pay attention to the Usage Ratings. Make sure you choose fixtures for outdoor use. It is easy to fall in love easily with a fixture, only to discover that it is only for indoor use.


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