Case Study: My Experience With Lights

How to Shop for Outdoor Lights

You can’t let your poor or nonexistent outdoor lighting keep you from having fun past sundown. When buying outdoor lights, always bear in mind that those products you’ll find are not made equal. You need to take a few essentials into account before proceeding with a purchase.

Three Types of Lighting

First off, know the three main types of lighting: ambient, task and accent. Examples of fixtures that produce ambient lighting are hanging lights and post lights. Two common choices for task lighting are pathway lights and deck lights. Spotlights and landscape kits are great choices for accent lighting.

Calculating Your Purchase

Compute for the total wattage you need for your outdoor area by multiplying its square footage by 1.5. For example, if this area is 100 square feet, it would need 150 watts. Pro tip: LEDs (instead of halogen or incandescent bulbs) offer energy and cost savings, and are maintenance-free.

Planning Ahead

Before buying any fixture, make sure you’ve checked size and position with the help of a simple paper template. When installing an outdoor wall light at the front porch or the back patio, make sure the fixture’s light is about one-third of the door’s. The materials should also be made of high-quality materials, making them sturdy and weather-resistant. One of those kits that could be plugged into an outdoor outlet makes a good quick fix for your lawn, and so is solar landscape lighting.

An Inside View

It’s always good to consider how your outdoor space looks like from inside your home. For instance, the right lighting in a garden that is visible from your dining room, creates an illusion of a bigger room at night.

Subtle Light for Entertaining

Your guests won’t likely appreciate the spotlight when enjoying their outdoor meal, so stick to soft glow lighting. So for your outdoor dining area, think pendants, outdoor lanterns and the like. A dimmer sure comes in handy for these fixtures – turn it to high for the food prep and cooking, and low for eating and interacting.


Finally, take note that outdoor lighting shouldn’t only give you great ambiance but security as well. Make sure all your entry points are well-illuminated. You’ll do well with a wall lantern on each side of your garage door (outside) or just one on top. You can also install wall lanterns on windows, garages and side doors, and spotlights on your eaves around certain shadowy areas for added security.

Case Study: My Experience With Lights

Case Study: My Experience With Lights