Adding exterior lights to your garage can be very practical and add to your home's curb appeal. Lighting has a dramatic effect on your home. While the way your lights illuminate your yard and your home at night is important, how they look during the day can shift your curb appeal. So you may be wondering, should your garage lights match your porch lights? Keep reading for the best advice we've found!
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Matching garage lights to porch lights is really up to you, the homeowner. It all depends on what style or look you're going for on your home's exterior. But matching isn't just about the exact style; you could match exterior light fixtures of similar materials, colors, and size. It should be noted that if your exterior lights are on the same face of the house, then they should look very similar to avoid looking tacky.
Keep reading below for more style and design tips for exterior lighting! We'll delve into coordinating with materials of different colors and how to brighten you home's exterior with the right lumens and fixture placement.
Are LED lights good for outdoor use?
If you were leaning towards using LED lights outside your home, you are in luck! LED lights are one of the best choices for exterior lighting for the following reasons:
- Have Longer Lifespans
- Better For the Environment
- Brighter Than Other Types of Lights
There are a few different bulbs you could choose from for your exterior lights. Traditional incandescent, halogen, CFL, and LED bulbs.
LED lights are more cost-effective than say, incandescent bulbs because they don't break or burn out as quickly and are cheaper in general. LED bulbs also use much less energy while being used. Bulbs of the LED variety can last way longer than traditional incandescent bulbs; up to 42 times longer! LED bulbs last five times longer than CFL bulbs as well.
Incandescent and halogen bulbs put off a significant amount of heat when lit. LED bulbs put off little to no heat at all when burning bright. That should certainly pull at your environmental side.
The last reason why LED lights are the best for outdoor use is that they are simply brighter than other light bulbs. For a while, people determined the brightness of a bulb by just looking at the wattage which has now been proved as faulty. Mainly because LED bulbs have much lower wattage than incandescent or halogen bulbs.
Now, we measure brightness using lumens, equal to the amount of light emitted from a light source per second. A traditional indoor incandescent bulb would need to be at least 140 watts to put out 300 to 400 lumens, while an LED bulb would only need to be about 5 watts to put out the same amount of lumens or brightness.
How Bright Should an Outdoor Light Be?
How bright should your outdoor space be? It depends on where you place your lights. You don't want your whole backyard to be the same brightness, that would get kind of boring and wash everything out. It also wouldn't be good if the lights were too bright.
Outdoor lighting should range between 1200 and 1300 lumens. Pathways and steps should be illuminated at around 100 lumens, while flood and motion sensors should be around 700 lumens. Underwater lights should be between 200 and 400 lumens and wall lights should be between 50 and 185 lumens.
Here's a list to sum up all those lumens-
- Pathways and steps: ~100 lm
- Flood and motion sensor: ~700 lm
- Underwater lights: 200 to 400 lm
- Wall lights 50 to 185 lm
Following those guides, you should be able to create a beautiful scene of light and dark in your yard. Remember you can always change up your lighting scheme to show off a particular part of your lawn or garden.
What is The Best Bulb Color for Outdoor Lighting?
There are no hard and fast rules on how to illuminate your yard. Many say that a soft warm white light will suffice outdoors, however it is truly up to the homeowner or exterior designer as to which color is best.
Pathways could be white or red or whatever color you decide on at that moment. A bright blue light in the pool would add a cool ocean feel to the water. Mood lighting next to the hot tub could be soft white or pink. The color is truly up to the person using those lights and what mood or theme they want to portray.
If you wanted to show off a particular part of your garden, a soft white path lantern would draw quiet attention to your beloved flowers.
Should I Leave Outdoor Lights on All Night?
This is a good question. If your exterior lights have LED or CFL bulbs then chances are you're not spending that much extra if you leave your lights on all night. If your bulbs are traditional or halogen then you might want to reconsider.
Many people think that leaving their exterior lights on all night will help reduce crime. That may be the case in some circumstances, that theory isn't founded. Most breaking and entering's occur during the day, while everyone is at work! Experts recommend installing motion sensor lights or have them on a timer.
Motion sensor lighting can help save money on electricity because the lights only come on when they are needed. Having your lighting on timers can be useful especially when you're away on vacation or at work to make it seem like someone is home to help reduce crime. If you don't want to pick either of those solutions, you could always have a neighbor be on the lookout for your home while you're away.
We hope this article aids you in your exterior light picking journey! Remember that not everything has to match 100% and as long as it fits your style, it will look fabulous. Check out our related articles for more great exterior decorating ideas!