Dominion Electric Lighting Blog

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What Size Outdoor Lanterns Should Be Used at an Entry?

I just got this as an email from Residential Lighting Magazine and thought I should share these tips.  Here is a link to the original post from Randall Whitehead:

So he gets this Question:
I just bought two sets of outdoor wall sconces; two larger and two smaller. My boyfriend insists that the larger ones be on either side of the garage door and that the smaller be in either side of the front door. I disagree as the garage area is smaller and the front door area is massive in a Spanish Colonial-like courtyard within the house’s very tall and wide turret.

And this is his Answer:
I’m hoping that your boyfriend is not close enough to come over and beat me up, but I'm going to have to side with you. Light fixtures on the façade of a home help provide direction and visual cues. You want to use the larger sconces at the front door with a slightly higher wattage to help direct family and friends to the point of entry. The smaller, lower wattage fixtures flanking the garage door will help add some visual width to your home, but not draw attention to the garage door itself, which would be normally the least attractive feature of the façade. If you're using incandescent bulbs, I would recommend 45W off the front door and 25W at the garage door. If you're using LED bulbs, look for 40W and 60W equivalents. I recommend that the color temperature of the LED bulbs is around 2200K to to 2400K, which has the look of dimmed incandescent. And when you pass the news onto your boyfriend remember: I'm a lighter, not a fighter.

If you'd like other pointers on outdoor lighting, here are some more places to find great tips:

Randall Whitehead is a professional lighting designer and author.  You can learn more about him on his website:  or read more of his tips here:

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