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Porch Lighting - Does Size Matter?

In properly planning and mapping out your porch light fixtures, a commonly overlooked feature is the size of your light fixture. Bigger isn’t always better, sometimes it’s just bigger, giving a gaudy and crowded overall look to your front door. Smaller poses a problem as well in that too much light escapes the fixture, bringing too much bright light to the front door. It is important to choose the correct size lighting fixture to use to illuminate your doorway.

In order to enhance the overall look of your outdoor fixture, keep these tips in mind.

  • Measure: This especially comes in handy if you have more than one light fixture at your front door. Measure the door as well as the fixture so you can gauge whether you need to size up or down.
  • One or Two: Decide whether you’ll use one lantern-type fixture to illuminate your doorway or two
    • One—make sure the fixture measures about a third of the height of the door
    • Two—if you’re using two fixtures, make sure each is about a fourth of the height of the door. Use a leveler and make sure they’re even with each other
  • Mounting: Mount the fixture(s) slightly above eye level. The light that shines through the fixture will be better seen at this level and illuminate the doorway better.
  • From a Distance: Since lamps and lanterns will look smaller the further away the vantage point, “big” isn’t as important as “right.” Make sure the fixture is the RIGHT size, not too big so as to appear gaudy, but not too small so that it can’t be seen.

 Following these few guidelines will help you immensely in choosing the right fixture to meet your outdoor doorway lighting needs.