The Homeowner's Guide To Outdoor Lighting

Posted on: 22 August 2016

All the exterior lights for your home should serve a purpose. Exactly what that purpose is will be dependent on the area that the light is being installed in. To ensure your light design is on target for your home's needs, here are some helpful tips.


The entrance area should be the most illuminated area of your home's exterior. A well-illuminated entrance allows for proper identification of guests and increases safety, but it can also make your home feel more inviting and warm. A combination of lights is best to accomplish this goal. If your entrance has an overhang, install a bright, ceiling fixture just in front of the doorway and then a wall light on the side of the door that is nearest the keyhole.

Driveway And Pathways

The goal of driveway and pathway lighting is to ensure that your family members and guests are able to see clearly as they move about the exterior of your home at night. The ideal option is to choose in-ground path lights. Path lights typically cast a circular pattern of illumination that is directly focused on the walking or driving area. Unlike tall pole lights, this lighting style doesn't over illuminate the space and the in-ground lights can easily be disguised.


Garage lighting should be arranged for security and safety. As you drive into your garage at night, you don't just want the path ahead illuminated, but you also want the space outside the garage illuminated to ward off any possible intruders. For this reason, lighting should be designed with a wall-mounted motion light installed just above the garage, and for additional security, you can install lights on each wall to the side of the garage door.

Patios And Decks

Patio and deck lighting designs establish a tone, or theme, of the space. If nights on the deck are filled with children and lots of activity, bright lighting is essential. Brighter lights aren't just important for visibility, but also safety. For a retreat or romantic space, low, concealed lighting is a better option. In addition to small fixtures under the steps, built-in benches, and railing, you can also complement this tone by installing low-voltage spotlights on the walls that surround the deck.

Make sure you aren't making proper lighting design an afterthought. Take your time and work with a professional to ensure you have the best design for your home.