9 Things To Consider When Choosing The Best Outdoor Lighting For Your Home


Driveway Lighting

Despite their size, outdoor lighting is very important to home fixtures. They provide illumination, security, and other functionalities on the exterior of a home. However, the full extent of these functions can only be ensured when the best outdoor lighting is bought.

Hence, it becomes important to ensure the best quality is delivered on outdoor lighting. To ensure this, professionals, such as Oregon Outdoor Lighting, provide great outdoor lighting solutions for homeowners.

While selecting outdoor lighting, there are several considerations to make to arrive at the best choice. But first, let’s take a look at the types of outdoor lighting:

Types of Outdoor Lights

Outdoor Hanging Lights

Homeowners need to know the types of outdoor lights available. This helps them decide which lights best fit their homes.

The various types of outdoor lights are the following:

  • Spotlights: These are small posts with in-built light bulbs capped with a diffuser. They’re used to highlight specific objects in an environment. They can be placed along a walkway, driveway, around a pond, and in a garden.
  • Ceiling Lights: Ceiling lights are found in covered outdoor areas. They’re used to create ambient light in external relaxation spaces. They come in different styles, including chandeliers, pendants, and semi-flush lamps.
  • Wall Lights: Wall lights apply to walls and other vertical surfaces. They provide either ambient or accent lights and often add a decorative effect to the exterior of homes. They’re also very durable and an excellent choice for porches and patios.
  • Post Lights: Post lights are mounted on posts. Common posts where they’re mounted include columns, fences, and metal poles. They’re usually exposed to all weather elements and are expected to be wet-rated to properly withstand these forces.
  • Landscape Lights: Landscape lights are always brighter than spotlights. Floodlights are the most used in landscape lighting due to their ability to illuminate large areas. They also add a huge volume of lighting to the external environment.
  • String Lights: String lights are versatile, simple, and effective outdoor lights. Outdoor string lights come in various styles, from RGB color and white lights to more ambient lighting styles. They can create a cozy exterior environment while providing ideal energy-efficient lighting outside your home.

Thing To Consider When Choosing The Best Outdoor Lighting

Here are nine things you should consider when choosing outdoor lights for your home:

  1. Purpose

There are three different types of lighting fixtures: ambiance, task, and accent. Many people don’t know the difference between these lights because general-purpose lighting can easily be used indoors.

However, when choosing outdoor lights, it’s important to take note of the difference between these three:

  • Ambient Lights: Ambient lights are also known as general lighting, and it’s typically used indoors. Moreover, these lights give out a soft glow that doesn’t affect the eyes.

Ambient lighting can be used on your deck and entertainment spaces around the home. Examples of ambient light sources include chandeliers and ceiling lights.

  • Task Lighting: These are smaller, concentrated lights that are often used in work areas. They enable people to execute projects where they need more definite lighting than ambient lights outside the home.

These are also used to light pathways and entrances.

  • Accent Lighting: This focuses light on a particular area. These can be used to highlight a specific outdoor section that you want to focus on.

Accent lights are sometimes referred to as landscape lighting.

  1. Controls

The control mechanisms for outdoor lighting vary. Hence, they must be put into consideration when selecting outdoor lights.

They include:

  • Motion Sensors: Outdoor lights with this type of control are triggered by movement across the light’s sensors. They have variations–some switch the lights on and off while others regulate brightness based on traffic. These controls are compatible with most outdoor lights.
  • Time Switches: These controls turn on the lights at specific times of the day, regardless of the weather conditions. This means that it’s possible to find lights controlled by these switches in the daytime. Time switches are used in the path, landscape, and post lights.
  • Dusk to Dawn: Dusk to dawn light controls use photocells to determine darkness. They are meant to turn on when the sun sets and when the sun rises. However, it’s possible to turn them on when thunderstorms induced clouds to create a dark atmosphere.
  1. How Much Lights You Need

The amount of light that your chosen lighting fixture emits is important. Incandescent and fluorescent bulbs are great illumination sources, but they’re not very efficient in energy consumption. On the other hand, Light Emitting Diodes (LED) doesn’t produce as much light but are very energy efficient.

