How To illuminate the Front of Your Home

A house may have excellent curb appeal during the day, but what about at night? It is just as important for a house to look as good at night as it does during the day. Illuminating the front of a house with well-placed landscape lighting can emphasize or create architectural interest and illuminate pathways and doorways. In addition, to curb appeal, outdoor home lighting also provides safety and security.

Below are some outdoor lighting ideas for the front of the house to give it the perfect balance between outdoor and indoor illumination.

Reasons to Plan Outdoor Lighting Design

Once a home is perfectly illuminated on the inside, it’s time to consider exterior lights. When the exterior is properly lit, it creates a balance between the amount of light outside and inside the home. The glass windows no longer look like black or dark elements that divide the house’s exterior and interior. The perfect balance of outdoor and indoor lighting visually integrate the outdoor and interior design.

Feiss Thayer 24 Inch 8 Light Chandelier by Generation Lighting

Beautiful during the daytime and at night, the Feiss Thayer 24 Inch 8 Light Chandelier by Generation Lighting adds style and interest while providing abundant light. A refreshing interpretation of a traditional four-sided lantern, the softened, graceful curves give it a sleek, sophisticated look.

Feiss Patrice 22 Inch Tall 3 Light Outdoor Wall Light by Generation Lighting

Enhances the beauty of the home during the day, the Feiss Patrice 22 Inch Tall 3 Light Outdoor Wall Light by Generation Lighting make the home more secure and the stairway safer when darkness falls. The design goes well with a wide range of styles, and its rustic look gives the porch a warm and inviting feel, no matter the time of day or night.

How to Plan Illumination for the Front

The key to a good exterior lighting design for the front of a home is incorporating various points of visual interest while also maintaining a balance between the different areas of the front yard and walkways. Begin by examining the outer spaces in the front of the home, the right spots to illuminate will reveal themselves. These include specimen plants, trees, and interesting architectural features to emphasize.

When a home’s entrance is beautifully lit, it makes a long-lasting first impression on every guest and visitor. The right lighting will give a home a welcoming feel as people approach the entrance. Increased safety is another benefit of illuminating access areas, especially for houses with stairs or long driveways. Installing motion sensors along the driveway and in darker corners of the outdoor landscape can increase safety without reducing the security a well-lit front yard offers.

Types of Exterior Lighting

Just as in an interior lighting design, exterior designs include three lighting types: mood, task, and ambient. Using each of these appropriately will ensure a perfectly illuminated and stylish exterior. When developing an exterior lighting design, the type of illumination will direct the placement of the lights. Generally, planning ambient lighting is first, task lighting is next, and mood lighting comes last.

Ambient Lighting for Stairways and Pathways

To figure out the best placement for ambient lighting, keep track of traffic patterns in the front yard. These generally include the walkway or stairway, the driveway, and sometimes the side of the home. Ambient or general lighting provides safety in these often-used areas. This type of illumination ensures that walkways and stairways are without shadows in the walking area.

Downlights on each side of walkways and pathways, or on sidewalls alongside them, are good options for the amount of illumination required for safety. Another option is small lights at ground or foot level. The goal is to have light directed across the surface of each step.

Shelter 22 Inch Decorative Pathway Light by Hinkley Lighting

Guests and visitors will have no trouble navigating stairs ways and pathways lit with Shelter 22 Inch Decorative Pathway Light by Hinkley Lighting. Its minimalist style makes a dramatic, chic statement as the light from above grazes through its clear seedy glass. This style is echoed and the top of the stairs with the Shelter 27 Inch Tall 1 Light Outdoor Post Lamp by Hinkley Lighting. The downlights perfectly illuminate the stairway without shining into visitor’s eyes.

Task Lighting for the Front of the Home

When thinking about interior task lighting, their placement is fairly obvious: prep areas in the kitchen, reading areas in the family room, vanity lights in the bathroom. The same goes for illuminating the front of a home. The task areas include the front doorknob, the garage door, and the gate latch.

In addition, choose areas that are of architectural interest and direct lighting to accentuate and enhance them. A window or textured wall can be turned into architectural highlights with the right illumination.

Tech Lighting Bowman 6 Inch Tall LED Outdoor Wall Light

Classic and sleek, the Tech Lighting Bowman 6 Inch Tall LED Outdoor Wall Light provides a wash of lighting that draws attention to the architectural elements of the front landscape while also lighting the plants below. In addition, the Cirque 11 Inch 1 Light LED Flush Mount by Tech Lighting hovers over the entrance, providing task lighting while welcoming guests. The light features a beautiful round pressed glass shade with a polished surface suspended from a die-cast base.

Mood Lighting for the Front of the Home

This type of lighting is more flexible than ambient or task lighting. But no less important. When considering what kind of mood lighting for outdoor spaces, cues from indoor mood lighting also apply. Choose lighting that compliments the architectural style of your home and enhances its mood. This reinforces the style of a home while adding visual interest.

Carlson 18 Inch Tall 2 Light Outdoor Wall Light by Kichler Lighting

With simple lines and stately allure, the Carlson 18 Inch Tall 2 Light Outdoor Wall Light by Kichler Lighting classic lantern style is the perfect addition to many aesthetic outdoor environments, from rustic to transitional and traditional.

Illuminating the Doorway

Use all three lighting types to direct the most light to the doorway, the focal point of a home’s exterior. Sconces and ceiling mounted downlights must offer enough light to ensure that the area is clearly visible and that there are no shadows. Ambient lighting identifies the front door and lights the way while task lighting helps guests find the doorknob, and mood lighting gives off a welcoming glow that enhances the home’s curb appeal.

Beckham 28 Inch Tall 4 Light Outdoor Wall Light by Troy Lighting

The perfect mix of form and function, the Beckham 28 Inch Tall 4 Light Outdoor Wall Light by Troy Lighting works with downlights in the ceiling above to give the right amount of lighting and highlight the style of the home.

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