Outdoor entryway lighting serves several important functions for your home’s threshold. A well-lit entryway welcomes guests, allows safe passage, helps you recognize visitors, and gives that all-important first impression of your home. Choosing the right lighting for this area involves choosing the right size, style, and more. In this FAQ, we’ll show you how to find the best outdoor entryway lighting for you.

The most important considerations when choosing outdoor entrance lights

Outdoor Lamps for House

First and foremost, you need to determine the structure of your home. A roof over your front door or a covered porch will affect your outdoor front door lighting plan. For a small porch, one or two direct downlights may be enough. Look for outdoor wall lights that will shine light on the wall and brighten the area around the door. For a wide porch, an even, diffused layer of light will illuminate the square footage. Instead of using one big, powerful outdoor light, you should use many small patio lights. A few downwash wall lights and some puddle-effect path lights will look much more appealing than a huge, bright fixture next to your house.

What types of outdoor entryway lighting are there?

outdoor lighting for house

The most common choice is modern outdoor wall lighting, but pendant lights, flush and semi-flush ceiling lights, and recessed lights are also options. It’s usually best to choose a few pieces that go well together, and just like in an indoor setting, you can layer your lighting.

How bright should entryway lights be?

In darkness, a little light goes a long way. Incandescent wattage ranges from 25-40 watts (200-500). If you’re using multiple lights, keep it closer to 200 per light. If you have large windows that let the light in your room shine in from outside, you can use even less light.

Outdoor Entry Light Sizes 

Generally, the size of your outdoor entry light will be determined by the size of your front door. To achieve a balanced look, consider the following proportions:

Wall lights: 1/4 to 1/3 of the door height and width (including trim)

 Pendant lights: 1/5 of the door height and width 

Ceiling lights: 1/4 of the door height and width

If you’re considering outdoor lighting and your door is 100 inches high and 60 inches wide, look for lights that are 25 inches high and 15 inches wide.

Front Door Wall Lamps

If your front door is symmetrical, hanging two sconces on either side of the door is an obvious choice. Installing an eye-catching sconce in your front door will make the space look even more spacious and create a charming, inviting feel. Try to buy a wall light that is about a quarter of the height of your door.

Placement Guidelines: Place the outdoor wall light approximately 66 inches (168 cm) from the porch floor to the base of the light fixture. Leave 5-12 inches of space on either side of the door frame. For asymmetrical entrances or limited space, one wall light is sufficient. Hang it on the doorknob side to brighten your entryway.

Front Porch Outdoor Hanging Lights 

Porch lighting

Remember that your home only has one chance to make a good first impression. Whatever style you choose, remember to highlight what’s important: your doorbell and house number are very important to guests, delivery people and emergency responders. The type and distribution of light is a matter of personal preference. Make sure the light you choose fits your style and creates the desired effect for maximum impact.

Matching Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor Lights for House

A uniform style starting with your curb post or pillar lights will give your exterior design a unified look. Many manufacturers offer complete outdoor collections that ensure a uniform look. You can also make one piece a focal point and integrate the others into the surroundings.

Lastly, consider the Whispering Homes Lights output of your front porch lights. Many, if not most, outdoor lighting fixtures are available in LED, with the brightness measured in Whispering Homes.


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