What Does A Green Porch Light Mean?

It's not surprising to see a green light outside your neighbor's house during the Christmas season. But if it's not December, you may wonder what that green porch light means. You've come to the right place! We have done the research and have lots of information to share about the message behind your neighbor's green light.

A green porch light is used to express support and appreciation for U.S. military veterans. These lights are often used on or around November 11 in honor of Veterans Day. They are also commonly seen in May in recognition of Memorial Day. However, some people choose to use a green porch light all year to show respect for U.S. veterans.

Isn't it interesting that something as simple as changing your porch light color can hold so much meaning? This post will explain more about the significance of green porch lights and the origin of this tradition. We'll also address some other common questions about porch lights.

Beautiful view of a home at dusk from front with a garage, What Does A Green Porch Light Mean?

Green Porch Light Meaning

Porch lights can help you find your way home at night, welcome guests to your house, and keep your property secure. But did you know that you can also use your porch light to express support for a cause you believe in? Different colored lights are associated with a variety of meaningful causes

The color green is often used in the United States to show support and appreciation for military veterans. The Greenlight A Vet campaign was started in 2013 by Walmart's Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, which guaranteed a job offer to any eligible, honorably discharged U.S. veteran. As part of the initiative, an ad campaign encouraged people to change one of their porch lights to green. They also asked people to photograph their green light and share it on social media using the hashtag #greenlightavet.

According to the campaign, the color green represents hope, renewal, and wellbeing, and the term greenlight suggests forward movement. The 2013 campaign aimed to "...spark a national conversation regarding the recognition of veterans... as valued members of our communities." To honor veterans, people often change their porch lights to green around Memorial Day in May or Veterans Day in November.

A green porch light can have other meanings too. In March, some people put up green porch lights to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and express pride in their Irish heritage. A green light may also indicate support for the global Lyme Disease Awareness Month campaign every May.

What Colors Are Best For Outdoor Lighting?

Colors for lighting are described in terms of their temperature, measured in degrees Kelvin (K). Light color ranges from warm colors at lower temperatures to cool colors at higher temperatures.

A warm light color is generally best for outdoor lighting. Particularly at night when it is dark out, warm light can provide sufficient visibility and create a welcoming look to come home to. Experts recommend a light color around 2000-3000K for outdoor living spaces, such as porches or patios. A similar color range is recommended for lights that highlight landscape elements on your property, such as fountains or rock formations. 

A suburban home with lights on at dusk

Cooler light colors are recommended for functional lights that serve a specific purpose. For example, a color range of 3000-4000K is recommended for lighting outdoor stairs or the area around an outdoor shed. An even cooler range of 4600-6500K is recommended for outdoor security lights because their purpose is to be jarring and deter unwelcome visitors.

Garden LED spotlight on a wooden building close-up

How Bright (Lumens) Should An Outdoor Light Be?

The brightness of a light is measured in lumens. Softer lights are generally recommended for outdoor home lighting. Even a soft light can be very effective in the dark of night, particularly in remote rural areas. If you have a single light source, it may need to be brighter than multiple light sources. However, outdoor lighting should usually be around the 200-500 lumen range.

You can choose lights of different brightness for different purposes. For example, a softer light (100-200 lumens) can be used to illuminate a walking path, whereas a brighter light (500-1300 lumens) could be used for security purposes. Similar to color, the brightness of a security light is intended to be jarring.

Wooden deck and patio of family home at night

Is It Better To Keep Your Porch Light On Or Off?

Keeping your porch light on 24/7 is not generally recommended. It wastes energy and money on your electric bill. A bright lingering light might annoy your neighbors. Plus, security experts say that keeping your light on all the time is unlikely to prevent theft.

The best time to keep your porch light on is in the evening before you go to bed. A porch light can also be left on if someone in your household expects to arrive home late or if you are expecting a visitor or a package delivery. In these instances, the light can help people see to get to your front door safely. Turn your porch light off when you are going to bed to save money and energy and to minimize light pollution, especially in rural areas.

What About When You Go Away For Vacation?

Do not keep your porch light on when you are away for vacation. According to security experts, the fact that the light never turns off sends a clear message to would-be burglars that no one is at home. Instead, put your light on a timer to make it seem like someone is in the house. 

This BN-LINK Compact Timer is programmable in 15-minute intervals. It has two outlets and is waterproof and durable for outdoor use.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

You can also use home automation technology to sync your porch light and the other lights in your house to your smartphone. That way, you can turn them on and off from anywhere in the world. This Kasa Smart KL110 outdoor LED light bulb is dimmable and works by voice control. It is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

You can also use a solar sensor that automatically turns off your porch light when it gets light outside. These dusk to dawn light bulbs have built-in sensors that turn the lights on at dusk and off at dawn. With these light bulbs, you don't have to remember to turn the light on and off. You also don't have to make any changes if you're going to be away for vacation.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

According to security experts, the best way to deter burglars is to develop good relationships with your neighbors. You may have the most tech-savvy security system in the world, but neighbors can still help protect your home by keeping you aware of any abnormal activity while you are out of town.

Where Do You Get Green Light Bulbs?

Many large home improvement retail stores have green light bulbs available for purchase. For example, you can find an assortment of green light bulbs at Home Depot, Walmart, and Lowes. If you're shopping online, green light bulbs are also available for purchase on Amazon, 1000Bulbs.com, and LightBulbs.com.

This green LED light bulb from Sunlite is highly rated and energy-efficient. It lasts an estimated 25,000 hours, so you don't have to worry about changing it often.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

Porch Lights Can Protect Your Home And Express Your Values

There's nothing more comforting than coming home at night to the soft, warm light of your front porch. Not only does it help you see to get your keys out, but it also creates a welcoming environment for your family, friends, and any other visitors. In this post, we've discussed some of the factors to consider when choosing outdoor lighting for your home.

As we've mentioned, using colored light bulbs on your front porch can create that welcoming experience with the added bonus of promoting a cause that you believe in. Try putting a green light on your front porch to show honor and appreciation for U.S. veterans in November, May, or any other time of the year.

If you enjoyed this article, check out our recent related posts:

What Does The Color Of A Porch Light Mean?

How Big Should A Front Porch Light Be?

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