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Aug 20, 2013

Lighting Tips

Outdoor Lighting: Your Guide to a Flawless Finish

Revamp your Outdoor Lighting Smartly and Superbly

Whether you go ornate and traditional or organic and minimalist modern, the right outdoor lighting installation will significantly increase the value of your home while providing energy-efficient illumination for safety and security. 175-med-crml Northeast Lantern od hanging lamp

Great outdoor lighting provides your home entryway with a welcoming and luxuriant presentation, ensuring just the right level of illumination for the safety and security of visitors and guests. 

49360az Kichler Outdoor post lamp

Now is the time to assess your property and invest in a custom outdoor lighting design to increase your home’s curb appeal and provide a luminous finish to your home entrance.

New innovations include outdoor post lamps, decorative lanterns and energy-efficient pathway lighting.

To make your nighttime outdoor environment as comfortable, safe, and maintenance-free as possible, great lighting is key.

Top 5 Items for Every Home’s Outdoor Lighting Installation


Outdoor post lamps and path lighting help to expand your outdoor environment, providing a tailor-made illumination toward the front door, deck, patio +/or garage.

731p04eb Longfellow from Varaluz


An outdoor hanging lamp and/or wall lanterns add a customized finish and are available in a myriad of styles to complement homes from traditional to ultra modern.


Direct focused illumination on key holes and security pads should be bright enough to allow for easy access and visibility when you are entering and leaving your home at night.


Make sure that your home is properly illuminated for guests as well as delivery people and emergency vehicles.  All too often, help is delayed in emergency situations because house numbers are not clearly visible at night and outdoor lighting is insufficient.


Properly shielded outdoor lighting fixtures expand and beautify your home, without creating glare or causing visual discomfort to visitors and neighbors. A good lighting design with energy-efficient fixtures will increase the value of your property and provide majestic outdoor lighting effects.

1921bk Hinkley outdoor post


  • Decide which system works best for you:  Low voltage halogen lighting provides softer more luxuriant illumination, yet the latest compact fluorescent (CFL) and LED (light emitting diode) lamps are extremely energy-efficient. Whereas incandescent bulbs typically last 1,000-2,000 hours and fluorescent bulbs may last 10,000-15,000 hours, LED bulbs are the most durable and may last 35,000-50,000 hours.  Also, LED bulbs are extremely low-maintenance and stand up well to harsh winter weather conditions.
  • Make sure to power your lighting with the appropriate transformers and wiring.  If you are thinking about adding to your outdoor lighting system, choose power sources that will accommodate the additional fixtures.
  • Automated timers and motion- or heat-sensitive controls make your home appear occupied during the night and save on energy costs. Locate timers and controls in areas where they are easily accessible.  Consider installing switches in front foyer closets +/or inside the garage.
  • All outdoor fixtures and accessories must be selected to withstand the elements, including sun, humidity, rain, ice and snow.  Check that all items are water-resistant and UL-approved for outdoor use. Copper, brass and composite fixtures are excellent for homes near the seashore where salty air may be a factor.
  • Think about outdoor and landscape lighting as part of your planning and construction in a new home.  Include enough outdoor outlets on decks, patios and porches for powering up your outdoor fixtures and outdoor portable lamps.
  • Wall lanterns bracketing main entryway doors help you to identify visitors and ensure their safety.  They are also appropriate for rear and side entrances and over garage doors. Be sure to select wall brackets that are proportional to your home.  When in doubt, size up.  Fixtures appear smaller from curbside viewing than most people would imagine. *
  • Take care to avoid glare and pointing fixtures into your neighbor’s property. Curb “light pollution” with shielded fixtures that focus illumination downward.  Outdoor lighting should be installed to project light for safety and security, but extra care should be given to shielding unwanted glare and profuse light. * *

*Rule of thumb for sizing outdoor wall lanterns:  The height of the lantern should be based on the height of the door.  If brackets are to be installed on either side of the door, they should measure about one-fourth the height of the door.  If using only one lantern, size up to about one-third the height of the door.

1012-lt3-clr-Northeast Lantern

** “Dark Sky” compliancy and light pollution:  Light pollution is any undesirable effect of artificial light, including glare, light trespass and decreased visibility at night.  Many manufacturers offer “Dark Sky” versions of their outdoor lighting products, which “collar” the light bulb around its base to block superfluous upward emissions of light.

 A few other tips for the best outdoor lighting design….

-Match outdoor fixture styles to the decor of your interior space.  Whether you go with classic and elegant traditional outdoor lighting or sleek and contemporary, your outdoor post lamps, hanging lamps and wall lighting should complement that style.

-If you have custom designed hardware on doors, find a finish that will work well to complement this detail.

-Don’t neglect the side yard and dark areas by side windows;  Include at least one low-level outdoor lamp for nighttime security.

-Look for finishes and outdoor hanging lanterns, post lamps and flush fixtures that are guaranteed to last.  Check out warranty information on the latest outdoor lighting fixtures; some include a life-time guarantee on all finishes and parts.

-Make sure to view your outdoor lighting after dark before signing off on a project; make necessary adjustments to refine your outdoor lighting design, focusing the light exactly where it is needed for an aesthetically pleasing look and polished illumination for safe navigation and security lighting at night.

Capitol Lighting’s professional lighting consultants will help you in selecting everything from timers and outdoor hanging lamps to path lights and outdoor post lamps.  Work with the experts to prepare your outdoor environment with quality lighting customized to enhance the value of your home.

From traditional outdoor lighting to modern and classic contemporary designs, the right outdoor lamps make a world of difference.  Beautify your home and secure the neighborhood with updated outdoor lighting fixtures to highlight your home with good sense and style.

Top Picks include:

New Traditional Outdoor Lighting from Hinkley Lighting:

1800bk-gu24 Energy Smart outdoor wall light from Hinkley

“Mendocino” Outdoor Post Lamp from Troy Lighting:


Outdoor Hanging Lamp from Fine Art Lamps:414282st_fs

Dark-Sky Compliant Outdoor Lamps from Minka Lavery:

8106-138 outdoor post lamp from minka