Though replacing exterior light fixtures is a quick and easy way to upgrade the exterior of your home, selecting the right light may be more complicated. Whether you’re preparing your home to sell or want to freshen up the exterior for added curb appeal, there are several factors to consider when purchasing new light fixtures.
Size – One of the most common mistakes homeowners make when replacing their exterior lights is purchasing fixtures that are too small. For wall-mount sconces, a good rule of thumb is to let the size of your front door be a guide. If a single sconce is present, you’ll want the fixture to be one-third the height of the door. If two sconces frame either side of the door, you’ll want the fixtures to be one-quarter the height of the door. For a hanging pendant light, it’s a bit more complex. First, you’ll want it to be centered above the door, about 6” above the frame (from the bottom of the fixture). Secondly, to determine the right size pendant light, you’ll want to multiply your door’s height by one-fifth. For example, if your door is a standard 80” in height, you’ll multiply 80 x 1/5 = 16, therefore, you’ll want a 16” fixture.
Mounting – Specifically, when mounting sconces, you’ll want to be mindful of the junction boxes, aka where the light is affixed to the wall. Before purchasing a replacement fixture, take note of the junction box and the vertical placement; is the junction box located at the top of the fixture or in the middle? Sconces should be just below the top of your door frame and slightly above eye level. BONUS—Use masking tape or painter’s tape to help map out the area of the new light fixture. This will help give you an idea of size, location (relative to the junction box), and an overall idea of how the new fixture will “look.”
Color & Style – Once you’ve determined the right size exterior light, the fun begins—selecting the fixture! When it comes to color & style, you’ll want to draw inspiration from your home’s architectural features and color palette. The key here is to keep the style consistent, despite what you may prefer; you wouldn’t want to select modern fixtures when your home is a classic Tudor. For color, take a cue from your door’s hardware. Or, choose a color that’s an accent in your home’s color palette (i.e. copper).
Illumination – Finally, you’ll want to consider the degree of brightness, or illumination, the fixture(s) produce. Bear in mind the number of bulbs required, their wattage, and the type of glass (if any) the light features (such as clear or opaque). These elements will help determine how much light is produced because the last thing you want to do is leave your guests standing in the dark!
Replacing your home’s exterior lights is a quick and easy way to upgrade the exterior of your home and add curb appeal. Selecting the right light may be more difficult, but with these helpful considerations, your home will brighten up the block!
Need the help of a Professional Electrician? Contact our friends & Partners at DS Electric!