The Best Outdoor Lighting for Homeowners

Outdoor Lighting Options

The correct outdoor lighting adds elegance and warmth to your home. It can also help protect your home from burglars, who are less inclined to target a well-lit home.

When it comes to outdoor lighting, there are numerous solutions to consider. The following are the most important factors:

The area you wish to light; your main goal — security, accentuating your overall design, showcasing landscape, or simply giving general illumination; and your budget.

First, make sure the illumination is appropriate for outdoor use. Look for the UL or ETL certification mark. Underwriter Laboratories stands for Underwriter Laboratories, and Electrical Testing Laboratories stands for Electrical Testing Laboratories. Both facilities conduct safety tests on a variety of products. Lighting is usually labelled as either safe for dry places only, acceptable for damp sites only, or suitable for wet locations only.

If there isn’t a label on the light, it’s reasonable to presume it’s solely for dry places. When purchasing outdoor lighting, keep an eye out for these labels.

Consider the following eight popular types of outdoor lighting.

Lighting that hangs from the ceiling

Because it provides general lighting and may make a statement, ceiling-mount lighting is a popular choice for covered porches. There is something for every taste and area, from modest flush-mount types to ornate hanging pendants. Lower ceilings are best suited to flush fittings to avoid someone pounding their head. The biggest disadvantage is that you’ll have to hardwire the light, which may require providing electricity to the ceiling.

Fluorescent Lighting

Floodlights provide excellent visibility by casting a wide beam of high-intensity light. This brightens your property and adds a layer of security, as robbers avoid homes with well-lit yards. Floodlights are commonly found in driveways and backyards. Floodlights are a low-cost solution to make your property more secure, but they usually need to be connected to your garage or house.


Lanterns for the outdoors can be hung on the wall, hanging from the ceiling, or set on a table or rail. Lanterns will offer an elegant, timeless appeal to your outdoor patio deck or porch, no matter which type you choose.

Portable lanterns look nice on tables and walls, and hanging lanterns look great next to or in front of doors. While some lanterns are powered by electricity, there are also solar and battery-powered lanterns. Think twice before buying a lantern that you can’t attach to a wall, post, or another sturdy object. A strong breeze might easily overturn several solo lanterns.

Lighting with Strings

String lighting creates a lovely glow and a magical outdoor atmosphere. String lights look beautiful wrapped around a deck railing, column, or tree dangling from the ceiling. If you want a lot of light and a nice mood, bigger bulbs are the way to go. String lights are cheap and simple to hang, but they don’t always give much illumination and can be damaged by the elements if not placed in a protected area.

Lighting powered by the sun.

During the day, solar lights collect the sun’s energy in a specific cell and turn on automatically when darkness falls. Solar spotlights and path lights are widespread, but they also come in numerous shapes and sizes. They are usually affordable and environmentally friendly. Downsides? They generally don’t have enough stamina to function adequately on overcast or rainy days. In the winter, when the days are small, and snow might block light from reaching the solar cell, the situation is similar.

Lighting for the Path

Your outdoor routes will be illuminated and defined by path lights. You may also use them to draw attention to a specific yard or garden area. Path lights are normally mounted on stakes driven into the ground, although they can also be flush with the path. You’ll need to connect the lights to a power source if you don’t use solar path lights. When hardwiring to a power source, the wiring must be buried or encased in a conduit at least 18 inches deep.

Sensors that detect movement

Motion sensor lighting enhances the security of your house and yard by turning on automatically when movement is detected within a defined range. These should be directed at walks leading to your front and back entrances, decks, patios, and potentially dangerous locations like a swimming pool.

They’re a cheap approach to dissuade intruders compared to a home security system. Just keep in mind that motion sensors are regularly tripped by cars, pets, and other non-threats and that they must be connected to your electrical system.

Lighting with Intelligence

Every form of outdoor design can benefit from smart lighting, and it can be managed via a smartphone app or a voice assistant like Alexa makes it “smart.”

You can schedule lights, turn them on and off no matter where you are, and use the app or voice assistant more. Smart lighting can even function with other smart devices like security cameras. While smart lighting provides several benefits, it is usually more expensive than traditional outdoor lighting.

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