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Luxury Outdoor Lighting: Creating Luxurious Exterior Spaces
Although most homeowners focus more on interior lighting, choosing the right types of luxury outdoor light fixtures for different areas on your property is equally important, not only for night visibility but also to enhance the look, safety, and value of your home. Fortunately for you, we carry every type of luxury exterior lighting fixtures you will ever want, so finding the perfect modern or colonial outdoor light fixtures for your home just got a lot easier.
Finding the Right Contemporary Outdoor Lights
Unlike the interior of a home, there are lots of different locations outside which require light, with some areas demanding bright full lighting while other sections look much better under subdued or filtered lighting.
For instance, if you have a swimming pool area, brighter lighting surrounding this spot is sensible, increasing both visibility and safety. Gardens need minimal lighting, usually placed at ground height bordering walkways, while driveways and other parking spots benefit from floodlights and perhaps focused spotlights. Finally, patio areas which are roofed look great with overhead lighting, while open-air patios with outdoor posts spaced around it are a popular option.
Types of Luxury Outdoor Lights
When considering outdoor lights, you have various fixtures from which to choose. By having a broader range of choices, chances are you will find the ideal fixtures which meet your design demands and requirements much more easily.
- Ceiling Lights - these light fixtures adhere snugly to (instead of hanging from) the ceiling, which works well for lower ceilings; aesthetically, this type of outdoor lighting provides an even greater sweep of lighting from floor to ceiling
- Pendant Lights - when used judiciously, pendant lights hang from the ceiling, providing a more intimate lighting experience; these are great for roofed patio spots with overhanging tables and other meeting spots
- Wall Lights - at times, through careful placement of wall light fixtures, you can achieve a lighting affect which gently spreads across certain areas, creating an almost daylight ambiance for evening gatherings
- Post/Pier Lights - when walls and ceilings are not nearby, taking advantage of post or pier lighting is not only effective but can add a dramatic flair or touch to more private locations on the property; it also guarantees your ability to light parts of your property not directly near structures
When homeowners realize the design potential awaiting them by employing outdoor lights throughout their property, not only are they boosting the safety of the premises through proper and effective illumination, but they also discover the joy of extending their interior design skills to the out of doors.
Popular Farmhouse Style Outdoor Lights
As with our indoor lighting selections, give yourself lots of time to browse through our luxury exterior light styles since we have 28 different styles, each carrying several models from which to choose. With a grand total of more than 250 different high-end outdoor light fixtures in our catalog; this leaves a lot of variety within each style we carry.
Just a few of our popular outdoor light styles include:
- Colonial - harking back to Revolutionary times, this look remains popular and current today, offering over 50 models in all four light types
- Craftsmen - if you want simple elegance, the Craftsmen line offers just that with more than 70 models in all four types of lights
- Farmhouse - this style replicates the original American farm look and feel and offers 10 different models (includes pendant, wall, and post/pier types)
- Modern Farmhouse - offering 35 different models, this updates the farm style to today's time and comes in all four types of outdoor lights
- Nautical - with over 30 models in all four types of outdoor light fixtures, they all mimic seaside and oceanic features, curves, and shapes
- Rustic - offered in wall, pendant, and post/pier types, the rustic appearance is both enduring and attractive and comes in 20 different models
- Tudor - a popular style for generations, you will find all four types supported with more than 70 models offered
- Vintage - mixing modern angles and lines with classic glass panes or hammered metals, this style has 19 models in pendant, wall, and post/pier types
These high-end outdoor lighting styles offer five different finishes:
- Brushed Nickel
- Stainless Steel
Design features included in the various styles and models include:
- Frosted Glass
- Gas Lantern
- Glass Globe
- Metal Hood
- Unique Glass
To accommodate most lighting needs, you will find fixtures which hold between one and four light bulbs each.
Sizing Outdoor Light Fixtures
You will find different lighting needs based upon various outdoor locations. Each space will likely have differing lighting needs, so plan accordingly. Here is a guide for three popular outside areas of a home:
Front Door/Porch/Entry Area
Follow this simple formula to select the right size of outdoor light fixtures for your front door area:
- Measure your door height (size from top to bottom)
- Multiply that number by both .20 and .25 (to obtain values of 1/5 and 1/4 your door height)
- Find an outdoor light fixture which fits within that range of numbers
EXAMPLE: We will use an average door, which measures 80 inches tall, or about 6 2/3 feet high. One-fifth of this size is 16 inches and one-fourth of 80 inches is 20 inches. So, for your front door area, look for fixtures measuring between 16 and 20 inches.
Even when the garage area of a house is next to the front door section, you want different lighting for each spot. Also, garage sizes can vary between one- and two-car sizes, which must also be factored in when selecting the number of high-end outdoor light fixtures for this area. To gauge appropriate fixture size, again apply the same measuring rule as use for the front door, determining 1/3 and 1/4 of the garage door height for a range of fixture sizes which will fit best.
