Cast a Spell With Outdoor Lights
Make a night on the patio magical or conjure a warm welcome for guests on the porch with well-chosen outdoor lighting fixtures
Everything's better outside in the summer. Take advantage of the warm weather and spend your evenings outdoors with a brightly lit porch or patio. Choosing an exterior fixture adds charm, curb appeal and character to any home, and makes for a more welcoming outdoor area. Don't worry — picking the right fixture doesn't have to be overwhelming. Read on for a few simple tips to choose outdoor fixtures that light up the night.
Proportion is key when choosing exterior fixtures. A pair of lanterns like this should be roughly one-fourth the height of the door.
If you're using a single lantern, or if you want to make a big impact with your lighting choice, bump the size up to one-third the height of the door. When in doubt, go a little larger. A too-small fixture can destroy the look of an entryway.
Need your lighting to add curb appeal? Don't be afraid of a larger fixture — fixtures will appear half the size from just 50 feet away.
Choose a fixture color that complements the exterior of the home. Bronze looks great with earth tones and has become more popular in interiors and exteriors. Brass is less popular, because it doesn't tend to hold up as well as some other materials. If you love the look of brass, make sure to choose a weather-resistant finish.
A simple white fixture blends beautifully with white decor. If your shutters and front door are black, a black lantern can coordinate nicely.
Frosted glass is a great low-maintenance choice for outside lighting. It prevents glare and doesn't have to be cleaned as often as clear glass.
A pair of fixtures flanking the door is enough for some people, but for lighting that really makes a statement, a coordinating chandelier is great.
We can't think of anything more inviting than the warm flicker of a gorgeous pair of gas lanterns. Natural gas is less expensive to operate, but for some, propane is more readily available, making it a better choice. Many of today's gas fixtures are available with an electric start, so turning your fixtures on and off is as simple as the flip of a switch.
Nothing says "party" like outdoor string lights! They are a fun alternative to traditional outdoor lighting and give diners a view of their plates without being too fussy.
Outdoor task lighting is crucial if you're looking to do more than just sit on your porch or patio. Pin lights like these are perfect for reading outside on a warm summer's night.
The weathered bronze of this lantern looks great with practically any exterior color. The lantern shape coordinates nicely with other exterior fixtures.
A large lantern like this one from Circa Lighting is sure to be eye catching, even from a distance.
A smaller fixture like this is perfect for achieving a look that is noticeable without being overwhelming.
This Portobello Lantern covers all the bases for exterior lighting. Its color looks great with most decors, and at 27 inches tall, it's a good fit for most entryways.