FRONT DOOR LIGHTING
Outside lighting is an important consideration for any home owner and in this blog we will be looking specifically at lighting around the front door. All the lights shown in the images in this blog are available from Bespoke Lights – simply click on the pictures for more details.
We all like to feel secure when we arrive home and having a light to welcome us avoids all that fumbling around in the dark trying to get our key into the lock. Selecting the right front door lighting not only helps provide a sense of security, but will also enhance your curb appeal and present a warm welcome for any visitors. Create that all important first impression!
When buying front door lights many homeowners select fittings based on visual appearance, style and finish. Whilst these are important considerations, it is equally as important to consider the size of the fittings. Lights may appear large when viewed on-line or in a showroom, but when they are mounted or hung by a grand entrance they can suddenly look rather small and insignificant. Outdoor lights should certainly compliment the architectural style of your home but should also be large enough to be an attractive feature when viewed from a distance. If in any doubt our advice would be to ‘go large’ as the lights should appear in proportion to the size of your front door from approximately 15 metres away.
Here are a few hints and tips to help with the size.
WALL LIGHTS TO THE SIDE OF THE FRONT DOOR – select the height of the lantern based on the height of your front door. If you are having a garden lantern to one side of the door only, its height should be roughly one third the height of the door.
For lanterns either side of the door the height of the lantern should be approximately one quarter the height of the door. Fix the lanterns on the wall at eye level – the centre of the lantern should be between 5’ 5” and 6’ (1.6 to 1.8 metres) above the bottom of the door.
OVER FRONT DOOR WALL LIGHTS – as a rule of thumb choose wall lights with a height that is one quarter the width of the front door if you have a standard size door or one third the width of the front door if you have large or double sized front door. Centre the light around 16cms above the top of the door frame. Our image here shows that in certain circumstances they can fitted higher than this and still look good.
FRONT DOOR PENDANTS or HANGING PORCH LIGHTS – as a general rule, the height of the fitting only (excluding the chain suspension) should be around one fifth the height of the door and we would recommend it is mounted so it hangs down to around 16cms above the top of the door frame.
OUTSIDE GARAGE LIGHTS – use the same guidelines above for lighting outside the garage. If you have a one-car garage, one side lantern should usually be sufficient. For double garages consider lights to either side of the doors and if you need extra illumination a third light centred above the door is a good option. Another alternative for larger garages would be to position lights evenly across the top of the doors to give a adequate spread of light. Please be sure to position any light fittings so they do not interfere with the opening the closing of the doors.
This may sound obvious, but as your front door lights will be located outside you will need to make sure you select fittings that are rated for outdoor use. Even if your front door is protected by a porch area there is still the possibility of moisture and humidity affecting the lights. You may have noticed, if you have shopped for outdoor lighting before, that the lights are coded with an IP number. This number has 2 digits and the first tells you how much protection is offered against dust and other solid objects whilst the second relates to the level of liquid protection. It is the second digit that is more important for exterior lighting. We would suggest that you look for fittings that have a rating of at least IP43 or higher.
Front door lighting installed in coastal areas is usually subjected to more challenging conditions than those experienced in inland locations. If you live within 5 miles of the coast you may wish to consider selecting lights that are especially designed for these situations. If you would like to read more about outdoor lights for coastal areas simply click the link below.
CONTROLLING and OPERATING YOUR FRONT DOOR LIGHTS
It is possible to manage your front door lights in several ways
- ON/OFF SWITCH A simple on/off switch located inside the home that puts you firmly in control of when to have your lights on and off
- ON/OFF SWITCH DIMMER SWITCH As above, but with the added option that your can also control the light level too.
- DAWN to DUSK LIGHT BULBS These special bulbs have a photocell dawn to dusk sensor as shown below. They will automatically switch the bulb on when it gets dark and off again when it becomes light. Doubles as a security light. Use LED versions to reduce running costs.
- TIMERS You can set a timer to turn your lights on and off at scheduled times.
- MOTION SENSORS These turn on the lights automatically when movement is detected. You can select lights with motion sensors built in or have a separate PIR motion sensor
- HOME AUTOMATION SYSTEMS The best of modern technology that will allow you to turn your lights on and off using a remote device
The right front door lighting will create a warm welcoming entrance for your family and guests. It also gives the appearance of safety and security. With so many styles and finishes to choose from you may be slightly overwhelmed. Take the lead from the design of your front door and the architectural style of your home. Choose a metal finish that coordinates with your windows or with your door hardware or any other metal fixtures.
Here at Bespoke Lights we want you to be totally happy with any light fittings you purchase from us. Please contact us is you would like to talk through any queries or doubts you may have.
To view any of the lights shown in this blog, simply click on the images.