As garage door heights can range between 7 and 9 feet tall, using an average 8 foot measurement would yield these two values for one third and one quarter of that height: 24 and 32 inches, meaning you want fixtures measuring a minimum of 2 feet but under 3 feet. Depending on the width of your garage door(s), you may want to have two, three, or even four outdoor lights installed above your garage door(s).
Pool and Patio Area
Since pools and patios don't have doors to measure, instead determine lighting size by finding the entry door nearest to this area and performing the same 1/3 and 1/4 calculations. However, since there may be some distance between the house and the patio or pool, you may want multiple fixtures or consider colonial outdoor light fixtures, post, or pier type lighting for longer distances.
Amount and Direction of Light
Strong light beams at night can be intrusive or can even exacerbate the problem you are trying to solve, which is to effectively illuminate outdoor settings without overcompensating for the natural darkness brought on each evening. It is important to consider your visibility needs in each outdoor area you wish to light.
For front doors, brighter lighting is often preferred, so finding the right key and the lock is easy instead of feeling around for the handle and keyhole. The fronts of garages do not need as bright a beam as the front door area, as the space itself is broader and there are fewer details to deal with opening and closing large garage doors.
Of all the home areas, spending more time considering the different effects which lighting can have on the back-yard patio or pool area is common for owners. Some homeowners actually try "dry runs" where they get hold of different intensity light bulbs and place them around the area to see the effect in real perspective.
In New Mexico particularly, homeowners have another legal consideration: the New Mexico Night Sky Protection Act was enacted in 1999 with the following stated purpose: " to regulate outdoor night lighting fixtures to preserve and enhance the state's dark sky while promoting safety, conserving energy and preserving the environment for astronomy." To this end, New Mexico established the following outdoor lighting guidelines:
- Artificial light should exist only where deemed necessary
- Artificial light should exist at a minimum practical level
- The area of illumination should be restrained to the area judged necessary
- Duration of illumination should be similarly restrained to a practical and required area
It should be noted that, for economic reasons, this law only applies to new outdoor light installations; existing installations may remain in place but must adhere to these guidelines at the time of replacement. Homeowners in other states should prepare for similar legislation in the future, as environmental and climate change concerns continue to demand attention and action.
Installing Quality Outdoor Lights
Performing the actual installation of high-end outdoor light fixtures is easier than you may first believe.
There are two types of outdoor light installations which you may face: fixtures with existing wiring and those requiring new wiring. Normally, for ceiling, pendant, and wall types, you will have existing wiring and will be replacing a current fixture. For those situations, replacing old weathered outdoor lights is easy, even for amateurs. While a new installation takes more time, you don't have to be an experienced electrician to add new lighting to your home.
For many post/pier outdoor light types, there likely won't be existing wiring running to the place where you plan to set up outdoor lighting, but you can accomplish this outdoor light installation project in seven steps. This requires digging a trench and laying out your wiring, which is more time-consuming manual labor than complicated. But the end result is exactly what you imagined, without having to perform unnecessary or obvious workarounds.
Finally, if you just don't like playing around with electrical wires, finding an affordable electrician is the next sensible approach. Many projects which take you a few hours can be completed by a qualified electrician in half that time; expect to pay between $50 and $100 an hour for their time.
Luxury Outdoor Lights - Care and Maintenance
It goes without saying that luxury exterior lights demand much more care and maintenance, due to weather conditions, rust, animal damage, and normal wear and tear. That is why we strongly recommend you set up and follow a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule, checking all outdoor lights at least once weekly throughout each season.
Granted, the fall and winter season may see less use of outdoor lighting, but exposure to the elements doesn't cease when humans huddle indoors during the cold times of the year. Even when out of use, light bulbs should be regularly checked to ensure they still work and have not shattered or broken in any way. For outdoor areas not in use during the cold season, you may consider getting covers to protect your fixtures from weather damage.
Follow these tips in particular to extend the life, looks, and performance of your outdoor lights:
- No Harsh Chemicals - the materials used for outdoor lights are intended for rougher environments; usually mild soap followed with a clear rinse will clean out any dirt and smudges you find on your fixtures
- Compressed Air - outdoor light fixtures are more likely to accumulate matter, such as cobwebs, dirt particles, and leaves which are easier to remove with a can of compressed air
- Glass Parts - if removable, take them inside and use glass cleaner on them, letting them dry before putting them back on; if too difficult to remove, clean the outside glass with a glass cleaner and dry with a microfiber cloth
- Metal Parts - keeping metal clean and new outdoors is not difficult with regular attention and care; use a degreaser or lubricant such as WD-40 to keep all parts shining, rust-free, and smoothly moving
By keeping your exterior lighting in top shape, you also keep your home value at its peak, as well as expressing your taste clearly for friends and neighbors to see and appreciate. We invite you to contact us today to learn more about our high-end outdoor light fixtures.