Decisions, Decisions: Outdoor Lighting Edition

Since it’s pitch black just a hair after noon these days (or at least by the time I leave the office, so same diff) I spend a lot of time using my iPhone to light the rocky, pitfall-strewn path between the garage and the house as I struggle not to face-plant in the gravel.

Our chief electrician put the box in for the entryway light on the door we use most often last weekend, and it occurred to me that if I actually, say, bought a light, I may be able to do something beside picking bits of stone out of my skinned knees every night.

I’ve got a 20% off coupon for CSN that expires in a few days, so I’m considering some exterior lighting options.

We’ve planned for one light on the left side of this door and the main entry. And then a few more around the covered porch that I’m not sure what we’re going to do with yet.


First up is this seaside pendant. It’s budget friendly and has an 8.5″ diameter.

I also like this antique copper lantern which is similar, but a bit more polished. It’s bigger around with a 10.5″ diameter.

Then something a little more square. I love the glass and the shape of this one.

And a slightly fancier option. I usually don’t go for extra fancy, particularly with the glass… but this caught my eye…

MysteryMan has two favorites, and I’m torn between liking all of them and none of them. What do you think?

30 Responses

  1. I like the 2nd and 4th – #2 because bigger than #1 and #4 I don’t fully know why, but I do!

  2. Now I remember – (1) The light bulb is not exposed and (2) they both look more “main entry”. Didn’t care for finish on #3 and #1 seems too small.

  3. #1 and #2 won’t light much aside from the door area itself, #4 will almost touch the soffits and will look weird. I’m with Sara, #3 is definitely the best one !

  4. Have you checked out the ReStore close by you. The one by me always has tons of really good exterior light fixtures. Just thought I would share:)

    Depending on the size- I like number 1 best.

  5. My vote is for #3, for the amount of light it would give off. #4 is also nice but I think that #3 better matches the amount of ornateness of your exterior. 🙂

    PS I got a Sonicrafter too, it’s the best thing ever!

  6. I like #2 and #4. They’re a little more polished and seem to go better with the doors and the colors. They have the same vibe as the house.

  7. I like #1 the best but with an exposed bulb I’m thinking bugs will be problem. Spiders and bugs attracted to lights for example. Otherwise I like the style of #3 but not the color at all. Copper would look the best with your color scheme.

    If it helps at all we plan to buy these:

    We’ll have 3 wall lights, 2 ceiling lights on the covered porch, a pendant light over the front door, and a pole light on the porch. We also plan to put some landscaping lighting along the stairs. One thing I’ve learned by living in the country is that the more outdoor lighting you have the better! It is so dark out here especially with the shorter days that taking the dog out or spending time out on the patio or porch is difficult. We’ve also had guests have a problem seeing steps and almost trip…not good!

  8. We have a black version of #1… but ours has a glass surround to make sure the bulb is not exposed.

    For your Arts and Crafts / Mission style door probably #3 or if you are a huge fan of Charles Rennie Mackintosh #4 is going to be irresistible.

  9. I just recently found your blog (searching for how to install glass tiles) and read pretty much your whole blog archive in a day, haha. Just want to say I love it and can’t wait to see what other projects you’ll be up to =).

    Oh, and I like #3 the best!

  10. So a lot of you picked the same two MysteryMan liked the best (#1 and #3) I really love the shape of #3, but I’m with those of you who said they weren’t sure about the finish.

    They just aren’t cheap enough that I want to buy them and then spray paint them… probably.

  11. Number two. Number one is too small, and numbers three and four don’t fit as well with the overall aesthetic of the house. Hear that? Your HOUSE has an AESTHETIC.

  12. I also love 1 & 3, though I think 3 fits the scale of your house better. But I’m also not crazy about the finish. I agree with Robin, I think #3 in a copper finish would look great. Since ReStore is not an option, what about ebay? Then maybe you wouldn’t feel bad about spray painting whatever you find. But, I’m biased because when I couldn’t stand the faded/rusted finish of the brass exterior lights that came with my house, I spray painted them copper & LOVE how they turned out. Now I’m considering spray painting some of my interior lights also.

  13. Because the window height is higher than the door, if you choose a fixture like #1 or #2, or even #3, your entryway will look like it is cascading downward from left to right. I suggest finding a fixture whose top will be even with the height of the window. That way the entrance will look symmetrical. I would also choose something that is more straight, rather than rounded. It will match your Craftsman door lines better.

  14. We have lights similar to number three (but with two bulbs instead of one) – and they’re like a nuclear flash when we turn them on. If you want light, that’d probably be your best choice.

    Besides, they look the best — in my opinion.

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