Outdoor lighting serves multiple purposes: providing safety and security, highlighting your landscape, and adding curb appeal. Choose a lighting style that complements the architectural features of your home and coordinates with any outdoor decor you have. Make sure your fixtures are the right size for their locations. Lighting that is too small can look clunky or dwarf your dwelling.
The style of your exterior lighting Overland Park should, first and foremost, work with the style of your house. Cape styles, for instance, pair well with classic onion lights; craftsman fixtures, such as this one that combines old-fashioned charm with a USB port, are ideal over garage doors on bungalows and other Craftsman-style homes; while barn lights (also known as sconce or ‘barn light’) look great on farmhouse and country-style houses. When sconces are used as entry lighting, they’re often placed above or beside the front door to highlight the home’s architecture and create an inviting ambiance. But they can be used anywhere in a room to add visual interest, as this picture light that a designer recommends demonstrates. It is an oblong shade, and its brass-finished iron stem takes inspiration from traditional sconces, but it also features a hardwood table that can hold a water glass, book, or another item. It’s a versatile fixture that can be moved around to brighten the space for a reading nook or living room, and it comes in several other finishes and configurations for various decor types.
One of the most common mistakes homeowners make is selecting lighting that doesn’t complement their home’s colors. This results in clashing hues that distract from the beauty of the property. Another factor to consider is style. Rather than aiming for the cheapest option, experts recommend choosing fixtures appropriate for the house’s architecture. For example, a traditional barn light works well on Cape-style homes, while contemporary lights are more appropriate for modern houses and bungalows. Picture sconces are good for highlighting more miniature artwork or a gallery wall, but for larger pieces, consider a more powerful light, such as a wall washer sconce with a long cowl-shaped shroud that minimizes side glare.
The design of your home will influence the look of the fixtures you choose. For example, if your property features brass doorknobs and trim, select lighting with a matching finish to create consistency. If your house has a modern aesthetic, opt for minimalistic fixtures to complement its appearance. Pick fixtures that display classic elements if you prefer a more traditional look. Flush mount sconces provide a compact, functional style for smaller spaces. These fixtures are recommended for areas where a ceiling cannot support larger fixtures like pendant lights. Since they’ll be exposed to the elements, outdoor flush-mount sconces should be rated for their intended use. For instance, those for porches and entryways should be UL rated for damp locations. Similarly, outdoor light fixtures for yard spaces should be UL rated for wet locations to resist damage from sprinklers and lawn hoses. Also, they should withstand rain, snow, and ice.
Lighting experts offer a wide selection of outdoor post lights for every style and size of home. When choosing a light for your front door or side entryway, remember that you’ll want the fixture to appear about one-third the size of the front door if there is only one or 1/4 the height of the door if you have two flanking doors. This ensures the fixture highlights rather than detracts from the home’s architectural details. Also, remember that outdoor pier mount lights should be UL wet-rated since they will be exposed to rain or snow. To determine if your pier mounts are wet-rated, look for the UL label and the words “Damp Location.”