When incandescent and fluorescent bulbs were widely used, the number of wattages they have will play a role in determining their brightness. Today, newer technologies improve how these lighting fixtures emit light while using lower wattage and energy-efficient.

  1. How Safe and Secured You Want Your Home to Be

The security of your home is one of the things you might want to consider when choosing outdoor lights. To avoid burglars or any threats that can harm your household, it’ll be beneficial to light up the surroundings of your home.

Bright outdoor lights are great for illuminating dark places in your home, and they can help your CCTVs capture any trespassers in your home properly. When you’ve set up your lighting fixtures, you can consider buying motion-activated light bulbs as it has a built-in motion sensor that can detect any movements. Motion sensor lights can also ensure the security of your home as it’ll likely scare any trespassers when it’s activated.

  1. Size of the Light Fixtures

The size should be considered when choosing outdoor lights as the right size will be neither too small nor too big. Typically, outdoor lights would be larger than indoor lighting since it needs to cover a wider area, but at the same time, they must be proportional to the house structure. Hence, it’s best to measure the space where outdoor lights will be used.

A good example is a doorway; the acceptable lighting fixture for doorways is 1/3 to 1/4 of the entire doorway. This makes striking a balance in the size of a chosen light fixture is most important.

  1. How a Light Bulb Fits in Fixtures and the Ease of Replacing it

Some fixtures come fitted with bulbs, while others require separate bulbs to be bought for them. Interestingly, bulbs have different types of fitting, such as the screw cap and bayonet. Having the wrong fit will waste time, effort, and money, making it necessary to cross-check between fixtures and bulbs before purchase.

These light bulbs must be available on the market. To confirm the light bulbs’ availability in your light fixtures, you should check with local stores or online. Also, the fixtures should be easy to replace without professional help in case of emergency and unexpected bulb expiration.

  1. Energy Efficiency

The energy efficiency of your outdoor lighting is an important consideration. This is because there will be multiple light bulbs outside your home, and if they’re not energy-efficient, it’ll amount to huge costs for homeowners.

To achieve ideal lighting levels while saving energy costs for homeowners, energy-efficient light sources are available. They also help create more environmentally friendly homes. Common examples of energy-efficient lighting include LEDs, CFLs, and solar lighting.

  1. Durability and Maintenance

When choosing an outdoor light for your home, always consider its durability. This means ensuring both the light fixtures and bulbs can withstand the external weather conditions of the home.

Additionally, the light fixtures must be sturdy enough to withstand their weight and wind forces. Light bulbs that are either damp or wet-rated are designed to withstand water exposures. Damp-rating is for lights that won’t be fully exposed to the weather, while getting a wet-rated light bulb is ideal when it’ll be fully exposed to harsh weather conditions.

Choosing durable outdoor lights also helps you save more on maintenance. You can choose outdoor lights that have frosted glass casings to prevent frequent cleaning. Thick fixture glass will also help avoid an unexpected breakage of the outdoor light shade.

  1. Cost

The cost can be a big factor in buying outdoor lights. Depending on your needs, there are many options that you can choose from. It’s advisable to do some research beforehand to get your money’s worth.

Also, having a budget can be a great way to get a cost-efficient outdoor light for your home. Having a budget can also streamline your plans in buying an outdoor light, as it’ll enable you to look for cheaper yet effective options.


Homeowners require careful considerations to arrive at the best choice of outdoor lighting. An excellent point to start from is to learn the types of outdoor lighting available to choose from. The purpose and amount of light desired on the outside of the home should be determined.

Homeowners should also consider which control systems they prefer in their outdoor lighting. The ease of replacing the bulbs in the fixtures and how they fit are necessary considerations. Their sizes, energy efficiency, maintenance, and durability make up the other considerations to make.

The last decision point is the cost of purchasing the outdoor lighting fixtures and how it fits into your budget.


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