Nothing says “welcome home” like a house with curb appeal. The details are what matter most, from the bricks you choose for your walkway to the exact hue you select for your front door. There’s no better way to brighten these appealing features than with elegant front door lighting. When the sun goes down, the right outdoor fixtures can keep your home looking warm and bright all night long.
The Importance of Outdoor Lighting
Homeowners may overlook their outdoor lighting needs; unless you partake in a lot of front-porch sitting, most of your living happens inside the house. That doesn’t mean outdoor lighting does not matter, though. These exterior fixtures serve a number of functions. In addition to lighting your door, they:
Foyer lighting will surely make an impact, but the fixtures you hang outside are the ones that make the true first impression. Your outdoor lighting sets the tone for the style and character of the home your guests are about to enter. With the right choice of bulb, front door lights can offer a very warm welcome.
Offer a Guiding Light
Strategic outdoor lighting placement will help you and your guests find their way to the front entrance when it’s dark outside. This may require a combination of fixtures at the front of your house, including path lighting, garage lights,
Enhance Your Home S
Outdoor lights are necessary if you have a home security system; these fixtures will light up any dark corners that are monitored by the system’s cameras. If your home is not wired for surveillance, outdoor lighting is a critical safety feature. By keeping the exterior of your home well-lit, unwanted visitors will be less likely to roam your property.
Just as a wall sconce highlights a painting, your front door fixtures can accent a specific feature of your house. Do you want to show off a stained glass window or unique pair of topiaries? Use your outdoor fixtures to direct light exactly where you want it.
Types of Front Door Lighting
Choosing the best type of outdoor lighting requires first considering your lighting needs and the type of front door you are illuminating. Your options include:
Also called outdoor wall lights, these are installed flush against the wall on either side of your front door. They typically come in pairs so you can have matching fixtures framing your door. Wall lights can be very decorative, making them a great way to make a statement. In addition, their ability to cast light in all directions makes them the perfect security blanket.
Best for:Front doors that don’t have an overhang
Flush-Mount or Semi-Flush Ceiling Lights
As their name implies, these fixtures sit close to the ceiling and hang down a bit, unlike wall-mount lights. Flush-mount lights are often used to save overhead space when you have a low roofline at your front door. They are an ideal addition to homes that use front-door ceiling pieces, which tend to be small and may not provide enough lighting on their own. Well-selected ceiling lights often will complement a pair of wall sconces.
Best for:Low ceilings or porches vulnerable to inclement weather
Recessed lights are best known for highlighting a piece of art or providing task lighting in the kitchen, but they have just as much purpose at your front door. Because recessed lights are small and inconspicuous, you can use more of them for maximum brightness. You’ll likely find this type of lighting especially helpful if you have a large, wrap-around front porch. Recessed lights are also great for accenting architectural pieces, like a wood-plank overhang.
Best for:Large front porches or homes with interesting architecture
Pendants hang down further than flush-mount lights, because they are attached to a chain, wire, cable or stem. You can adjust these to create the right amount of head clearance. Pendants are a very decorative choice, providing warm ambient light to welcome people to your home.
Best for:High ceilings and porches protected from the wind
8 Front Door Lighting Options to Upgrade Your Entry
Wall lights, flush ceiling lights, recessed lights, and hanging pendants are the four main types of lighting you’ll use at your front door. However, each of them comes in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, so you’ll never have trouble finding exactly the right fixture. Below are eight examples of front door light fixtures that offer everything you need to upgrade your entry. Whether you want to evoke a mid-century modern feel or aspire to Southwest Mission style, these options will inspire you.
This wall-mounted piece directs light straight down. Choose several to accent an herb garden, natural wood wall or geometric window design. Your mid-century modern – or ultra-modern – home will be complete with sleek Bowman outdoor wall lights. You can choose from solid bronze, white, black or silver.
Light a long wall, a porte-cochere or even an open courtyard with the slender Dorian wall sconce. This simple design makes it easy to add multiple sconces without overpowering your home’s unique style. Subtle in style, the Dorian will provide warm, ambient light graciously, with white etched glass windows softening the glow.
Where industrial meets modern chic, you will find the Loft wall light. The cage design is classic industrial. But instead of featuring a completely exposed bulb, the light is glass-enclosed. The central casing contributes substance to this light-as-a-feather design. Choose from six different finishes with the choice between a clear or opal glass shade to customize your style. There’s an option for every front door.
Between the distressed copper finish, irregular lines and old lantern design, the Morris outdoor wall light has a vintage appeal. It looks like it could tell a few good stories, which is just the kind of warm welcome you want at your front door. Before even setting foot in your foyer, your guests will know they’ve entered a home with character.
The Pax lantern is a true example of modern lighting. It has those quintessential clean lines and rich satin-black finish, but it also doubles as a work of art. The clear, spun-glass center creates an interesting focal point, especially with an elongated T bulb lighting it up from within. You can get away with hanging just a single Pax wall light if you have potted plants and architectural elements to balance it out. This oversized fixture provides ample light as a stand-alone.
The Sag Harbor wall light comes in two distinctly antique finishes – aluminum and bronze. That doesn’t mean this piece can’t be used in contemporary design, though; the long-and-lean shape is a nod to minimalism. Even though it is a thinner structure, the elongated incandescent light bulb and clear glass panes are a powerful combination. One or two of these are the perfect choice for illuminating your front walkway.
When it comes to outdoor wall lights, Kichler broke the mold with the Stonebrook. The unique, asymmetrical angles bring the light forward as if they’re eagerly greeting guests at your front door. Indeed, the light coming off this fixture is bold and bright even through the etched glass covering. But if you have spotlight-worthy front-porch features, there’s no shame in hanging two or more of these wall lights.
A traditional lantern would have a textured finish, squared edges and a tiered top that mimics a home’s roof. The Wakefield has all that – and more. In fact, upon close inspection, you’ll find this structure has a lantern within a lantern, giving a flat front door a little extra dimension. You may also appreciate the seedy glass surrounding, which creates an almost starry-night effect when the sun goes down.
Put the Light Front and Center
All outdoor lighting has a function, but the fixtures that frame your front door have exceptionally big shoes to fill. They serve and protect your home, while also sending warm vibes to welcomed guests. It’s a tough job, which is why your front door lighting deserves to be a part of your home’s décor scheme. Use these eight examples as inspiration, and you’ll surely have the best-looking house on the block.