The Perfect Outdoor Lighting for Your House


Summer is in full swing, so you will likely spend most of your time outdoors. This could include relaxing in your yard or hosting friends for an outdoor dinner. You don’t have to stop having fun when the sun sets. Outdoor lighting is not all created equal. It requires more than just hanging up some string lights on a wall and calling it quits.

It’s about selecting the right lighting fixture for your backyard to create ambiance. Michael Murphy, Interior Design and Trends producer for Lamps plus, is here to assist. Murphy explains the various types of outdoor lighting and how to determine how much you need.

These are the Types You Should Include

You should incorporate the three main types of lighting: task, ambient, and accent. Hanging lights, post lights, and wall lights can provide ambient lighting. Pathway lights can also be used as security and deck lights. You can also get accent lighting outdoors with landscape kits or spotlights. Murphy suggests string lights, solar spotlights, or LED candles for a small backyard.


Before you shop, determine how much lighting is required. He says, “To calculate how much light a space needs, multiply the square footage by 1.5 to estimate the required wattage.” “Example: 100 sq. feet would need 150 watts.

Make a Plan Before You Buy Fixtures

Take measurements to ensure you only buy fixtures that are manageable. Murphy states that you can use a piece of paper to check the size and location of fixtures before buying. To verify the exact size, use a paper template. An outdoor wall light should be at most one-third of the height of the door. It is important to choose sturdy lighting that is weather-resistant and high-quality.

Murphy recommends a landscape lighting kit for a quick lawn fix. He suggests that you look for a kit that plugs into an outdoor outlet. These kits usually consist of multiple ground spotlights strung together on one cord. Place them around the perimeter of your patio or garden to create dramatic shadows. This will set a festive atmosphere. Solar landscape lighting is also an option.

Use LEDs

He says that they use less energy than incandescent or halogen bulbs. They are virtually maintenance-free, so you don’t need to change bulbs.

Have a look inside your home

This will help you choose the proper lighting for your yard and where to place it. He suggests you think about how your patios, gardens, and pathways will look from within your home. Lights, shrubbery, or greens can be seen from the living and dining rooms, giving a more expansive view of the outside at night. You can use solar outdoor lighting or path lighting in your garden for a quick style update.

For entertainment, use subtle light

You won’t want your dinner guests to see the bright lights while they enjoy their outdoor meal. Instead, use lighting that emits a soft glow. Murphy states that indirect lighting can create a relaxed atmosphere in outdoor rooms, particularly dining areas. Outdoor lanterns, pendants, and ceiling fans with light kits are becoming more popular to illuminate dining and seating areas. These fixtures can be dimmed or turned on at full brightness for cooking and preparing food.

Security is a priority

Outside lighting can not only create ambiance but also help to secure your home. He advises that all entrance points to the house should be well-lit. Mount a wall lantern or fixture on either side of the garage doors. You can also use spotlights on the eaves to illuminate the house or wall lanterns at garages, side doors, windows, and garages for added security.

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